As a small business owner, you have a ton of tasks to accomplish daily. But how often do you get to the end of the day and question if you actually accomplished much of anything?
Sometimes, our days running a business are hectic by no fault of our own. But many other times, poor time management is often to blame.
Besides freeing up more time in your day, effective time management plays a big part in the amount of stress, anxiety and potential burnout that a small business owner faces. It can also greatly impact the success of the business itself.
When you’re stuck in the same habits, determining where time savings can be produced throughout your day can sometimes be difficult to see. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the five biggest time wasters that small business owners regularly face. For each one, proper time management tips are provided to help free up more time in your busy day.
Time Waster #1: A Lack of Priorities
Oftentimes, feeling like you didn’t get much done in a day is not for a lack of trying! On a regular basis, you probably get pulled from one task to another all day long. Constant interruptions by phone calls, customers, staff and more can make it nearly impossible to know where you left off on a task – let alone accomplish a task successfully.
That’s where prioritizing can help. At the start of each day, make a list outlining tasks you want to accomplish before the end of the day. Have staff or remote workers you can assign certain tasks to? Use them!
As each task gets completed, cross it off your list so that you can easily track what still needs to be done.
Sure, you can’t stop interruptions from happening. However, getting more organized with your own priorities can make you feel less frantic throughout the day – and helps you pick up where you left off.
Time Waster #2: Not Delegating Tasks
The art of delegation can be difficult for many small business owners to complete. And it’s totally understandable! You’ve built your business from the bottom up. All of its successes until now have been due to your hard work and perseverance. It can be hard to trust anyone else with certain aspects of your business!
But as your business grows, it will become more and more apparent that you can no longer do it all on your own.
Besides helping with your sanity level, delegating tasks to others is one of the best ways to free up more time in your day. It allows you to focus on the tasks that you do best and have the remaining tasks completed by someone with more expertise.
Time Waster #3: Being a Perfectionist
In a perfect world, it would be nice to plan, prepare and wait until each business task is flawlessly completed.
But as a busy business owner, that’s often not possible.
Of course, some tasks (like accounting!) do need to be completed with precision – but there are many other tasks that don’t require that laser-focus.
If you have staff or remote workers that help with your business operations, easing up on your perfectionism can be even more difficult.
You chose to hire (or outsource) a certain person for their unique skillset – which likely differs from yours. Remind yourself that although it’s only natural that you have a certain way of getting tasks completed, it’s often not the only way. Most of the time, the result is similar – showing that micromanaging the process itself is unnecessary.
As hard as it can be to let go of your perfectionism, it’s needed if you want to get more accomplished throughout your workday.
Time Waster #4: Comparing Yourself to Others
The world of business is fiercely competitive.
It can be easy to get wrapped up comparing website statistics, social media followers and more to businesses that offer similar products or services. Yes, it’s important to know who your competition is so that you don’t price yourself out of the market. But, it’s unnecessary to know the ins and outs of your competitors’ business operations.
Other than creating insecurities, constantly comparing your business to your competitors’ is counterproductive. It takes time away from your business and puts you in the wrong mindset for success.
Instead, fuel that energy into making your business better!
Time Waster #5: Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
As much as you may not like it, social media is crucial for your business’s success these days.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – these are only a few of the platforms used by many people to complete research before making a purchase.
The good news? Being active on social media doesn’t need to consume your days as a business owner. Social media tools make it easy to pre-plan your posts, reply to messages and grow your following. Think of the time that you could save by consolidating all of your social media platforms onto one social media management site!
Depending on the plan you choose, many of the social media calendar planning tools have a fee associated with them. But when you consider the time savings they can create, that fee is often well worth the money.
As Toronto copywriters, we help small business owners with their copywriting needs – from blog articles and websites to newsletters and more. On a regular basis, we’re often told how much time is saved by outsourcing this type of work to us.
But remember, when it comes to better time management, results don’t happen overnight. Staying consistent with implementing the tips above is key to seeing more time free up throughout your day.
We’re curious – which time management tips do you need to implement into your business life? Share in the comment section below!