It doesn’t matter if it is the hustle and bustle of the holidays or any other time of the year. If you’re a small business owner, it is hard to find time for all the extra things in your life outside of working hard running a business.
You are not alone when it comes to feeling buried under a nonstop avalanche of work. According to the professionals, roughly 84 percent of business owners work more than 40 hours a week. And, about 10 percent are “always overwhelmed” by their workload. Most just want extra time to spend time with friends, go on vacation or even plan a meal for the family.
Unfortunately even during a happy holiday season, 90 percent of business owners feel continuously exhausted. The average business owner in the survey reported only having about 1.5 hours of uninterrupted time during their highly productive day.
What’s keeping business owners from peak productivity?
Poor communication can cause friction between different personalities. Take a minute and prepare ahead of time to save time. Thinking things through and planning your next day the night before (over a glass of wine perhaps) can enhance your daily productivity. For example, take time to help map out your employees’ day making sure they know what tasks need to be executed and are on your highest priority.
No matter how much time you have available to get things done, if you don’t use it wisely, you won’t accomplish your goals. There are online tools to help you streamline your day. For example, Virtual Town lets you order everything online within your community so you can use curbside service on the way home. Preplanning your day-to-day not only can help with your business but give you a bit more time with your loved ones.
Balancing Personal Life
We all deal with unexpected life issues from time to time. Unfortunately, if your time management skills are lacking, even the smallest personal challenges can really set you back.
We suggest building some open time into your schedule each day. That way, you can handle last-minute business and personal emergencies without falling behind. Self care, and time for self care, is needed especially during the busy holiday season.
Smartphones, tablets, texting and other communication apps can be a great resource. They make it possible for us to work from anywhere and communicate instantly. However, that can cause trouble. With the entire internet in our pockets, it’s easy to find the best tools to help you plan out your day.
It was surprising to see that emails are the hardest time management problem. The majority of small business owners say that email consumes most of their time—although only a measly 9 percent say email is the most important use of their time. Consider templating some recurring communications or having an employee help you. That way you can be sure to spend time on the emails that matter the most.
In person meetings, conference calls and now…video conferences are listed as the top time-wasters for small business owners. Only 4 percent of business owners say that these meetings are productive in their already busy schedule. Before scheduling a meeting, consider everyone’s time. Can the issues be solved with email or by other means of communication?
Creating productivity can be easier said than done—but it’s still possible to do. Here are a few more tips from our Virtual Town team to help:
Stay one step ahead of the game
More than eight in 10 business owners in the survey say the morning is their most productive time of day. This would be a great time for mapping out your day and pre planning. You can even use our convenient platform to have all your shopping done before you start your day. That way you can grab what you need on your way home without wasting time.
Set aside the first hour or two of your day for important tasks that require lots of focus. Getting up extra early and working at home for an hour or so before you head to work can help ensure you aren’t interrupted during this focused time.
Build a time frame for checking emails
One-third of business owners in the survey believe this would be the best way they could maximize productivity. Set aside 20 minutes in the morning, early afternoon and before you leave for the day to check emails. It may not work for every business owner but, it can minimize multitasking and leave you feeling less chaotic throughout your day.
Where is your productive place?
We all work differently, and while most business owners say they’re most productive in the office or their business, almost one-third say they are more productive when working at home. The location you pick is really up to you and where you feel the best. It depends on what you need to get done and how you prefer to work.
A business owner who has three young children at home may welcome the relative calm and silence of the office. Conversely, those with hectic offices and nonstop interruptions may need the quiet of their own home to get things accomplished. It is just about you finding your right balance.
Create the behavior you want to see
Because you are an amazing business leader, you need to set the tone to help maximize your productivity. Maybe ask your team to think of ways to eliminate habits that slow things down or create negative habits. Have a fun strategy session to make your small business (and personal life) more productive.
It’s hard to break habits that consume our productivity but helping create best practices within your life can make everything just a little easier and more convenient.