10 Tips for Scheduling Your Day as a Small Business Owner
Have you ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs manage many activities at the same time and still emerge productively? How exactly do these business owners do so much so well?
One of the greatest parts of owning your business is that you have lots of freedom. You choose when to work, when to spend time with family, or hang out with friends without anyone looking over your shoulders. The feeling is great, and sometimes you could get consumed with work, especially if you have major targets to hit in your business for that year. But the big secret to productivity and efficient delivery is the ability to plan your day appropriately.
As the famous saying goes, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently something that should not have been done at all”. Planning and scheduling your day helps you to prioritise your activities for the day and do the most critical things efficiently.
Most small business owners sadly don’t know how best to go about scheduling their day. As a business owner, you would agree that it sometimes feels like there are a million things to do with so little time. Time management is a very crucial factor if you want to become productive as a business owner. It is critical for making the most of your business and achieving your goals.
Scheduling your day can and will make you more efficient and productive. As a business owner, you must create time for high-value activities like networking, building skills, and interacting with employees. The first step is to invest in a notepad and take it with you every day for a week. Come with me as we explore ten tips for scheduling your day like a pro. Let’s plunge right in!
1. Get up early
First thing first, you have to wake up early. Getting up late in the day is the start of an unproductive day. Waking up early gives you enough time to get things done for the day. You could wake up to do some workouts before starting your day. Working out doesn’t just keep you fit but also helps you conserve enough energy for the day’s work. You could also take out time to do some prayers or meditation or spend some time with your family before going about your day’s work.
2. Protect your mornings
As a business owner, your mornings should be scheduled for essential activities. For most people, mornings are the time when creative juices are high, so it is the best time to take on those high-value tasks. Set block times and avoid distractions.
3. Phone calls and Messages
Perhaps you need to place a supply order or soothe a customer who was not happy with a service. These seemingly menial tasks can take up a lot of time, and if you’re not efficient, you will burn hours doing nothing productive. Go through top priority emails and important phone calls for the day but don’t let these activities take too much of your time.
4. Do the most important things
Start your day doing the most important tasks. Focus on the day to day priorities and value-generating tasks that keep your business floating. Avoid taking up tasks that can be delegated to your employee or add no significant value to your business.
5. Take a break
It is tempting to go on working for long hours because of the workload, but taking breaks gives you time to recuperate and re-energize for the other half of the day. You could take lunch breaks, have wholesome meals, take time out to socialise, and relate with your employees or you could take some time to improve on a skill or take up new projects.
6. Minimize Distractions
As a business owner, distractions can cause you to lose your daily plan. Phone calls, emails, or chit chats can interrupt your work time. It’s important to take control of your workspace and avoid personal distractions. Focus on major priorities and make the most out of your day.
7. Make yourself more visible
You should take out time in your day to attend to your social media. As a small business owner, working on your brand visibility on your social media should be a priority. Take some time out in your day to respond to emails, comments, and other external related work.
8. Plan for what’s ahead
Next up, you would need to put your top three priorities for the next day and if you need to realign anything. Or, if you plan to do work later in the evening, know your strategy for getting it done efficiently ahead of time.
9. Detach from your work
Shut down your laptop, put off your phone, and take some time for yourself. This is after a full workday. You can spend time with your family and friends to relax and catch up.
This is an essential part of your day. This is where many business owners miss it. Don’t join the club of those who feel sleep is laziness. Good quality and good length sleep improves cognition, reduces stress, improves health, and boosts creativity. Sleeping re-energizes you for the next day and is an essential component of productivity.
Most SMEs in Nigeria are unable to meet up with daily, monthly, or yearly goals as a result of not planning their day properly. Make sure you apply the 80/20 principle when scheduling your day. Avoid tasks that impact little or nothing to your business. Take on the tasks that provide 80% of the impact and delegate other activities. You can check out our article on How to set SMART goals for your business. Do you have any questions or suggestions on SMEs in Nigeria? We would love to hear from you. Kindly drop them in the comments section below.