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Squeezing time management

Oct 21, 2013 | tips, Vee's blog | 0 comments

Screen-Shot-2013-10-18-at-23.13.28-300x170Time management seems to be an issue for a lot of small business owners it seems. I gave a talk about time management at 4Network’s Hemel meeting today to small business owners. A lot of them typically work by themselves. They also have many other roles, like parent, partner and son/daughter as well as trying to maintain relationships with their friends and social circles and juggle other commitments not related to their businesses.

They have to contend with constant interruptions from family, friends, neighbours and even clients! And those interruptions come in many guises, phone calls, texts, email, door bells.

The effects leave you feeling out of control, stressed that you haven’t been able to complete everything you set out to do, bad tempered, running round like a headless chicken and it can even affect your sleep.

It’s sometimes a difficult juggling act trying to keep everyone happy and get stuff done in your business, so here are some simple techniques you can apply to make your day more productive.

1. Plan and allow yourself 1-2 hours to focus on a task, by turning off all distractions and making yourself unavailable during that time.

2. Switch off email alerts on both your phone and Outlook. There’s nothing more tempting to see who’s emailed you when you hear the email ping alert!

3. Divert your phone to a call minding service rather than your answer phone, people are more likely to leave a message with a fellow human than a voicemail.

4. Chunk down big tasks into smaller manageable tasks

5. Accept that good enough is good enough. Shelve perfection for now.

6. Delegate what you’re not good at or hate doing

7. Plan a couple of time slots in your day when you check your emails and return calls. Resist checking emails every 5 minutes

8. Don’t allow other people’s important and urgent tasks to hijack your important and not-urgent tasks

9. Have a todo list, either paper or electronic if you prefer gadgets (rememberthemilk.com and wunderlist.com). It’s very satisfying ticking off your todo’s and you can see how much you’ve actually achieved at the end of the day, even if it means you’ve had to add a few tasks during the day.

10. Have clear boundaries between work and family time. Your family will love you for it!

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