Time management is such a skill isn’t it? There is so much to fit into a single day when one is self-employed. Even though there are two of us and our mum helps with accounts and she will step into the breach if a staff member is ill, it really can be a challenge to fit it all in.
Although we do delegate responsibilities to staff, there are so many of the little extras that we do ourselves, from covering shifts if a member of staff has to take a child to a doctor’s appointment for example, to trying to fit in the social media, to trying to think outside the box and evaluate our progress with the business.
So many things take ‘just five minutes’, such as writing an update on facebook, to writing a couple of tweets, to pinning some cheese pictures or recipes, to walking around the shop to ensure everything is in order and all those ‘five minutes’ really add up. We had a meeting yesterday and decided that we need to streamline our time in the shop more, there’s no point in both of us checking the shop (we even met each other in the ‘wine and cheese hamper’ aisle one morning!!!) so we decided we should timetable in that job e.g Matthew does it in the mornings and I do it in the afternoons. I’m looking after the social media, website and emails solely as we were having to check with each other if we’d responded to tweets or to emails which led to more time-wasting. It sounds so silly and yet it can happen so easily.
Matthew has a girlfriend now so he is out socialising quite a few evenings each week. We used to spend the evenings catching up on the day and planning ahead. In one way, it is good as we now have a focused meeting in work time but I still find myself working in the evenings, researching franchises for future development and keeping an eye on competitors. Matthew and Mum have been telling me to take more time off, to go out with friends in the evenings and give myself a break but having so many businesses close down after Christmas makes me more determined that we will not be one of them. Is it possible to be addicted to work?!
We made a few small changes in the last fortnight to improve our time management and they have definitely helped. Now to find more ways to improve!
Do you find time management is a challenge in your business? Are there any tools or tips that you could share with us?
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