Time Management Tips

Time-ManagementAs a small business owner, I can tell you firsthand how hard it can be to have numerous people and projects pulling at you, all competing for your time at once. It often can seem overwhelming, trying to determine where your time needs to be spent. Yet, each account is important and you want to give it the proper attention.

Your productivity directly affects your company’s productivity and mastering time blocking as well as list management will result in a better outcome. Have you ever done an analysis on your time? Do you know where time wasters occur? Is social media sucking a chunk out of your daily productivity?

Whether you are a business owner or a manager, knowing where your strengths are, and where you see your biggest results is key to making the most out of your time. Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. Eliminate the things that are simply busy work and focus on what is producing results. This goes toward networking meetings as well. You can network til the cows come home, but if you aren’t generating business and only exchanging cards, at the end of the day, what have you accomplished.

Here are some time management tips:

Keep the list of priorities short. At times it seems as though the to-do list is never ending and that everything needs done now. Take a look at that list and narrow it down.Look at what is most important to have done and work down the list from there. The shorter the list, the easier it is to keep your team focused on the end goal.

Block Time. Set a timer to complete a task. Turn off your phone, email, close your office door and eliminate all distractions. See what you can accomplish in 60 minute intervals.

Limit lengthy meetings. Create an agenda with time spent on each agenda item to keep meetings on task. Try to avoid staff meetings that extend beyond 30 minutes. While there will be times that meetings need to be longer than 30 minutes, it is a good practice to try to keep meetings short and to the point. Most discussion points of a meeting can be discussed in 30 minutes or less and help to keep your team on task.

Plan your day around your body’s energy levels. If you find that you are most eager to get items off your to-do list mid-morning, plan to do things that require creativity then. Leave the tasks such as answering emails or returning phone calls for the afternoon when you are not feeling as energetic or creative.

Learn how to delegate. Just because there is something on your to do list does not mean that you have to do it yourself. Something like running to the store, taking inventory, or dropping off a box to be shipped is a task that can easily be completed by somebody else.

At the end of the day, look at what you’ve accomplished and determine….are you managing your time, or is it managing you?

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.