TIME MANAGEMENT AS A SMALL BIZ OWNER
Running your own biz is hard. Not only are you the owner, but you’re head of production, the accountant, the marketing manager, the admin manager… you get the point. Throw in a full time job if this is your side hustle, your family or even school and all of a sudden you’re up to the tits in tasks. Personal time? What the fuck is that?
Now don’t panic. I can hear your heart pounding from here. Here are some tips in helping you manage your workload because trust me #thestruggleisreal. “How do you do it all!?” is a question I’m asked often since I run No Shit Biz Tips, Knitatude, YYC Girl Gang and on top of it have a full time job with a loving family. I still deal with this struggle every day but the more I work on it – the better I get. Here are some tips:
WORK IN ADVANCE
This is one of the biggest strategies you can do to control your time management as a small business owner. It can be done on the daily, weekly and monthly level. By working in advance you can schedule your social media posts, organize your day and flow from job to job seamlessly. It’s easy to wake up and do the first task that comes to mind or that pops up on your email, but if you’re not set with a task in mind it’s quite easy to flounder around and waste time between responsibilities. Whether it’s having 4-5 social media posts prepped on Sunday for the coming week, writing your blog post topics in your calendar for a couple months ahead or setting aside meeting times for clients or whatever, you HAVE to prep for what’s coming up. Don’t be caught with your pant’s half down. Don’t be reactionary, be proactive!
SET BUSINESS HOURS
You love your job and you’re passionate about it, meaning you can work for 24 hours a day and still feel good about it. That’s awesome, but after a while you will grind yourself down. People work 9-5 for a reason. Set yourself business hours and write them down on every website and social media outlet you have. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t get off hours. Make sure you’re sticking to them and your customers will do the same.
START TIME LOGGING
If you do your biz full time you should document your whole day. From the time you wake up, to the minute you go to bed. Include EVERYTHING – which includes coffee time, emails, product making, social media etc. Make sure you aren’t altering your habits while doing this. If you work full time or part time log your whole week not including your job and schooling hours. Now calculate the amount of time you are spending on each thing and see where you can shave off. Are you actually on social media working for your biz and engaging? Or are you scrolling and wasting time? Cut down that time.
Though you think you can, you can’t. By “Multi-tasking” you’re never actually paying close attention to anything and aren’t focusing on one thing for a period of time. By “mult-tasking” you are loosing on average 40% productivity. Sit down and focus on one thing at a time until that task is completed. The minor switch to another task may seem quick, but it all adds up. If you struggle with this, set a timer for yourself. 15 minutes to check emails and only emails. 15 minutes to craft a social media post and only that. 30 minutes for lunch. 1 hour of production time with no other distractions etc. Solely focus on one thing at a time.
DEDICATE A WORK SPACE AND ORGANIZE IT
Have a section in your house or a place that you can go that is dedicated as “work space”. Like having your bed as a place for only frisky business and sleeping helps condition your brain to associate bed with sleep (like Pavlovs dog), you want to do the same with your work space with work. For the organization part, that’s a quick and easy fix. Even though it may take a few minutes out of your day to tidy up, most people work more efficiently when in a clean and organized environment instead of a messy one.
LET IT GO
This is the second most important tip I can give you. There are simply put; some things that you will just not have time for and that’s OK. If you can’t keep up in one area of your business, weigh your options to see if it’s worth while keeping around OR outsourcing it. You are not a quitter if you give up on something or pay someone else to do it. If you are struggling, outsourcing or delegating may be your best option. It sounds daunting, scary and expensive (since you’re paying someone else instead of doing it yourself) but there are pros in different jobs for a reason. Have them spend an hour doing something that they are skilled at instead of you fudging through 4 hours of it to get it done by guesswork. Those 4 hours can be used elsewhere. Use others strengths to benefit yourself.
WRAP IT UP CHANTAL – YOU’RE GETTING A BIT LONG…
Getting into a routine after implementing these tips will be your best bet. The one thing I urge you to do is schedule time for yourself. Whether that’s a date night with your significant other, have snuggle sesh’s with your kids, going for a walk, binge watching netflix or reading a book. Set the time aside once a week and a minimum of once a month for something bigger. You need some downtime and deserve it. Everyone thinks that working for yourself means you’ll have all this extra free time and the truth it that it’s the exact opposite. Make sure you aren’t running yourself ragged. Good Luck friends!