There are only so many hours in the day and how we use them is a choice, but sometimes we can become completely overwhelmed as small business owners with how much is on our to-do list and how we are going to fit in everything. The answer is time-blocking. This technique will give you a time and a place to do all the things so that nothing gets missed and you know all those important tasks that keep your business running are taken care of.
I’d recommend starting with last week’s blog which will help you list and organise all the things that you need or want to get done. Once you have your beautifully organised list, with things being given the priority they should, it’s time to make sure that stuff actually happens. The most effective way to get this down is by time blocking your day. This is a technique I use all the time and it really has changed and streamlined the way I work.
As busy business owners, there is so much for us to do, and sometimes it’s just us doing it. You have to do all the marketing, customer support, order processing, cleaning, accounting, emails, brew making, business strategy, staff management, product design etc. as well as doing the actual thing you went into business for. It all takes time and sometimes we spend so much time doing through our emails, or scrolling through social media that we run out of time to sort our accounts or work on the things that move our business forwards.
Time blocking is a great way to deal with this. If you know that you want to respond to emails twice a day, then block out two chunks of time to do that. Depending on the volume of emails you usually get, it might be an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. Whatever it is, set aside that time, just you and your inbox. Dedicate time to get it done.
If you need to do your invoices each week – block it out.
If you need time for your social media each week – block it out.
Whatever it is, put time in your diary, block it out and stick to it. That way you know that all the aspects of your business are being dealt with. There’s a time and a place to get everything done. However, you might be looking at your long list and thinking that there’s no way I can do that task in the 30 minutes I’ve blocked out for it. This is where Parkinson’s Law comes in.
Parkinson’s Law is the theory that work expands to fill the allotted time for its completion. So if you decide you want to write next week’s social media posts today, it’s likely to take you all day to do it. However, if you set yourself a 30 minute time slot where you focus specifically one that task, you are likely to complete it in the 30 minutes. So time blocking out your day could really keep you focused and more productive.
To go a step further you might consider getting yourself a timer. I’d recommend an egg timer, rather than your phone because if you pick you phone up to set a timer you’ll get distracted by the notifications. Set a timer for the amount of time you have to do the task. When the timer goes off, stop the task and move on to the next one.
Following these steps will help you feel more organised and able to see exactly what needs doing when. It may also help you to identify that there really aren’t enough hours in the day to achieve all that you want to. If this is the case, it might be worth considering if some of your tasks could be outsourced to free you up some space to work on other things. If you’d like to chat about how a Virtual Assistant could support you then do send me an email so we can help.