Time Management

“Not that hoary old chestnut”, I hear you say.  So why am I raising it?

The reason is the problem never seems to go away.  It continues to be mentioned by business owners I meet in my role as a mentor.

In large organisations time management can be addressed in performance reviews, and support and training can be provided to solve the problem.  But in a small business the owner does not have the same opportunity and so the problem persists.

There is no shortage of books and articles on time management.  They cover issues such as goal setting, task management, delegating, saying ‘no’, meeting attendance, etc.  One of the better and most digestible summaries I have seen is the online e-learning course at Our Bizniss.

While I would encourage small business owners to look at some of these materials, self-education is not always easy.  Another approach to consider is working with the support of a business advisor, and keeping a diary on daily activities as part of this process.

Apart from the general summary above, there are two issues of time management I have found to be particularly important for business owners.

The first is the need to set time aside to work on the management and growth of the business.  I address this in my blog post Working On Your Business Not Just In Your Business.

The second is how to handle unplanned informal discussions.  Many of these are unavoidable and may even be beneficial.  I have advised business owners to consider these informal discussions much like a short speech.  That is, they should have a beginning, a middle and an end.  You should keep the beginning short, get to the middle quickly and address the matter at hand, and then close it!

Time management is a continuing problem for most small business owners.  It is not just a hoary old chestnut.

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