So, you want to start a business. Or maybe you’re already planning out your dream work scenario. No matter where you’re at in the process of beginning your life of entrepreneurship, it’s important to commit to practices that will help you remain organized and make the most of your time. Here are eight steps that can help you best prioritize your time as a small business owner:
This might be obvious. Before you do anything else, it is absolutely essential that you make a list of the things you want to accomplish. These can be big goals like hitting a target date for the opening of your storefront or reaching a set number of sales. But the smaller things are just as important. Meeting smaller goals along the way will help motivate you as you work toward the big ones.
Decide what’s important
As you set your goals, take note of what is important and what is not for the success of your business. This might mean listing things into categories of importance (A=high importance, C=low priority), or simply listing everything from the most crucial to the things that can wait to be accomplished.
We all want to be everywhere and do everything but having that mindset will only promote high levels of stress in your workplace. Know what you are capable of and either assign the remaining tasks to your employees or simply cross them off your list. Being present is important, but it’s okay to take a step back from time to time if you’re stretched too thin.
Know your deadlines
Buy a calendar. Use the one on your phone. Invest in a project management software. Write a thousand sticky notes. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you know your deadlines. Missing deadlines can negatively impact your relationships with clients and customers. Internal deadlines are just as important! Your employees need you to stay on track so they can complete their jobs on time.
Tackle the worst things first
Another way to keep yourself motivated is by finishing the hardest things on your list first. While it’s easy to knock off the quick and interesting projects right off the bat, tackling the things you are less interested in first is a great way to keep yourself going. As you shuffle through your stack of work, you’ll be happy to know the most strenuous tasks are behind you.
Get rid of distractions
In the work environment, you are constantly faced with distractions. At times, it feels like everything is seeking your attention. The best way to combat distractions at work is to remove as many of them as possible. Take time away from your phone and email when you really need to get things done. Find a quiet place to work and let others know you can’t be disturbed for a period of time. Don’t be afraid to unplug.
Sometimes the best way to organize your tasks is by working backwards. Start with your end goal and track the steps you must take in order to get there. By looking ahead, you are able to see the full picture of what you need to accomplish, and hopefully, you will take less detours along the way.
This might be another obvious one: recording your process not only lets you keep track of where you’re at, but it also holds you accountable for your work. Planners might not be for you, but there are plenty of options to help you stay organized. Find the method that works for you and stick to it.
Follow these simple tips for prioritizing your time and put some successful business practices in place.