Business owners handle several business obligations, including managing workers, attending client or investor meetings, and hosting business events.
Such tight schedules can be overwhelming, and you might feel like there are loads of tasks to complete in so little time.
Fortunately, with an effective time management system, you can control your time on every task and improve performance.
Notably, a poor time management system may result in a stressful work environment, missed deadlines, strained work-life balance, bad business reputation, and high worker turnover.
Therefore, as a small or medium-sized business owner, you’d want to avoid such situations by maximizing productivity in the workplace.
You and your employees should complete the day’s activities without sacrificing quality and still manage to spare time for family, friends, and self-care.
Here are some guidelines to help you build an effective time management system for your SMB:
- Set realistic goals
While it’s vital to be optimistic by setting high targets for yourself and your employees, it’s also essential to do this realistically. Essentially, an effective time management system only comes into play when business goals are SMART.
That is, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Therefore, you should assess your current situation and determine the particular actions that should be implemented to enable you to achieve your goals in the predetermined time frame.
- Automate your business
Automation involves finding the appropriate technology to help you optimize your business operations and reduce heavy workload. In essence, automation has become an integral part of digital businesses.
According to Gartner, by 2025, 70% of enterprises will implement structured automation to improve efficiency.
This represents a 20% increase from the 2021 figure.
Today, software developers offer small and medium-sized businesses efficient digital solutions designed to streamline repetitive manual routines.
This gives you and your staff adequate time to focus on other pressing matters or implement better strategies to boost production.
For example, if your workers spend over four hours a day drafting reports, you can leverage top data integration tools to generate detailed reports in real time.
These tools incorporate robust artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities enabling faster processing of structured and unstructured data formats. This facilitates better and more timely decision-making.
According to Forbes, 80% of business executives believe that data integration is essential for the success of business operations. 67% of organizations rely on data integration for analytics; whereas, 24% plan to implement it in the next 12 months.
Also, 65% of business enterprises opt for cloud-based data integration solutions.
- Track your time
Time tracking plays a significant role in time management.
It challenges your workers to finish assignments within the designated time and meet deadlines.
With time tracking tools, you can monitor the time spent on specific tasks in real time for both on-premise and remote workers.
Fortunately, there are many time-tracking applications to integrate into your current time management system.
Alternatively, you may opt for a time management program with built-in time-tracking functionalities.
Based on a 2020 worldwide survey by Statista on the workplace management applications market, it was found that the time and attendance systems segment was the largest, with an estimated revenue of about USD$2.4 billion.
The revenue is projected to increase by 2025, reaching around USD$2.8 billion.
Therefore, as a small business owner, you’d want to leverage time tracking as part of your time management strategy.
It allows you to monitor your ongoing tasks, review time logs, and determine the operations that consume the most time in your workflow.
After that, you can reevaluate each task’s time requirements or devise better strategies to boost efficiency levels and ensure you reach your goals.
- Develop a daily schedule
Indeed, it may be challenging to remember all the tasks you have to complete in a day, especially in a busy work environment. Therefore, creating a daily schedule should be part of your time management strategy.
You can use ready-made online templates to itemize your days and keep track of your week.
Notably, your day’s activities should be organized according to priority so that you know the order in which the tasks should be completed.
Also, you can target your efforts with time-blocking.
This entails setting time limits for every task so that you can dedicate your attention to each and get it done quickly and more efficiently.
Additionally, you’d want to assign your most vital or complex activities to the time of the day that you’re the most productive. Creating a digital reminder system can help you stay updated with your day’s activities.
- Group tasks
One of the most efficient time management tips is grouping related tasks together. It allows you to complete similar jobs quickly instead of hopping from one activity to another.
For instance, combining accounting tasks such as working on invoices and updating your financial statements will be much easier and quicker.
Luckily, different time management systems allow you to create boards for every activity and group-related assignment by project or type.
Therefore, you can seamlessly take charge of your overall workflow.
- Delegate tasks
Delegation should be an essential part of your time management system.
As a business owner, taking on too many responsibilities gets you overworked and demands much of your time.
Therefore, delegating some functions to your current team would be best.
This frees up your time to focus on other higher-value obligations.
Below are some tips to consider when delegating tasks:
- Understand your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. By playing to their strengths, tasks will be completed on time and to a higher standard.
- Be specific by delegating tasks with adequate guidelines.
- Encourage collaboration between team members, especially on complex tasks that may consume much time if handled individually.
- Share your vision and mission with your team so that it can focus on helping you achieve these.
In light of that, you’d want to delegate work to save time and prepare your business for growth.
- Recognize your distractors
According to Forbes, about 89% of workers reveal that they waste time at work due to distractions and momentary diversions. Therefore, for effective time management, you’d want to identify the daily distractions that get you side-tracked from your business goals.
After spotting these top time wasters, you should focus on establishing healthy boundaries to eliminate them and boost productivity.
As a business owner, to achieve your business goals and be successful, you must exercise complete control of your time.
Luckily, a time management system enables you to efficiently manage tasks and make the most of each working hour.
Above are some tips for building an effective time management system for your business.
Altogether, ensure you harness the power of technology to optimize your operations and substantially improve your business productivity.
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