Time Management Tricks That Will Lead to a More Successful Business

by Michelle Salater on April 13, 2011

time management

One of the biggest complaints I hear from small business owners is that they spend so much time answering emails and phone calls, and marketing and that they don’t have enough time to do their actual job! This used to be a major complaint of mine, as well, until I started getting smart about how to manage my time.

I used to think I had to stay up into the wee hours of the night every day of the week just to get it all done. But that was not the right answer. I’m a firm believer in pushing yourself, but when you start to push yourself into exhaustion and burnout, your health and your business begin to suffer.

Below are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years to help me appropriately manage my time:

1. Set Meeting Boundaries: I find that designating Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for client- and business-related meetings enables me to stay focused and get in meeting mode. It’s hard for me to focus and complete a specific task when I have to regularly stop throughout to participate in a meeting. If I can sit down and focus on the task at hand, with no interruptions, I’m much more likely to complete the task quicker and to the best of my ability.

2. Don’t Overpromise: Be honest with yourself and your client. If you can’t get a project or task completed by a client’s requested date, then tell them. Choose a realistic date when your client can receive the completed task or project, and reassure the client that the task will be your priority on or before that date. The client should understand that you have other clients who need your assistance. When you overpromise to everyone, either the project isn’t completed in time or the final result lacks quality—either way, you’ll have to answer to unhappy clients.

3. Delegate Where Possible: We’re only human, and we can only do so much in one day. No matter how well we manage our time, there will always be areas in our business that lack proper attention. Therefore, it’s essential to take inventory and visualize the areas of your business that can’t progress without you. Then, look at the other parts of your business and decide whether you need to be the person managing that particular area or if an outsourced professional can manage it. Often, we try to manage all areas of our business, and that’s just a waste of time.

For example, I’m not great at managing my business finances—and to be frank, I don’t even like doing it. It takes me three times as long to manage my books than it does for my accountant. Therefore, my decision to delegate my finances has not only saved me time and frustration, but it has also saved me money. The countless hours I spent on my finances could have been used to speak with clients and increase sales—that is the best and most profitable way for me to spend my time.

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