Good time management really does make a big difference to your productivity; on a personal level and in business.
As a small business owner, it’s often hard to manage your time so that your work days are productive. But when your days are full of distractions, procrastination or a simple lack of discipline, this poor time management can become a real thorn in the side of your business. So what do you do?
Make the habit of good time management a big part of your day, every day.
In this post, Etax Local’s business team discuss a few good time management tips to help you improve your productivity – and a few bad habits to wean yourself away from:
1. Listen to your body clock
Our super-tip for quality time management: You know when you’re at your best. Some people are fired up in the morning, others at night. Some spring to life mid-morning or just after lunch. Whatever time of day you feel at your most productive and energetic is the time of day to schedule your highest value work; the tasks that need an alert and fired up brain to complete well. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done and how well you do it when you let your own body tell you when to schedule this high value work.
2. Always keep a to-do list:
This will keep you on track and stop you from forgetting things, especially when you’re busy. A to-do list is always the best way to stay in control of priorities. When things seem to be getting frantic, check your list to put yourself back on track. Our tip is to get yourself a white board so you can move your tasks through a workflow – this is a great time management tool as it helps you stay on top of each stage of a project.
3. Set Goals
If you don’t have goals it’s easy to drift along with very little momentum. Setting goals, big or small, will keep you motivated, positive and moving forwards – in life and in business. Cut big goals into small do-able achievements so they aren’t so daunting. And whatever you do; take that first step. Once you’ve done that you are far more inclined to smash out the rest!
4. I’ll do it tomorrow
Procrastination is your worst enemy. Opportunities, work goals, personal goals and all the big tickets in life can be missed if you’re a procrastinator. So don’t fall into that trap. Set yourself time limits, create action plans and commit to them to keep your momentum going. Be honest with yourself; ask yourself why exactly it is that you’re not doing something that you want to do. The answer is often ridiculously easy to hurdle when you’re simply procrastinating.
The time lost in distractions each week can really add up over the working week, especially when you work from home, where you’re at the mercy of friends and neighbours dropping in, the TV, fridge and social media. (see our article: Working From Home: Productivity Tips) But even in the office, there is often a need to alleviate the chance of distractions so you can stay focused. This needs discipline but results in far greater productivity, which is better for you and your business. Start by shutting down your internet and email when you need to focus on a project and don’t be afraid to close your door every now and then when you really need to get something finished.
6. Taking on too much
Do you have a problem saying no or letting go of control? Spreading yourself too thinly is detrimental to your health. Micromanaging staff is destructive to your business – and your staff morale. If you’re guilty of these business demons it’s time to change. Take a step back, trust your staff to do the job you hired them to do and learn how to say no to discover a healthier happier and surprisingly more effective you.
Are you a serial multitasker? Do you consider this good time management? It’s interesting to see the results of multitasking; the typos in emails, the errors in calculations, the missed items in orders or forgotten payments. It’s simply not possible for us to concentrate ‘fully’ on multiple things at once. If you don’t give 100% of your focus to one task at any one time, the quality of all your tasks is guaranteed to suffer. Prioritising is the key and here’s where your to do list will help you establish what order you need to do everything in.
8. Time out
Do you work for long hours without taking breaks? Do you eat lunch at your desk and pump yourself full of coffee so you can work for as long as possible? If you don’t give yourself breaks the quality of your work suffers. Your mind simply becomes overloaded and you start to make silly mistakes. Getting up from your desk and going for a walk, even if it’s just around the office for a catch up with colleagues or out to grab some lunch will give your mind a much needed break. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you become when you’re mind has had a time-out!
9. Stay on top
Do you let your business finances get out of hand? Do you have a mountain of receipts in you car, or on your desk? If you let your finances get out of hand you are in danger of losing track of where your business stands financially, which could jeopardise the future of the business. If you can’t provide a quick and accurate statement of account for your business in the next few minutes, you’re already out of control of your finances.
It takes much more time and money to record a backlog of expenses. Time and money that you really don’t need to be spending if you discipline yourself to spend a small part of each day recording everything. Nowadays, online accounting software makes looking after your business finances so much easier. The accounting team here at Etax Local help many new and existing business owners choose the right package to suit their business. We can even help you set it all up so it’s all ready to go. Records and reports needed for tax time and other financial statements can then simply be provided with a few clicks of your mouse. No need to scrabble around trying to find receipts and racing against deadlines – and no chance of paying more tax than you need to!
Give yourself back some time. If you need help to pull your business finances together and get back on track with your ATO obligations, give Etax Local a call today on 1300 174 689.
Are you overdue with your business taxes or reporting? We can help you with that too.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer we contacted you, provide your contact details in our contact form and we’ll get in touch within one business day to see how we can help.