Tried and True Time Management Strategies for Business Owners Who Can’t Keep Up

Do you frequently find yourself thinking, “There’s never enough time to get all the things done!”.  If so, you’re not alone.

Many small business owners feel like they’re constantly playing catch up and putting out fires instead of really getting ahead.

BUT…according to the research, we likely have more time than we think we do.

According to a study conducted by the folks at Maui Mastermind, business owners waste more than 30% of their time on low-value business activities.

According to a study conducted by the folks at Maui Mastermind, business owners waste more than 30% of their time on low-value business activities.Click To Tweet

And one of the biggest time-wasters they identified? The average business owner spends nearly 4 hours each week browsing social media and watching online videos.

So, how do we overcome this? How do we stop wasting time so we can get more done?

Following are 5 time management strategies for business owners to keep you on task and on track!

5 Time Management Strategies for Business Owners

     1. Give Yourself Deadlines

You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law but maybe haven’t known what it was called. The law says that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

For instance, let’s say you need to write a blog post, and you give yourself an entire day to write it. According to Parkinson’s Law, it will take you (at least) the entire day to write it.

And if you give yourself an hour to write it? You’ll likely get it done within that hour!

To put this law to work for you, give yourself deadlines for your tasks and projects. This is one of those time management strategies that will help you be much more productive and much less distracted.  You'll discover that you'll get more work done in less time!

     2. Resist the Urge to Get it Perfect

Perfectionism can eat into your time and productivity like you wouldn’t believe.  It can keep you from making progress on your goals.  Or worse, perfectionism can affect your ability to earn revenue.

Trying to write the “perfect” email, or create the “perfect” Inst-story can eat up hours of your day.  Plus,  most people won’t even notice or appreciate all the time you put into making it perfect.

I can't tell you how many digital products I started to create and never launched because it wasn't absolutely perfect.  It was a waste of time, resources and energy.  And because I never launched, I failed to help others who needed me.

Instead, settle on creating something good enough. Work hard to create something really good, and then send it off into the world.  There will always be time to tweak and improve it later if need be.

Truthfully, there's no such thing as perfect in business or in life.  So, don't let perfectionism keep you stuck or from getting your brilliance out into the world.

For more on this time management strategy, check out my post, Overcoming Perfectionism in Your Business.

     3. Build in Mind-Clearing Breaks

I don’t know about you, but some of my best ideas emerge when I’m not actually working.

I can spend hour after hour at my desk trying to brainstorm a solution to something, and come up empty-handed.

But then I go for a walk, do some housework, or chat with a friend, and BOOM! The answer just seems to come to me.

So, make sure to build some breaks into your day to do stuff that you love or to just do nothing. Don’t think of these breaks as wasted time, but as opportunities to clear your mind so there’s room for those great ideas to make an appearance!

Add that white space into your day instead of wasting precious minutes or hours trying to force something. You'll end up saving much more time in the long run.

Make sure to build some breaks into your day to do stuff that you love. Don’t think of these breaks as wasted time, but as opportunities to clear your mind so there’s room for those great ideas to make an appearance!Click To Tweet

    4. Batch Related Tasks

Have you ever noticed that when you constantly switch from task to task, you lose your focus and are less productive? That's called context switching or task switching and it's a massive productivity killer.

Not only do you lose hours in your week when you constantly switch between tasks, but often you don't get work done that you set out to complete. Context switching is also a vehicle for distraction.  I firmly believe that distraction is the thief of productivity.

So how can you reduce the chance of getting distracted, but still use your time wisely?  You do it by batching related tasks.  This is one of my favorite time management skills.

Batching is simple (well, easy to understand, harder to consistently do!). But it’s simply this: group related tasks into blocks, and then complete each block all at once.

For instance, you could group all your email-related tasks into one time block: Reading and answering emails, filing old emails, scheduling appointments, etc.

For email-related tasks, you’ll likely build in at least two-time blocks each day. But for some tasks (like writing blog posts), you might be able to commit 1-2 days each month, or a few hours each week.

The important thing is that you get all your related tasks done all at once so you’re as productive as possible!

     5. Focus 100% on the Task at Hand

Do you frequently find yourself switching back and forth between tabs on your computer, or getting distracted by email or social media notifications?

You are better trained than Pavlov's dogs when it comes to things that ring, ding, chime or buzz.  One notification can send you down a rabbit hole so deep that you'll find that sometimes several hours have passed.  Clicking on an open tab you don't need by mistake can have a similiar result.

While these things happen to all of us,  it can seriously mess with your productivity. Instead, focus on the tasks in front of you, to the exclusion of everything else.

Keep one window open on your computer, turn off notifications, and then throw yourself into what you’re doing.  Dedicating one focused hour to a task will yield far better results than being pulled in a thousand different directions.

I promise this time management strategy will help you get WAY more work done than you thought possible!

Final Thoughts

If you feel like you can never really keep up with all your work, I hope you’re feeling a bit more hopeful after reading this post.

These 5 time management strategies for business owners are ones I used myself, and I can attest to their effectiveness.

It can take some time to build them into your routine, but I promise that once you do, you’ll find you’re less stressed, and way more productive!

Need more tips for boosting your productivity and efficiency? Check out my post, 6 Ways to Grow Your Business Without Working More Hours.

What time management strategies are you going to try this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Updated August 30, 2021

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