Time management is an issue for all of us, but business owners often seem to suffer the most. As individuals wearing multiple hats in their business, they’re usually trying to juggle between the many roles they’ve taken up and find themselves never having time to fit in all their different tasks in their day.
Most business owners find themselves spending less time than they’d ideally like on their business (managing strategic planning, marketing and other leadership responsibilities) because they’re spending more time on tasks they could delegate to another employee (repetitive administrative tasks, or customer-oriented tasks). And while administrative tasks are important as well, strategic tasks are what really hold your business together.
Keep the target small to focus better
Kris Kelso, CEO of The Kelso Group says, “The more you try to accomplish at once, the less efficient you will be at getting it all done.”
As a member of TAB since 2016, he prefers focusing on one or two things at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed and easily distracted from his tasks, after which he moves onto the next project.
“You avoid the ‘transaction costs’ of shifting your focus too often between projects, and a get a greater and more frequent sense of accomplishment,” he says.
Write it all down
Most business owners depend on their memory to store tasks, procedures, and training materials – which not only causes issues for themselves, but also slows down operations among employees. This creates a situation where each task and decision must go through the owner resulting in time being wasted for employees as well as owners who need to step away from their task and help others out.
This is why Kris Derrig, CEO of Action Machined Products and a member of TAB since 2007 is a huge believer of written procedures, tasks list as well as materials which are easily accessible to you and others working with you. Whether this be physically written or be stored on a drive only, it saves you from potentially wasting time making up for missed steps and omitted information.
Learning to let go
While most don’t realise this, business owners tend to cause more problems than they solve by delegating tasks and then micromanaging it. A fear that tends to exist among business owners is that if they let go of a task, it may result in them losing control, and eventually cause massive consequences.
Tom Borg, President of Tom Borg Consulting, asks business owners to simply consider how the inability to let go is impacting the business, the time they have available for other tasks as well as the stress they take on by micromanaging delegated tasks along with knowing they’ve got their own tasks to work on.
“When a business or organisational leader can address this concern of losing control by truly delegating to others what needs to be done, it can result in real growth,” Tom says.
Batching phone calls
Unknowingly, business owners tend to waste a lot of time on their phones returning phone calls throughout their day, which also causes them to get distracted from the initial task they were working on. Michael Finkler, a member of TAB since 2007, is very organised with managing his phone calls. He only returns to them at appointed times: 8 AM, 11:30 AM and 4 PM. To make it known, his voicemail informs callers when they should be expecting calls back from him.
Plan for Disruptions
Customer issues, employee questions, and other minor emergencies are a part of every business and these issues are unavoidable for the most part. And instead of letting these come in the middle of your day-to-day tasks, Kristopher Jones adds a ‘disruption time’ into his daily schedule.
Founder and CEO of LSEO.com, Kristopher actively practices this to help him keep his mind focused on the important tasks throughout his day. He also ensures his team knows he’s available from 9-9:30 AM and 4:30-5 PM, which are his planned disruption hours – and he doesn’t waste a minute during this period.