Benchmark Business Group

What Is Time Management?

August 22, 2023

As a business owner, you're no stranger to the whirlwind of work that needs to be done, emails to return, fires to put out, strategies to create and challenges to overcome. Many business owners fall into the trap of reacting to what is coming at them, rather than driving what comes from them. Often when this happens it’s the high-level important work that gets pushed to the side. And the worst part is that if you’re reacting to what’s coming at you, then you’re not in control of your business.

The answer is time management. It’s not the most interesting topic, but it’s vital. Many small business owners view time management as searching for ways to get more work done. However, there’s more to it than that. Time management is a series of conscious decisions about how you spend your time. Good time management considers elements such as:

  • Is this work moving you closer to your business goals?
  • Is the pace of your work sustainable or will it lead to burnout?
  • Is your work/life balance where you want it to be?
  • Does the work you’re doing match the value of your time?
  • What shouldn’t you be doing?

When you’re reacting to what is coming at you, it’s hard to make conscious decisions to spend your time wisely. Good time management is about being proactive. It means being able to control the chaos around you so that you can do the work that is worth the value of your time and that moves your business forward.

When controlling what comes at you so that you can drive what comes from you, the most important steps that you can take are:

  • Believe that you can make changes. If you find yourself thinking that you can’t implement better time management. Or “that’s how it is” in your industry or business, then you just might be stuck in a rut. Challenging that rut is where you need to start.
  • Challenge how you view time. Many bad habits in time management come from the way we view time. Time is our most precious resource. You don’t know how much time you have overall, but you always know you have 24 hours in a day. You can’t make more time. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. It is far more important than money; yet we tend to give it away. We let others control our time. Until you change the way you view time; you won’t change how you use it.

Some additional time management tips are: 

  • Track your interruptions for 2 weeks and then use that list to start delegating work to your team.
  • Implement Do Not Disturb Time and be strict about keeping it.
  • Say no. Don’t take on all tasks.
  • Slow the work down. Don’t overpromise, instead, set deadlines that give you space to work on the work you need to drive.
  • When your team brings you work ask, “How would you handle this if I weren’t here?” If they have the right answer, they can handle the work. If not, you can coach them instead of just doing the work yourself.

We suggest working with one of our business coaches to help you overcome the ruts that have you stuck. They can help you take these suggestions and turn them into a plan that allow you to be more productive and focus on the parts of your business that need your attention.

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