Eliminate the Overwhelm! – Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

by | Jun 4, 2013 | Success Mindset, Time Management/Productivity

time management

time managementTime is money. Nobody understands this better than a small business owner.  You wear many hats (or worse, all the hats), so there’s never quite enough time to get it all done. You might feel like you’re under an avalanche of never ending to-do’s that all scream NOW leaving you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and discouraged.

Time can be both an asset and a liability. If you keep your head down and utilize your time to the fullest, you can leap over your competition. If you delegate responsibilities poorly and don’t think your business activities through wisely, time can become your worst enemy

There is a middle ground – one that promises a good return on your efforts and leaves you with enough breathing space to attend to personal commitments. Time management – a phrase we hear so often but don’t always know what to make of.

How can you manage time and make the most of it, so you can get the right things done in your business to quickly grow the business? Here are 4 time management tips for small business owners:

1. Segment your tasks each day on a calendar.

Get an estimate of how much time you spend online, exclusively on your company website, at your storefront, on your mobile phone, in administrative tasks and employee-related responsibilities and map them out onto a calendar week.  It’s also easier to see how your tasks are segmented if you color code them right on your calendar. 

2. Write your results for each task.

Now that you have a gauge of how much time you typically spend on an average day for each task you want to now jot down what your typical result is. Take for instance a task like “paying bills.” It may take you 1 hr to pay 12 bills.  Another entry might be “post discussions on Linkedin.” The result may be 2.5hrs = posted discussion in 40 Linkedin groups.

 3. Estimate what the going rate would be to hire someone to do each task.

A great time management tip for small business owners is to be able to see on one page the dollar value for each task you do. Write this right onto your weekly calendar — the one that is now color coded with task, time and result and now add a dollar value for what you would pay someone to take that off your plate. So, typical entries might look something like:

  •  Paying Bills = $10/hr for Admin Assistant
  • Quickbooks entry and reconciling  = $35/hr for a professional bookkeeper
  • Posting on Linkedin = $10/hr for Admin Assistant
  • Running errands (post office, bank, gift buying, etc) = $10/hr Admin Assistant
  • Sorting mail, email, prioritizing = $15/hr for higher level Admin Assistant

4. Shortlist you core competencies.

Just because you can do a certain task does NOT mean you should do those tasks. You want to identify a short list of only those tasks that requires your qualifications, talents and skills. Mark those items in red.

Take notice of those dollar amounts you noted next to each task. Most items you currently have on your calendar would likely indicate that you are overqualified to be having those tasks as a part of your job description.

5. Hire help.

Eliminating the overwhelm is not going to happen from simply doing more things faster. The secret for small business owners to eliminate your overwhelm is to give yourself less things to do. Doing everything yourself only bottlenecks projects and slows your progress down to a snail’s pace. Take baby steps if hiring help feels like a big financial commitment.  You could start by hiring a contractor at just 5 or 10 hours a week.

Doing everything yourself is the trap that keeps many small business owners from growing to the next level. Growing your business is a continual cycle of getting out of your comfort zone. If hiring help or managing people feels uncomfortable then getting the necessary training will give you the confidence you need. This is a learned skill just as riding a bike or driving a car is a learned skill. Once you learn and practice new skills they become second nature and they open up whole new opportunities for you.

For more time management tips and hiring help advice subscribe to my Biz Growth Tips newsletter using the form below. For immediate help you can reach me at (215) 292-4947 or email YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com

QUESTION: What is your #1 best tip that helped you eliminate your overwhelm? How do you get empowered and energized in the midst of struggle? Share your comments here:

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