Managing time effectively has always been a tough challenge to almost everyone, especially for business owners. Because entrepreneurs are ultimately responsible for every aspect of their business, allocating the right amount of time to the right tasks is critical to keeping your business running smoothly.
The myth has been dispelled that, “The busier you seem, the more hardworking you are,” and the fact is, time management is not about working harder, it is more about working smartly. There just never seems to be enough time to get everything done, especially when you’re running your repair business alone, wearing a lot of different hats and taking on many different roles in order to keep things afloat. You’ll be the customer support executive one moment, the tech guy the other, and the business analyst in the third.
Not only is it frustrating, but it can be stressful to feel like you’re bouncing from task to task and never really crossing things off your list. Here are 7 key time management tips to help you use your time effectively;
Find out where you’re wasting time
Many of us are expert “time-wasters” – we devote our time to specific tasks, but cannot spot out what keeps us lagging behind in meeting our deadlines. Sometimes in your repair shop, you might start cleaning up shelves or counting repair parts and reading their specs when you aimed to just reorder low stocked items. These are classic examples of distractions, and they need to be stopped!
Sometimes it’s not what you do, but what you stop doing that makes the greatest impact. The best way to be on track is to stay focused and keep reminding yourself about your actual purpose, where you are headed and what you are up to. You can get someone to help you keep your store tidy; you can’t get someone to chart your business plan!
Set clear goals
The foundation of effective time management lies in knowing what your destination is and how to get there. The real trick is to not aim for the destination at once! When you are a beginner in time management activities, you and your team need to define short-term goals. Rather than focusing on a big picture, plan your activities for shorter time intervals.
And if you want to improve your day-to-day time management, you need to be setting daily goals as well. Need some tips on setting goals? Give our article a read: 5 Tips on Setting Business Goals for the New Year.
Prioritize & Delegate
While we can’t change the number of hours in a day, we can change the way we use them in order to manage time better and become more productive. Start your day by writing a “to-do” list of the goals that you marked in the prior stage, then spend on average 15 minutes to analyze your daily tasks with respect to their urgency.
And if you aren’t a one-man-army, assign activities that require specific skills to your talented team, and then let your people handle those tasks at their end while you focus more on the high-priority stuff.
Automate your operations
A pro-tip in managing time is automating your workflows. One way to make things easier on yourself is to use tools that can automate and streamline your business. Give yourself a break and empower your business with a solution that helps you with everyday routine tasks.
Need help coordinating staff schedules, saving customer details, and tracking employees’ performance? There’s a solution, that allows employees to easily pick up shifts, manage leads, and allows you to monitor everything from one platform, saving you tons of time and effort.
Know your store’s peak times and schedule accordingly
Analyze your store’s activities and sales to find out the busiest hours of your day, and then get ready for it. Figuring out these peak times will give you a better sense of when you can get tasks accomplished. Identify the time of day when you work at peak performance, get your team prepared and utilize these most productive hours with your best energy and determination.
Keep a time log
Time tracking will let you know your performance and will give you a realistic view of how you spent your time, as well as what disruptions occurred, and you might be surprised sometimes by analyzing your planned-vs-actual progress.
Time tracking will keep you focused on the task you’re working on right at that moment. After all, there’s no better concentration reminder than a ticking clock.
Hold yourself to a schedule
There are very rare moments when we actually stick to our schedule and work accordingly; this is the most challenging part in time management. When you’re done with your timetable, believe in yourself and just go with the plan. Crises will arise, but you’ll be much more productive if you follow your word.
There is no doubt that every business is different from the other – your processes, workflows, and everything will be customized to suit your business model. But, try using these tips as motivation to refine your own plans and strategies and see how it will improve your work and everyday life.
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