OPINION: How to manage your time as a business owner

JOHANNESBURG – Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. 

Between balancing your team and their needs, as well as tracking output can be a nightmare if you don’t have concrete processes in place. The biggest keys to time management are discipline and prioritisation. By dividing your to-do list into urgent tasks, short and long-term goals, you’ll be able to allocate your time more effectively.

Action coach Darryn le Grange’s favourite time management tips for business owners:

1. Prioritise communication

Email is a blessing and a curse. It’s a great way to communicate but can also be one of the biggest distractions, especially if you’re checking it every 10 minutes. A great way to avoid the distraction is to disable the email notification pop up in Outlook and then set aside two or three times during the day to attend to your emails. This will take discipline but will yield great results if you can get it right.

2. Conduct a Time Study Do you often get to the end of the day and wonder what you’ve accomplished? A great way to get a handle on your time is to conduct a time audit for a week where you enter everything you did in the day, broken into 30 minutes intervals. Set your cellphone alarm for every 30 minutes and when it goes off, enter what you’ve just done. At the end of the week, sit back and analyse what you spent your time on – there should be plenty of light-bulb moments. Look specifically for time-wasting activities and lower-value tasks that you could delegate to somebody else.

3. Block off focused time One of the challenges of being a business owner is that you get pulled in all sorts of directions and unless you make time to work “on” your business, you will forever be working “in” your business. Working “on” refers to tasks like planning, strategising, analysing and, marketing. The only way to ensure this gets done is to block off chunks of time in your diary to do these activities, and then ensure you have the discipline to stick to it.

4. Book meetings in chunks When it’s time to book meetings, try to clump them shortly after one another. This will keep you forcibly punctual and won’t break up the remainder of your day. 5. Be intentional with agendas Long, drawn-out, ineffective meetings are the worst. You have the power to change this. Give your meeting purpose by creating an agenda and keeping the meeting on track.

THE MERCURY 

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