Creating Balance: 10 Time Management Tips for Business Owners
By Scotti Ian Ogden
Owner of Ogden Contracting LTD
Time is a precious resource that we all wish we had more of.
As a business owner, it can be difficult to escape the stress of work tasks. With proper techniques like these time management tips for business owners, you can reduce stress, increase productivity and support your general well-being.
Time Management Tips for Business Owners:
- Brain Dump: Write a TO-DO List
- The Eisenhower Matrix
- We Own all of Our time
- Say “NO”
- Focus on the Wins!
- Time Blocking
- Parkinson’s Law
- Protected Time
- The Choice to be Satisfied
1. Brain Dump: Write a TO-DO List
I highly encourage writing a TO-DO list.
Additionally, it is important to prioritize these tasks. I write a to-do list on my white board and eliminate them one by one to determine the most important tasks for that given day.
Make sure that your TO-DO list does not exceed 50% of your day. You need time to enjoy life and sustain your energy and focus. Additionally, you need time for the unforeseen parts of the day including phone calls, emails or troubleshooting.
2. The Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a task management tool that helps you organize and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance.
The best time to write your to-do list and Eisenhower Matrix is the night before any given day.
3. We Own all of Our Time
For everything you say “yes” to, you are saying “no” to something else.
At any given time, you are doing what you most want to be doing . Give your best time to the aspects of your life that fulfill and energize you, your spirit, relationships, work, finances and personal life. You control your time.
4. Say “NO”
Figure this out early in your career; be able to say no.
I’ve always been a “yes” person, but often I take more on than I can handle. When it comes to my company’s services, I have clearly defined what we do and don’t do. I would rather be highly focused on a few projects than to have my focus spread across too many projects.
Saying no to work is tough however, this ensures high-quality work that is more fulfilling in the long-run.
5. Focus on the Wins!
Focusing on the wins, or rather the checkboxes on your to-do list is crucial in the process of growing your company (and also yourself, in regards to personal life wins).
I keep a journal, focused on the positive aspects of my life; when I’m feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, I read this list of wins and I focus on how far I’ve come as a business owner.
6. Time Blocking
Time blocking is the time management skill that’s made the biggest difference in my business. Our phones are extremely useful tools for this.
Apart from work I also schedule in time for regular activities. I schedule in my family time, date nights with my wife, social activities like hockey games etc. I also block in a 4 hour period strictly for working on systems within my company. Another important thing I block off is my visioning time that is done with True North Visionaries. We do what is called Focus Time; where we cover what’s important but not urgent.
7. Parkinson’s Law
When we allocate more time for a task, it tends to expand to fill that time.
I used to tell my staff that if we had a 9 hour task, do it in 8 hours and we would get it done in 8 hours. One way to practice this is by creating artificial deadlines; tasks without deadlines are most likely never to get done.
By creating task deadlines and blocking them into your schedule, you’ll create urgency which keeps you focused. However, it’s important to find a balance; make sure that you are not spreading yourself too thin or asking too much of yourself, remember to create SMART goals.
8. Protected Time
When your schedule is jam packed and you’re constantly on the go, it’s important to leave slots of protected time to ensure balance.
I block in ‘protected time’ from 6-7am, where I will typically journal or read. I use this time for reflection and goal setting. Exercise has a similar effect, when I get my endorphins flowing it allows me to think clearly and have groundbreaking ideas.
Without ‘protected time’ you can feel drained and unmotivated. Having protected time for yourself is not only beneficial for your productivity but also for your overall well-being.
Time is a valuable thing in life, it’s something you can never get back once it’s spent; that’s why making sure you get the best out of your time is important.
I wrote systems for my company ensuring that the processes are time efficient; so once those systems are in place the time we spend in the future becomes exponential.
Tasks in your day to day life that you don’t enjoy doing, that you can delegate for less than your dollar value, you absolutely should. For example, if you don’t enjoy cutting the lawn, then hire that job out. While your grass is being cut, spend that same time doing things that will gain you the greatest return.
10. The Choice to be Satisfied
At the end of each day, pat yourself on the back.
It is very easy to get to the end of the day and feel dissatisfied with how little you got done. If you only got 2 out of 5 tasks done, you may feel down on yourself for not finishing everything you needed to.
When you change the way you view these outcomes it will help you focus on all the wins and greatly improve your mindset towards your work achievements.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t change how much work you actually got done but you will feel satisfied with yourself and motivated for the next day. Taking small steps to getting the bigger picture, is more important than overwhelming yourself with one or two tasks that will lead you nowhere.
Thank You for Reading these time management tips for business owners. If you found this helpful, let us know. Don’t hesitate to reach out with further questions. If you’re interested in reading more blog posts, follow us on instagram or facebook for updates on new content.