Time is precious, especially to business owners. We need so much more of it than we get and often struggle to use it efficiently enough to get everything done. Learning how to manage your time wisely is one of the most important skills a business person can develop, so we’ve shared some of our favorite time hacks below to help get you going in the right direction.
Schedule your day purposefully
Begin each day with a to-do list. Map out what will happen and break your hours down by tasks. Try block scheduling—set aside an hour to manage client files, an hour to update your social media accounts, an hour to write blogs, and an hour to flesh out design projects for clients, for example. Stay on course by turning your phone off during these hour-long blocks, and devoting yourself to the assigned task.
Separate your workspace from your personal space
Those who work from home are particularly impacted by this concept. If you have a home office, it should be a designated space that doesn’t intertwine with the rest of your house. Dedicating an office space allows you to separate home issues, tasks, and emergencies from the work you must do on your business. Close the door each evening when you have completed your work, and enjoy your family away from your day-to-day company management. By honoring your personal time, you’ll give yourself more focus and energy to work during business hours.
Photo Mike B Photography
Value your time
The first step to teaching others to respect the value of your time is to show that it matters to you. Schedule appointments for downtime on your calendar, and don’t give in to the temptation of canceling or postponing them. In order to give your very best service to others, you need to take care of yourself first and stay in prime condition. Add your weekly yoga class or dinner with your best friends to your calendar, just like you do with client appointments. Me time is a necessity, not a luxury.
Learn to say “no”
One of the hardest concepts for members of the service industry to embrace is that it is not only okay, but vital to sometimes say “no.” We are artists at pleasing others, so it is contrary to our very natures to put up boundaries and know when to step back. Overcommitting, however, only diminishes our ability to give amazing quality service, so pace yourself and learn when it is better to politely decline a commitment than to strain your time and talents.
Finding that elusive work-life balance that everyone wants, but few have, is challenging but not even close to impossible. Use these tips to help you manage your time and to put you on the right path, and you’ll soon be operating at peak efficiency while enjoying a job and a lifestyle that totally suits you!
Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.