“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life”— Charles Darwin.
Charles Darwin certainly didn’t Google up any time management tips in his time. He was a pre-internet thinker. Can you believe Darwin, whose well-known ideas re-shaped scientific thought, wasn’t a workaholic? He also struggled with procrastination! How did he become famous? He worked smart. But, unlike Darwin, most people work harder or longer, instead of simply “better”. This takes us to the concept of “time management”. What is it exactly? Time management refers to how you effectively allocate time to various activities each day. It’s getting stuff done. It sounds simple. But it’s not always easy, especially when you are a small business owner and you have to wear many hats every day. Ask yourself the following question: Do you get 100 percent of the items on your to-do list crossed off? Check this out: one study found that fully 41 percent of the items appearing on a to-do list never get handled. Often, poor time management is the culprit. Here we bring you 15 time management tips to help you push up your productivity and free up time.
15 Time Management Tips for Business Owners
1. Develop Well-thought-out Daily Plans and Stick to Them
Never face a day without clear goals, for you and your business. Get organized. Suppose you own a garage. Know what must get done each day. Don’t keep jumping from task to task. That can harm your productivity. However, there are exceptions. A customer with a car emergency that would take just a couple minutes to fix would be an exception.
2. Pick One Task and Give it Laser-focused Attention
Everyone says multitasking is a good ability to have in your repertoire, especially if you are a business owner. But you don’t want to follow an idea that wastes time and potentially leads to lower quality work. If you’re examining a car’s engine to diagnose problems, forget about everything else.
You’re probably the best mechanic you know. But you likely have thoroughly trained your employees. Have qualified individuals perform different tasks. Don’t be a micromanager. Delegating tasks empowers your team. It also helps you accomplish more in less time.
4. Create a Clean, Well-organized Work Environment
Auto-repair shops must be messy and cluttered, right? The more disorganized your space is, the more difficult it becomes to find items. Your office shouldn’t look like any other garage owner’s office. Having a well-organized workspace reflects well on you. Besides, it could allow you to charge relatively higher prices, leading to more profits.
5. Identify Activities that Waste Your Time
Every person can identify various tasks that waste time. Sometimes, it’s replying to emails. Or overstaying at the water cooler. In a garage, chatting might create synergistic camaraderie. However, too much of it wastes time. Agree with your technicians how much time the should spend on each and also how much free time they have.
6. Resting Can Save You Time
You’re here for time management tips that can help you get more done in less time. How does resting help? Archimedes wouldn’t probably have made his exciting discovery if he hadn’t taken a break. It’s while he was enjoying some bathtub time that a light went on. Napping can clear up your mind. New ideas have a way of showing up when your mind isn’t too busy. Therefore, rest!
7. Assign “Time Blocks” to Daily Tasks
The “Pomodoro Technique” is one of the smartest time management tips you could try. Something as simple as a Pomodoro (a timer resembling a tomato, likes the ones used to track time in the kitchen) lets you organize your tasks into 25-minute “time blocks.” A garage can be a little noisy sometimes. But you can still use timers. Have each technician focus on one task for 25 minutes. When the timer’s alarm goes off, they can take a five-minute break. Then, they should proceed to the next task. Of course, they should return to the current task if they didn’t finish it.
8. Invest in the Right Tools and Technology
Having the right tools and equipment helps your team handle tasks efficiently and fast. Purchase more effective and efficient tools and equipment. Such tools and equipment might cost thousands of dollars, but consider it a long-time investment. If your financials are tight, invest some time looking for suppliers willing to negotiate a discount. Search for your materials on the internet (where you can compare several prices simultaneously), or considers applying for a small business loan.
9. Use Time-saving Apps or Tools
Marketing and competitor research are two critical components to business success. Your auto-repair business should be on social media. But do you have time to manage your social media account? Isn’t publishing articles and blog posts on your website time-consuming? You can get useful apps that allow you to schedule posts automatically. Researching the competition is much more efficient with the right tools. You can also find excellent tools and apps for managing day-to-day activities. Find here our recommended apps for every small business.
10. Outsourcing Can Save You Money and Time
Consider outsourcing some of your tasks. It could be writing blog posts, Facebook ads, or email marketing. It could also be a time-consuming technical task.
Get a freelance social media manager. Have a website? Hire a good freelance marketing content writer. Upwork and Freelancer are two excellent platforms to find freelancers specialized in the area of your interest. Outsourcing will allow you to stay focused on what you do best — in this case, fixing cars.
11. Do the hardest thing first
Or in Brian Tracy’s words, “eat the ugliest frog first”. Brian Tracy, an expert in the training and the developing of individuals and organizations, explains in Eat that Frog that, because some activities are relatively more difficult than others, it’s easy to procrastinate on them. But delaying action can get you into serious problems with your customers. Starting with the hardest problems lets you produce better quality work. What’s more, it frees up time. Here’s the best part. Eating the ugliest frog first makes the remaining tasks seem smaller and more manageable.
12. Spend Less Time Managing Employees
Hire the right people. Consider investing the human resources of your company one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Give your team top-notch training. Ensure they can handle even the most complicated auto problems. Then, leave them. Actually, “avoid” them, but don’t to the extreme of ignoring them!
13. Pareto’s 80/20 Rule Works
This rule or principle is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. How does this translate to time management? It means that usually, 80 percent of your results are attributable to only 20 percent of your efforts. Which specific activities should you focus on more? Could it be the training you’re offering your employees? Could it be marketing? Focus on what matters most.
14. Don’t Spend Your Time; Invest it
Now, that’s profound. Forget now the rest of the time management tips if you want. But ALWAYS remember this, because it can transform your business. It can even change your life. Time is scarce. Here’s a life-altering truth: You CANNOT recover time once lost. The late Stephen Covey taught that the key thing is “not spending time, but investing it.”
15. Say “No” more often
You’re a nice person. Saying no might seem hard. But successful entrepreneurs say “No” a lot more often than you say “Yes.” If anything doesn’t align with your business or personal goals, simply say no.
Lost time never gets recovered. STOP spending time. Instead, START investing your time. Use time management apps. Get the right employees, equipment, and technology. Outsource. Observe the 80/20 rule. Say “no” more often. Did you like these 15 time management tips? Consider subscribing to Camino Financial Newsletter. Why? You’ll keep getting more tips like these. But wait, there’s more! You’ll start getting ideas and tips on business management tools and technology. It gets better. You’ll keep getting amazing ideas on how to find CAPITAL to scale your business. Does the Camino Financial Newsletter sound like a good deal? That’s because it is.