When you’re a business owner, it can sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. In between answering emails, making calls, writing content for your website and planning  product launches, good time management may seem like a distant dream. You’re so busy doing everything, there’s never any time for you. Allow that situation to fester and you may experience anxiety or burnout.

Everyone has the same 24 hours each day. How you use them impacts your productivity. Follow these useful tips to work smarter – not harder.

1. Make use of your calendar

Whether you’re just starting a business or have been running one for a while, getting into the habit of planning everything in your calendar or diary can seriously improve your time management. 

Without a clear set of defined goals and tasks to be completed daily and weekly, your productivity may be limited. Take the time to plan what you want to achieve each week and prioritise the tasks you need to get there. This will increase the likelihood of meeting your weekly goals successfully.

If you want to go one stage further, plan your schedule around your most important tasks – when you plan to have lunch, take breaks, socialise, do household chores, enjoy time with family and so on. You may not stick to the exact plan you create, but the fact you diarise tasks will focus your mind and increase the chances of you sticking to them.

2. Delegate where appropriate

Sometimes, you’ll be better off hiring an expert to help you get something done. For example, you could design your own logo. But if you’ve never done it before, is it an efficient use of your time – or would you be better off getting an expert to sort it?

As well as hiring the right people to help you out, there are plenty of resources to save time. Countingup is one. It is the all-in-one app that combines a business current account and accounting software, automating time-consuming bookkeeping admin and helping you keep on top of your finances. 

3. Remove distractions

This could be trawling social media for hours on end, spending too much time answering emails, or aimlessly surfing the internet. If you can keep these to a minimum while you work, you’ll find you’ll have significantly more time to get things done. Start by placing limits on the time you spend on distractions and see how it works for you.

4. Organise your workspace 

As the saying goes, a tidy desk is a tidy mind. In one survey, 41% of people believed a tidy desk made them more productive, while two in five workers admitted a messy desk directly affected their performance.

5. Try the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes for each task, then taking a five-minute break before the start of the next 25-minute session. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, it’s a great way of focusing on one task for a short period of time. 

6. Multitasking

Multitasking can seem productive because you get several things done at once. However, it is important to balance how much you multitask to make sure that you give the important aspects of your business the attention they deserve. 

By not giving any one thing your full attention, you’re more likely to make mistakes and have to go back and correct them later, which can cost you more time.

7. Schedule in breaks

It can feel counterintuitive stepping away from your business for a few hours to increase productivity, but studies have shown that this can boost your performance. Periods of rest can give your mind time to recharge, reflect on your goals and assess where you’re going. Plus, you can do something you enjoy like reading a book, listening to an inspirational podcast or meeting a good friend for a coffee. Taking time out can give you the space you need to think about creative ways to propel your business forward. 

When you’re starting a new business, spending your time wisely is key. Countingup is the business current account that automates your financial admin. It means that you can gain time back to focus on making your venture a success. Learn more here