Customer Service, Motivation, Small Business

Making Time Management Work For You

7 Jun , 2014  

Being an entrepreneur or small business owner comes with as many tribulations and challenges as it does rewards, if not more. Sure there are great days where it feels good to be a entrepreneur or small business owner. Then there are times that you feel like you have accomplished little to nothing. Then there are the days where it’s countless battles with distractions, dealings with impromptu guests, pacifying unsolicited interruptions, and tending to customers. Sometimes your business hours do not coincide with when things need to get done – at times you feel like you just need more time. The fact is: perception is everything. You don’t need more time much like there isn’t more time to give you, and even then if there were, you would probably mismanage that as well. The trick here is to manage your time effectively.

Imagine that you have sand, pebbles, and stones before you. The stones represent the very big important things that must get done. The pebbles represent things that aren’t necessary but useful or helpful. The sand represents the multitude of small or quick things that can get done, but either require other things to be done before them or have a lower priority. Now imagine I hand you two jars, one half filled with water; the other completely empty. You must now fill the empty jar with sand, stones, and pebbles – and water as well. The water represents that which you have no control over, the unexpected, and things that one way or another will make you find time for them. Not all the water has to go in but the most that you can get in is fine. How will you do it? Logically, one would start by placing the stones in the empty jar, followed by the pebbles, followed by the sand, and lastly the water. This same concept applies to your business.

First begin with properly cataloging your activities and/or agenda for a week. It might help to purchase an agenda or a journal. Being aware of where you spend most of your time can help you work out an effective schedule. Make sure to have a list of things that are important to you and you want to make time for. If you’re a visual person try out a desk pad calendar or similar to hang on the wall. Having a calendar can help you visualize what days have special events happening. Once you have a good idea of what your workweek will look like you can start planning around the time that you have available. Now plan the itinerary for the first day of your new time management schedule. Consider the special events are going on that day or bills that need to be paid for that day for example. Though you never know, what things might come up you can still try to manage your time to get as much done as possible. Keeping these things in mind will help us make our “to-do-list” for the day. Here are some more tips:

· Try to wake up earlier than you already do. Just try to get enough sleep. Even 15 minutes earlier can make a difference.

· Avoid social media if it’s a distraction, unless it’s for business purposes. If so, give it its proper time and place.

· Allow time to relax, relaxing will help alleviate the inevitable stress

· Try to keep in mind time zones when making phone calls or writing emails. Different time zones can play in advantageous or disadvantageous role in your time schedule

· Allow leeway for unexpected interruptions don’t jam pack your day with thousands of things. Just choose a few stones, some pebbles, a bit of sand and leave room for rain.

· Don’t forget to make time to sit and plan your day, how long should this take you?

· Depending on your business you might want to have “office hours”, where customers can call you, or feel free to drop by unexpectedly.

· Be sure to include an achievable goal for the day. Having done at least one widely speak you feel better at the end of the day.

· Remember to leave time for yourself. All the things they will make you healthy and happy are also a priority so be sure to include those in your day.

http://m.entrepreneur.com/article/219553

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