Eight Time Management Habits to Improve Your Productivity

8 habits to improve time management


Small business owners often wear multiple hats and juggle various responsibilities, so maintaining consistent time management habits is not just a choice but a necessity.

Our previous three articles covered almost everything from “soup to nuts” concerning time management hacks for small business owners.

As we complete this series, we’ll explore practical strategies to help small business owners develop habits that streamline their schedules and boost productivity.

8 Habits for Better Time Management

If you often find yourself wishing for more hours in the day, these suggestions can assist you in improving your time management.

  • Organize your tasks,
  • Utilize apps,
  • Delegate when necessary,
  • Monitor your finances,
  • Minimize distractions,
  • Apply the Two Minute Rule,
  • Refrain from multitasking,
  • Schedule regular downtime, seriously!

Let’s explore them in more detail.

Organize Your Tasks

Effective time management starts with organizing all your tasks.

These should include short-term and long-term objectives, which can then be broken down into manageable bite-size tasks that are easier to complete.

By prioritizing these tasks according to their urgency and importance, you can create a daily plan that keeps you focused on activities that support your business goals and avoid procrastination.

Utilize Apps and Other Technologies to Improve Productivity

Never before have small business owners had the tools and apps that can assist them in organizing their tasks.

Numerous time management tools and apps can assist small business owners in organizing their tasks.

Tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com are excellent for project management, while apps like Todoist or Any.do can help with creating to-do lists and setting reminders. Integrating these tools into your workflow can enhance efficiency and keep you on track.

Delegate When Necessary, and Delegate Wisely

Business owners must embrace delegation to tackle the overwhelming burden of juggling multiple roles, leading to improved decision-making and a healthier work-life balance.

Empowering Your Team: Skillful delegation empowers team members, fostering personal growth, job satisfaction, and a highly motivated workforce.

Sharpening Your Focus: Delegation enables business owners to concentrate on high-impact activities crucial for business expansion, transitioning from working within the business to working on its strategic development.

The Delegation Process: Effectively delegating involves:

  • identifying tasks,
  • selecting the right individuals,
  • establishing clear expectations,
  • empowering and
  • demonstrating trust,
  • offering support and feedback,
  • tracking progress,
  • acknowledging accomplishments.

Conquering Challenges: Overcome common delegation hurdles such as fear of losing control, lack of trust, and perfectionism in order to maximize its benefits.

Utilize the Two Minute Rule to Avoid Procrastination

Adopt the two-minute rule, a concept popularized by productivity expert David Allen.

If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. This simple rule prevents small, quick jobs from piling up and becoming overwhelming.

By promptly addressing these tasks, you can maintain control over your workload.

Minimize Distractions

This tip is essential since so many of us work from home.

Distractions can be a significant obstacle to effective time management.

Identify common distractions in your work environment and take steps to minimize them.

This may include silencing your phone during focused work sessions, turning off non-essential notifications, or creating a designated workspace that minimizes interruptions. A focused and distraction-free environment can significantly improve your productivity.

If you have an important call, make sure that when you close your home office door, you post a sign on the door that indicates to everyone that you are in a “do not disturb“ mode.

Watch Your Finances

The facts are pretty simple when it comes to money and finances: it is much better to know exactly where you stand and not put your head in the sand.

As a self-employed small business owner, the truth is that “cash flow” is so important. You may have a great product and a strong desire to succeed. However, nothing will happen if you do not have the cash flow in your business to get there.

Always be mindful of where you stand when it comes to money.

Refrain from Multitasking

Our modern, fast-paced society often glorifies multitasking as a mark of productivity and efficiency. However, studies have shown that attempting to juggle multiple tasks at once diminishes overall performance and quality of work.

When we attempt to multitask, our attention becomes divided, leading to decreased focus and an increased likelihood of errors.

It’s more effective to approach each task with total dedication and concentration, ultimately enhancing productivity by completing each job with higher quality and accuracy.

Schedule Regular Downtime

It’s crucial to include downtime in your monthly or quarterly schedule.

Even if it’s just a day off, taking some time for yourself allows you to refresh and renew, returning to work with a clear mind and new perspective.

This helps boost productivity and creativity, with many people using their downtime for self-improvement, such as learning new skills, reading books, or taking online courses.

Ultimately, one of the most valuable uses of your time is simply getting away from life’s pressures.

Many people experience low energy and high fatigue at work, but we often avoid discussing burnout.

When you don’t take breaks, your body and mind remain in work mode, making it difficult to relax and feel the need to be constantly productive.

However, working all the time doesn’t increase productivity.

Scheduling downtime allows your body to rest and recover, restoring energy levels and reducing fatigue.

In fact, as we always publish articles on a Monday, this article comes on Christmas Day. I know from experience that even on such a holiday, many self-employed business owners are so consumed with the pressures of business that they struggle to ‘let go.’

This is understandable, but you cannot eliminate the sense of overwhelm if you do not rest. So, if this describes you, we encourage you to take a ‘time out’ and be there for your family and yourself. It may not be easy, but there are lots of benefits.


Other articles in this series:
The Importance of Time Management for Small Business
Best Tools and Technology to Improve Time Management
Mastering Time Management: 14 Essential Strategies to Boost Efficiency in Small Businesses

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