As a small business owner, your time is arguably your most precious asset. Seasoned professionals will agree with the time honored saying that “time” = “money”. This is especially true in a service based industry but just as applicable to folks who are in the products sector (Don’t forget, you still have to fulfill orders and market your business). This is why time management is so important. Any time wasted equates to money left behind.

How do you know if you are wasting time? Simple, you track your habits to see what tasks take up the most but pay off the least. Determine how you can speed up and improve those tasks, or even delegate them to someone else.

Once you know how much time it takes you to do something you are better equipped to estimate how long something will take you in the future. More accurate estimates mean that you will be better compensated for the effort you’ve put into a project.

Better time management involves consciously planning the amount of time spent on daily activities. To ensure you meet your deadlines you will need a conducive working environment. Here are some time management tips you can follow to get your workspace and your mindset clean and clear of clutter resulting in a more productive you.

Getting organized

You want any new project to go smoothly. Proper organization and an understanding of the project goals will help with that. Start by organizing your project tasks. Then determine which tasks are the top priorities. Lastly, you should estimate the amount of time each task will take to determine an accurate deadline.

For example, you have a customer who wants you to build a new app for them. This app consists of 5 separate pages, and the first two pages have 3 functions.

Task Time (hours) Priority
Landing Page 3 High
Profile Page 6 Mid
Product Page 10 Mid
Search Page 8 Low
Total Time  27

You know you can work for 15 hours each week on this project. Thus,  you estimate you will complete the project in 2 weeks.

Protect your time

Do not let phone notifications, emails or text messages distract you and interrupt your work-flow. This will lead to procrastination and disjointed work. Set time aside to focus on your work, completely uninterrupted. When you sit down to work, work. If you need time throughout the day to check e-mails and other notifications you can set aside windows of time to do that.

We like to think that we are all excellent at multitasking, but the best work comes from focused attention. As mentioned earlier, if you have a lot on your plate, then look for tasks that you can delegate. This will help you protect your time and complete the most pressing tasks.

Manage your goals and keep them focused

Make sure each task and your work is relevant. We often get side tracked by some random request or another idea that pops into our heads. However, if these things are not directly related to your immediate goals, then you should put them aside for later. You can write them down so you do not forget, but not everything needs to be addressed immediately. This will help you stay focused and achieve your project goals.

Tackle bad habits

This last one requires you to be honest with yourself. What do you struggle with? Do you procrastinate? Are you unmotivated? Have unclear goals? Disorganized? Don’t be afraid to talk to experts or seek advice from friends and colleagues who seem to excel in the areas you are having trouble with.

Once you’ve identified your bad habit, make a conscious effort to replace it with a positive one. It is much easier to replace a habit, than to simply cut it out completely.

Finally, make use of a time tracking app (like the one Colibro offers) to ensure you account for all your precious time. Know where you are spending your time and how long your tasks take. Tracking the amount of time you spend on each task will allow you to re-evaluate your project timelines and make more realistic plans in the future. You will also be able to determine how much money you are really making per hour once you see how much time you are spending on your work. Don’t hesitate to try out our time tracking app for free. It is as simple to use as pressing play!

Try out our new time tracking app and start improving your time management today!

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