When you own your own business, it can seem like everything about your business is a project that needs your oversight, and every question is one you need to answer. After a while, it starts to seem like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your work done. That’s why it’s pretty critical to develop a methodology for efficient project management for business owners. Today’s article will cover seven tips for busy business owners to help you make the best use of your time.
Get Up Earlier.
There’s the old adage that “the early bird gets the worm,” and in many ways, that’s still true in business. Some research also seems to imply that productivity is higher in the morning, and that the ability to solve certain kinds of problems are much improved by being earlier in the day. Other research ties certain personality traits, such as being conscientious or proactive, to those that work best in the morning.
It’s certainly true that extremely successful CEO’s — a whopping 90% of executives in a small survey — get up before 6 o’clock in the morning. While no studies are released to determine whether that’s directly linked to the time of day, it is clear that by starting early, business owners give themselves more time to prepare for the day as well as give themselves more time to get their work done.
Have a Single Focus.
Multitasking might sound like the way to get more done, but the truth is, you’re probably only hurting your ability to get each thing done well. In fact, only 2% of the population is considered to be super multitaskers, and it isn’t a skill that can be trained. It helps to consider the brain’s task capacity as bandwidth. In one study, adding one task on top of another diminished the “bandwidth” by 37%, meaning that each task has less attention being paid to it. You may think that’s associated with the amount of time being allotted to each, but it refers to your ability to do that task well. The more tasks you take on, the more likely each task is to be completed poorly. Prioritizing and working on one thing at a time with laser focus is what sets the successful entrepreneur apart.
Block Out Distractions.
A key part of succeeding in our last tip is blocking out distractions. This works best if you can block out all distractions, at least for certain set periods of time throughout your day, and that includes interruptions from your team. For one thing, this helps your team stop to determine the urgency of the reason they want to interrupt you. This ensures priorities stay on top. By tuning out social media, email, and even phone calls, you reduce the amount you’re tempted to multitask, allowing you to complete your tasks more successfully. There are also methods to help, including the Pomodoro Technique, which has a set amount of time for a task (e.g., 20 minutes) broken up by time for breaks (e.g., 5 or 10 minutes). Distractions can be handled during breaks.
Make the Time to Plan Your Time.
Having set times that are distraction free is just one consideration for scheduling. However, you can’t properly schedule your day if you don’t set aside the time to develop your schedule and prioritize your tasks. Your schedule needs to be defined by deadlines (urgency) and importance, not what you feel like working on at any particular time. Then you can schedule in time to handle all the things that are normally distractions, and deal with those more efficiently in the process.
Use Everything at Your Disposal, from Technology…
Success means taking advantage of opportunities, which in turn means taking advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Technology alone provides a wealth of options. Some are simple, like using two (or more) screens to make multiple documents easier to read or taking advantage of advanced timers to utilize the Pomodoro Technique. Time management apps (e.g., Toggl) can help you see how your time is spent, and many also converge with teamwork tools to help delegate tasks, collaborate and share resources, and track progression.
…To the Expertise of Others.
You may be the business owner, but you’re not running your business alone. First and foremost, you should be hiring team members that you can trust to delegate various tasks to. Second, you should be tapping into internal and external experts that can help you learn new skills or handle various tasks. For example, the Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group has more than 60 years of experience in advertising that can help make your branding more powerful.
Remember: It’s Impossible To Do EVERYTHING.
When it comes down to it, there are only so many hours in the day. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get everything done all at once. This is why it’s so important to prioritize your projects and your tasks while taking advantage of all the tips we’ve listed above. This will ensure your productivity remains high, no matter how long your To Do list is.
These tips for project management for business owners will help you knuckle down and start to get work done efficiently. From getting an early start on your day and focusing on tasks without distraction to tapping into the people and tools that will make working easier, you’ll find that our tips will also make your work day a little easier. These are tried and true methods used by entrepreneurs to build and maintain their success, even once they’ve become the CEO’s of rock star corporations.