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Time management tips for the SME owner


“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” Author of the best-selling Life’s Little Instruction Book, H. Jackson Brown Jr., has a valid point. There are always 24 hours in the day – never more, never less. The key to having enough time is to hone those time management skills.

While it might be hard to unlearn the habit of procrastination, investing in some good time management habits will make it seem as if you have more hours in the day. This infographic by content creators Visually offers 17 effective time management tips. Here are seven of stationery supplier OfficeBox’s favourites:

1) Prioritise what’s on your to-do list.

It’s all very well compiling a to-do list, but the problem is that they’re not exhaustive – you can keep adding to them until the point where you feel overwhelmed with how much you need to get done. This is why prioritisation is so essential to time management. Select four to six of the most important items on your to-do list and forget about the other items for that day. As tempting as it might be to tackle the less-important, easier tasks, keep focused on the tasks you have to get done.

2) Set a time limit for each task.

Once you’ve figured out which tasks to prioritise, set a time limit for each one. With an hourly deadline, you’ll keep motivated knowing the end is in sight and it’ll help you refrain from getting distracted. Rather like monitoring your bank balance helps to keep your spending in check, monitoring the clock will help you save time.

3) Learn how to say “no”.

Sometimes it’s easier to say “yes” than to say “no” and have to find a good reason not to acquiesce to someone’s request. As nice as it is to come to the rescue and be the good guy, learning when it’s appropriate to say “no” will help you stay focused on what you have to attend to. That said, there’s nothing wrong with saying “yes” if you’ve completed all your important tasks for the day and are catching up on the news. 

4) Block out those pesky distractions.

We live in an age of sensory overload and multitasking. It’s little wonder that we need time management tips to help us avoid the temptation to be distracted by smartphones, people and emails. If you need to finish invoices, allocate a few hours within which you’ll switch off your phone and isolate yourself in a quiet room away from anything that might break your concentration. 

5) Delegate your less critical tasks to someone else.

There’ll be at least one or two tasks on your to-do list that you can delegate to a colleague. Answering emails or placing orders with your stationery supplier might be two of them. As a business owner, it’s tempting to want to do everything yourself – that’s the downside of being passionate and motivated – but delegating even a few things can free up an hour or two of your day. 

6) Tackle tasks that are similar together.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “get into the zone”. It’s hard to do just that if you’re continually jumping between tasks that require completely different mindsets and skills. Instead, group tasks together by type and tackle them one after the other. It’ll save you the time it would take to get back into the right frame of mind after completing a completely different task.

7) Leave buffer time in between each task.

One of the best-kept time management secrets is to leave buffer time between each thing you have to do. If it takes you from 2pm to 3pm to complete your payroll, schedule that meeting with a client for 3.30pm. Every day brings with it unexpected scenarios you can’t plan for. Creating buffer time helps absorb those unforeseen time delays – not to mention alleviates stress. 

OfficeBox is a vibrant stationery supplier that understands that time is one of your most precious assets when running a small business. We partner with companies like yours to ensure that ordering your office supplies takes up as little of your time as possible. Contact us to find out how stationery suppliers like us can help your business run smoother.

Image credit: www.careerealism.com

OfficeBox Branded Stationery
David Adams
12 October 2015