Whether you’re a sole proprietor or have several employees, understanding different time management strategies – and using them – can help increase productivity and profitability for your small business. These 4 time management tips are designed to help you work smarter, rather than harder.
You don’t need to plan out every minute (or even hour) of every day to manage your time effectively. Instead, look at your day and week in broad strokes: What needs to be done today, tomorrow, by the end of the work week?
While there are many different time management strategies, the following are some common approaches and how you might use them in your business:
The ABC Method:1 This simple method asks you to rank each to-do as A, B, or C. Once you have completed that step, work through all A items before moving onto B and eventually C.
The Pareto Principle: Also known as the 80/20 rule, this strategy helps identify the activities that will have the greatest return on effort.
The POESC Method:2 This holistic approach to time management follows five steps – prioritize, organize, streamline, economize, and contribute.
As a small business owner, you probably want to be involved in as many of the day-to-day business decisions as possible. While that inclination is understandable, it isn’t possible to be involved in everything as your business grows.
Whether or not you’re comfortable handing off responsibilities will likely hinge on your employees’ experience handling similar tasks. As a rule of thumb, the following business responsibilities can typically be delegated:
Despite our best efforts, distractions are just a part of work. Email notifications, Slack messages, texts, and social media alerts only make it easier to get sidetracked. Time blocking can help you cut down on distractions, free up your mental bandwidth, and allow you to work more productively.
Rather than trying to get multiple things done at once, break up your day (or week) into blocks that you dedicate to one to-do item.
As you block out your day, consider dedicating a set period of time to the following task:
Keeping your business and personal purchases separate can streamline your tax filing and make it easier to track expenses throughout the year.
An easy way to track your business expenses is by applying for a small business credit card and using it for all business-related purchases. When you need to see what you’ve spent, you can simply download a record of your business transactions. And with the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, you can earn rewards or choose flexible payment terms like 5% Back or 90 Day Terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership. Earn 5% Back on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year, 1% Back thereafter. Terms apply.
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