Time is a Valuable Gift

Small business owners/managers never run out of ideas and opportunities for their respective businesses. However, that’s not the case with time. There is never enough time. That’s why small business owners must understand this important concept. Time is a valuable gift.

Even though we try to squeeze as much as we can out of a 24-hour day, we can’t magically add extra hours. However, we can find ways to fully make the most of our workday hours. Because there aren’t enough hours in the day, productivity should be the number one goal for every small business owner/manager.

However, believe it or not, there are some small business owners/managers where time is not an issue. Those owners or managers are lucky. Now, for the remaining 99% of small business owners/managers who never have enough time need to review the following time management suggestions.

Set up your Business GPS Route

Above all, it’s important to set clearly defined business goals and how each one will be accomplished. Put your goals in writing, whether it’s on a piece of paper or in a WORD document. It’s key to have your goals in a location where you can find them.

The next step requires the owner/manager to set up some type of system where these goals can be easily monitored. Then, if things don’t go according to plan, adjustments can be implemented. It’s much easier to make goal changes early, rather than later, when corrections could result in wasted time and money. Likewise, depending on the goal, keep employees updated so no one is left in the dark.

Establish Your “Must-Do” List

As we all know from our own personal experiences, not every goal is easily achieved. In other words, each goal needs to be prioritized according to its overall impact and time involved. Therefore, seek the feedback of your staff as to how these goals can be fulfilled. Rate your goals according to the following categories:

  1. Imperative – must do
  2. Significant – should do
  3. Useful – nice to do
  4. Valued – able to delegate
  5. Pointless – possibly eliminate

Once each goal is evaluated, then everyone’s focus can turn to the the imperative and significant goals. When it comes to those goals, everyone in the organization usually has the mindset of seeking positive outcomes and results. Don’t waste time with the pointless items on your list. Otherwise, at the end of the day, nothing significant will be completed.

Keep your Eye on the Ball

In today’s world with so many distractions, it’s easy to become distracted. Emails, phone calls, and meetings could be considered as “time-suck” activities. There are many pros and cons to technology.  Efficiency and productivity can be enhanced tremendously because of technology. On the flip side, technology, such as social media, can take away a person’s focus on a company’s key objectives.

Therefore, how do you stay focused on the important objectives? Establish a time or times during the day when interruptions (unless they are life or death matters) are prohibited. Use that “blackout time” to deal with your emails, phone calls, or personal business. Stay on track and avoid those unnecessary disruptions.

Don’t Try to Do it All

It is invariably in the DNA of nearly every small business owner/manager to do everything themselves. They believe in the mantra of why spend money when the job can be done in-house? However, this can be a recipe for disaster.

As a business expands, employees should be trained to take on extra responsibilities. At the same time, individuals with specific skill sets should be hired to manage certain facets of the business. Then the small business owner can deal with the company’s “big picture” management activities.

When a business first opens, an owner might need to micromanage. After that start-up period, there comes a point when micromanaging restricts, rather than enhances, the company’s growth potential. Mentoring and training are key components to the growth and success of every business.

It is what it is

Let’s face facts. While Daylight Saving Time may become permanent for our country in the future, the number of hours in the day will still stay the same. Therefore, with only 24 hours in each day and seven days in each week, it’s critical for business owners/managers to take advantage of the available time they have. Remember, time is a valuable gift!

Denis Sweeney