How do you maximize the time you invest into running social media for your small business? Learn some tips from Small Biz Lady, Melinda Emerson, with this week's Work Your Biz Wednesday.
We’re all guilty of it- uttering that dreaded phrase when there’s something that we haven’t gotten around to doing just yet, “I just don’t have the time”. I constantly hear this phrase when talking to entrepreneurs and business owners (and well, pretty much everyone else!), and it’s really just an excuse for failing to manage and prioritize your time.
Right now, you might be thinking “No, really. I worked 80 hours last week- I really just don’t have the time to complete ___” (fill in the blank with that essential task that you haven’t quite gotten around to yet). But, just because you are working long hours doesn’t mean that you are managing your time effectively during those hours.
Here’s an easy way to determine what you are truly spending your time on during your work hours. Make a list of every task that you are doing for a month long period. Break it down to include how much actual time you are spending on each task (and don’t even think about saying “I just don’t have the time to do that!”). If you are really truthful about this, you will no doubt see large chunks of time spent on non-essential activities or even downright goofing off. These are likely to include:
I understand that we all need relaxation and break time. This list is just to illustrate the point that we actually do have more time available than we think; we just haven’t prioritized our time appropriately.
So, how can you manage and prioritize your time more effectively?
The easiest way and something that I am always a big proponent of is planning. Write out a list of every task that you need to get done at the beginning of the week or at the start of each day. Then, put the list in order of importance, prioritizing those essential, important tasks first. These first priorities should include the tasks that generate revenue, drive growth for your business, or have an urgent deadline. Everything else can wait, so those tasks should be moved to the end of the list or delegated out altogether. You should schedule a set period of time for each task to be completed and include break time. The key for this is that when your scheduled break time is over, you have to go back to work on those business-critical tasks. If sticking to plans and schedules isn’t your strong point, you can even set an alarm or timer to alert you when each time period is over.
Manage your time like this and not only will your business become more successful, you will never again utter the phrase “I just don’t have the time”.