Top Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
By: Gwen Payne
As a small business owner trying to grow his or her business, you may feel like you work all the time, yet get nowhere. You’re not alone.
According to the findings from a recent study, the average small business owner clocks 50 hours per week. Yet, most only spend 31% of that time strategically growing their businesses. The remaining 68% of their time is spent on tackling daily tasks, such as bookkeeping, taking phone calls, training staff, and managing inventory, to name a few. The point is, working more hours does not equate to success. Small business owners need to use strategies that make the time they do put in more meaningful.
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Automate Business Tasks
The average small business owner spends nearly five hours per pay period calculating, filing and paying payroll taxes. Yet, despite this huge time commitment, 79% admit they regularly fall behind on the task. Another seven out of 10 respondents claim they do not thoroughly understand city and state labor laws and codes, meaning that they often answer to the IRS in spite of their efforts.
Payroll is just one of numerous areas of a business where non-core tasks can take too much of your time. The good news is that you can easily reclaim those hours by simply automating tasks. Not only can this save time, you can also automate repetitive tasks to reduce errors. Invoicing, for example, is a time-consuming task and poses risks of human error. But with an automated process like batch invoicing, you can enter multiple invoices to save time and maintain accuracy.
Did you know that only 2% of people can multitask effectively? In fact, focusing on more than a single thing at a time reduces your productivity by 40%. What’s more interesting is that it reduces your IQ by 10 points. The chances are that if you want to make the most of your time, you need to avoid multitasking altogether. How can you do this, though, when you have so much on your plate?
For starters, you can time-block. Time blocking is the exact opposite of multitasking in that it forces you to allocate a set amount of time to a single task. As Rescue Time explains, a typical to-do list tells you what tasks you need to complete. Time-blocking tells you when you’re going to complete them. You can also recognize your distractions and eliminate them and hire help. You can find affordable resources and discounts through your local chamber of commerce.
As a business owner, you may struggle to step away from your work for something as unproductive as a break, but studies suggest that you need to. According to the research, 90% of employees who take regular breaks from their work are more productive than those who do not. This is because breaks help you reset, gain a new perspective, and get more energy to complete the task at hand. Even doing something as simple as checking up on the local news for 15 minutes is enough to reap the benefits of a break.
As a business owner, you may wish for more hours in your day. Unfortunately, gaining more hours will never be possible, but you can make more of the time you do have. Automate, prevent multitasking and take breaks to boost your productivity.