The busyness trap: time management hacks for small business

Time management for small business hourglass

The busyness trap: time management hacks for small business

So you are busy. Always busy. It’s like a badge of honour to be busy. But where is your busyness spent?

Beyond Business Groups is about setting the time outside of working ‘in’ your business to work ‘on’ your business, with the benefit of the wisdom and ideas of other members. If you are stressing about how to make time for the meetings and the reading and activities, there are some simple ways you can find the time and the focus.

  1. Take stock of where you spend your time. You can’t change what you don’t measure. Here’s a link to my time tracker, where you have to account for every 30 minutes of every day. Be prepared to be astounded!
  2. Routines. Do the same things on the same days at the same time. Do one ‘working on your business’ task per day. Schedule your generic social media posts on Monday, do your accounts on Tuesday, marketing on Wednesday, Beyond Business Groups on Thursday and follow-ups on Friday.
  3. Avoid distractions. Schedule times of the day when you will respond to emails and phone calls. Turn off notifications. Put your phone on silent. And if you can’t trust yourself to take a sneaky look at non-work socials, use an app such as SelfControl to block the websites you get distracted by.
  4. Separate work from social. When you are working from home you are working! While one of the benefits of running a business from home is the flexibility, if your diary is more consumed by social than business you won’t get any work done.
  5. Diminish double-handling and invest in apps. If you’re a small business owner who charges by the hour, an app such as Harvest can easily keep track of the time you spend on each task. When it comes to managing overall workflow, there are a number of project management apps such as Trello where you can create boards for each project and can also collaborate with others.
  6. Buy an egg timer. My favourite tip of all. Find a quirky looking timer to sit on your desk and set times for tasks/problem solving/breaks. When the timer goes, you stop – non-negotiable – and move on to the next thing on your list. You will get used to doing things that are timebound and getting them done fast.

We all have the same hours in the day – you can’t make time but you can schedule it!