Time Management Tricks for Small Business Owners

Tips On How To Save Time In Everyday Processes

October 19th is Evaluate Your Life Day, and I use this day to focus on my business, and how it affects my life. Being a small business owner it’s easy to get sucked into the “must do” list of my business duties. I need to do the same things that gain exposure for Chatterbox Promotions as I do for my customers. It’s a ton of work! but I happen to love what I do, as many of us do. That being said, my business tends to trickle into other aspects of my life. How about you? Do you spend less time with your family? Does business change your relationships with your friends?

I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

Who am I as a business owner?
What do I want?
What Are my short-term goals for my business?
What are my long-term goals for my business?
How does my business affect loved ones?

Jenniffer Campbell, Owner of Chatterbox Promotions

Jenniffer Campbell, Owner of Chatterbox Promotions

I think we can all agree, time management is essential when owning your own business. That's why I found these great tips on creative ways to save time and efforts throughout your day, that will actually give you more time to do other things.

  • Handle things once (saves 15 to 20 minutes). Time Architect — Jana Kemp suggests handling emails, voicemails, and paperwork right away. Don’t hesitate.
  • Don’t listen to the news first thing in the morning (30 minutes).“Depressing reports can distract you from efficiently accomplishing your a.m. routine — getting ready for work, feeding the kids, mentally preparing for a good day.” (1)
  • Make good use of waiting time (30 minutes). Bring things to do while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or meeting.
  • Think “half-time” (30 minutes). This is multi-tasking at it’s finest, outside of work. Kathryn Matthews states “Arrange a carpool for your child’s ballet class or soccer practice….Wear a wireless headset so you can water plants or pick up toys as you talk on the phone. And, whether you’re cooking chili or baking cookies, make a double batch, freezing what you don’t use”. (1)
  • Be decisive and move on (up to 60 minutes). Don’t waste time waffling on decisions. BE DECISIVE, and when you can’t put that task away until later when you feel you can be.
  • Lighten up on your cleaning standards (30 to 45 minutes). So you may not be able to eat off your floors, but that’s ok. Be realistic when cleaning your house.
  • Write it down (60 minutes). Create to-do lists and prioritize your duties.
  • Turn off technology during your high-energy time (90 minutes).Everyone needs a break, in order to refresh and recharge. If this is your lunch break then truly make it a “break” from everything.
  • Monitor time-sapping addictions (60 minutes). This is a BIG one that may take a little pre-planning but it will be worth it in the end.

Scott H. Young from Lifehack has some amazing tips and tricks on
how to reduce your time sucking activities.

  1. Television– This is a good starting point if you need more time. If you don’t completely eliminate it, cut it down to only the key shows you enjoy viewing or news you need to hear. Otherwise power-off this timewaster.
  2. Internet — Quickly replacing television as a huge time consumer is the internet. Try going on an internet diet where you have your net usage for two weeks. The first few days will be hard, but each time I’ve done this my results have been that almost no work was lost in the cutback.
  3. Games — A friend once told me that World of Warcraft was electronic crack. I’ve seen 14-Day subscription CD’s for dirt cheap, so I can see they’re even using the drug dealer business model. In all seriousness, though, cutting back on game playing can give you more time.
  4. E-mail — It’s easy to get lured into checking your inbox, just one more time. Unfortunately, if you are checking it every hour or two, it can waste more time than it’s worth. In the past, I’ve maintained a once per day inbox clearing routine and found it saved a lot of time. Now I’d like to aim for twice per day.
  5. Work — Cutting time from work isn’t easy. But as Tim Ferriss demonstrated in the 4-Hour Workweek, if you can maintain productivity or increase it, then cutting low-value work is possible. Outsourcing menial tasks to virtual assistants or simply cutting work that isn’t useful can help you reclaim work hours.
  6. Chores — Beyond just hiring a maid, there are ways you can reduce time from your chores. Cooking meals in advance, keeping things perpetually tidy, maintaining an organizing system to reduce the need for overhauls can all cut down your time usage.

Today October 19th is EVALUATE YOUR LIFE DAY, but if you missed it, it’s never too late to review your business processes. I bet you can find some time in your day that could be more efficiently. When writing this post, I too learned how I can do to save time during my day. Less time wasted equals more time to do other things I love.

Jenniffer Campbell

If you have any other tips or tricks on how you save precious time during the day, I would love to hear them. Feel free to post your comments.