A major part of being a leader involves being an expert at time management. This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to develop and implement strategies that are going to get you there.
You’ll have to pinpoint what’s taking your time. See what you can delegate and how you can shift things around.
One of the biggest problems business owners run into is too much micromanaging, which happens easily and often without you realizing it.
To better manage your time, you’ll likely have to get comfortable with discomfort. Change is uncomfortable, and bad habits require change for you to grow.
There might be a better way to do things, but you have to stop doing what you know, and this is scary. However, the more practice you give yourself with this, the more quickly you’ll be able to jump into discomfort for the benefit of positive change.
It can feel like you have to do everything for your business because you’re the only one who will do things the right way.
However, this mindset will eventually hurt your life and your business. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to take charge of every activity your business needs, and you’ll get burned out.
You probably already know your productivity shrinks when your mind is preoccupied with dozens of tasks. It’s impossible to focus on the most important things that require the most attention.
That brainstorming and creative thinking that got you into the business in the first place just doesn’t happen, either because there isn’t enough time to spend on it or because you can’t clear your head during the time you’ve set aside.
The answer could be as simple as half an hour in the morning to map out your day. With just a half hour, you can go through many of the needs of your business.
Find out what tasks are most important to you, the ones with the highest priority. Write out everything that needs to be done, and think about what you can delegate to others.
What are you and only you capable of doing? What training can you give your employees for them to be able to help you with more tasks?
Loosening your grip and delegating can be especially difficult. Your employees might not do things correctly at first, and it can be hard to allow room for error.
Be realistic about what you can afford to have done less than perfectly, and check in with feedback. With the space to make mistakes and grow, your employees will be able to make greater contributions in the long run.
One major place to save time through delegating is on meetings. Consider what meetings your business has and how you can cut back.
If there are unnecessary meetings that can be summed up in a report, try changing over to that method. If there’s a meeting that somebody else can run, it might inspire them to grow and feel more empowered, and give you more time.
For meetings you don’t specifically need to attend, assign somebody to take notes for you to look over afterward.
As your team spreads the responsibilities amongst themselves, they may come to you with a lot of questions. This can be partially avoided with sufficient training and clear communication.
But you’re still the leader in your business, and you’ll be called on often for help and guidance.
It can take up a lot of your day if your door is always open, so get in the habit of “office hours.” This involves saying no sometimes to people on your team.
Be clear about when they can reach you, so that you can tackle more of those little problems that come up, during one big block of time.
This will take less time than stopping a bigger project for every outside question or request throughout the day.