When you run a small business and you find yourself very busy, time flies by, and at some point some things get lost in the time shuffle. Look at this blog for instance. I managed to miss the whole month of February with my blog. Well, it’s time to adjust and manage my time more effectively than just putting out fires.
I wish I could offer you a special magic wand you could wave to get more hours in a day to get things done. Here are my tips:
· Don’t give up your sleep. Once in a while working long hours to meet a deadline is okay, but on a daily basis, choose to get the sleep you need. You work much more efficiently when you have rested then if you have skimped on sleep. Keep your productivity up.
· Know when to say no. No small business owner wants to turn away business. It’s just not smart. Or is it? If you are overwhelmed with projects and deadlines and another inquiry comes your way, unless it’s some absolutely opportunity of a lifetime, be honest with your prospective client. Tell them the truth – that you are booked up and can’t get to their needs until …. The honesty matters. What good is taking on yet another project when you know you can’t complete it on time? You stress and disappoint yourself and you tarnish your reputation.
· Break down projects and goals into manageable chunks. Look at what you have to do and see if you can break down larger tasks into manageable chunks and plan them along with the daily smaller tasks that you handle. This does require some organization skills. At least then you are making progress in a number of areas and managing your time more wisely.
· Take breaks throughout your day. This goes with sleep. Don’t skip meals, and force yourself to get up and walk away for a few minutes. That 5 or 10 minute break every hour or so will refresh your mind and allow you to regain focus again. Remember, people on average can only keep sustained attention to a task for blocks of 20 minutes or so. You can refocus again, but keep in mind that short breaks are healthy and boost productivity.
And don’t’ lose heart if you have fallen off the wagon and gotten behind. Start again and keep at it. I have. You will see weekly posts for all of March, and my goal is to keep it up for the rest of the year.