Running a business is not easy – especially when you’re just starting out and don’t have many employees to delegate the never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities. Time is the only limiting factor that prevents your business from growing exponentially, which can often be frustrating to small business owners.
Luckily, there are people who have been in your position before and can teach you useful tricks and tips for boosting your productivity and time management skills so that you can accomplish more in the limited time you have. So, are you ready to take your business to new heights of growth and success?
When it comes to efficient time management, there are a number of online tools and apps that can help you focus on work by removing any distractions and even track your progress so that you know how far you’ve come on a certain task.
If you’re one of those people who prefer not to use fancy apps, you can even use the pen-and-paper method to write down a to-do list to plan your next day or even an entire week.
If you’re a frequent technology user, apps like Workflow, Tasks or Clear can be useful in planning your time wisely so that you’re on top of your productivity game. StayFocused is a great mobile app for people who tend to get distracted easily by social media and smartphone notifications.
Refrain from using overly-complicated apps since they can cause more confusion and are inefficient to use. If you’re just a solo business owner, a simple notebook and a pen should suffice for jotting down the list of tasks you need to accomplish. Once your team grows you can migrate to collaborative apps designed for businesses with more than one employee.
While you’re already creating a to-do list, you might as well organize it in an order of priority so that you know which tasks need more time and attention than the rest. It is absolutely crucial for your time management skills that you do things in an order than benefits your small business the most.
Making a to-do list that is not arranged in the order of priority can work against your productivity since you’re more likely to work on less important tasks first, leaving the most critical ones unfinished.
Make Parkinson’s Law Work in Your Favor
A wise person once said that work expands in a way that it fills the time allotted for a certain task. Today, these words make up the Parkinson’s Law, which is as relevant to our productivity today as it was in 1955 when the term was first coined by The Economist.
According to the Parkinson’s Law, the amount of time you will take to complete a task depends on how much time you’re allotted for it. If you have a one-hour deadline for submitting an important report, you will only take an hour to complete it. However, the more time you get to finish a certain task, the lower your productivity levels become.
Although the famous law applies to most of the work we do today, it is necessarily applicable to labor-intensive tasks that cannot be rushed.
For example, if it takes you 30 minutes to reach home from work at a certain speed limit when there is no traffic, then there is no way you can take any less than 30 minutes to complete the journey.
However, other tasks like writing up reports, responding to emails and updating websites can be done more quickly hence can be added to the very bottom of your priority list. The less time you allow yourself to finish these tasks, the more time you’ll be able to set aside for other responsibilities that cannot be rushed.
Less is More
Maximizing your productivity and time management skills doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend more time on every task on the agenda. Sometimes you can accomplish more by doing less.
Since time is one of the biggest limiting factors in our lives, we need to take a look at how much time we spend performing certain tasks and if it is possible to cut down some of the time in order to make room for more activities.