4 Ways to Optimize Your Time as a Business Owner

April 19, 2023  | 

As a business owner, you’re likely to feel as though you’re wearing several hats and juggling a million balls in the air at all times. With only so much time in the day, it’s crucial to optimize the time that you do have so you’re able to:

  • Complete projects and tasks on time
  • Plan for business growth
  • Maintain a work/life balance without working outside of business hours

If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your days, check out this guide for setting up productive weeks and achieving that feeling of crushing your to-do list day after day.

Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

Be Intentional When Scheduling Meetings

We’ve all had that feeling of “this meeting could have been an email” several times throughout our careers, frustrated that we had to spend 30 minutes or more to discuss a topic that easily could have been discussed in an email thread instead. Research shows that executives spend an average of 23 hours per week in meetings. For anyone who works a typical 40-hour work week, that means that meetings take up half of their allotted working hours, leaving them in a scramble to hit their deadlines on various projects with the minimal amount of time they have left.

What’s the solution to that? Be intentional when scheduling meetings.

You can do that by:

  1. Limiting when you’ll schedule meetings, such as only allowing meetings on certain days or during specific timeframes. By scheduling your meetings in bulk, you’re able to open up uninterrupted work time during the other days, preventing you from having to constantly start and stop your work.
  2. Asking for an agenda from anyone who requests a meeting. Not only will this allow you to get the most use out of the meeting time when you know what’s going to be discussed beforehand, potentially saving you time, but it may also prevent you from needing to hold the meeting in the first place if you find out that you can achieve whatever goal the meeting is intended for via email.

You’ll be amazed at how much time you have, and therefore how many more tasks you’re able to accomplish, when you put more boundaries around your time. Using a calendar software like Calendly can automate and streamline the process of booking meetings as well.

Delegate Everything You Can

Assuming that you can handle everything on your own without any support is unrealistic. As you’re limited to whatever time is available in the day, you’re automatically placing a ceiling on how many hours you can work. Focus on building out a team who can support the various components of your business, and then once you do, be sure to lean on them when you need to and delegate everything that doesn’t need to be completed by you specifically.

These tasks might include:

  • Admin work
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Finance

And more. By taking as many tasks off your plate as you can, you instantly have more time available in your day and schedule to focus on deeper work.

Rethink Your Definition of Productivity

People often think that they need to accomplish as much as they can throughout the work week, which often leads them to working longer than 40 hours because they’re convinced that there’s still more work to complete. The pandemic and the transition to more hybrid or fully remote working environments has shown that isn’t the case, as Harvard Business Review states. Wellbeing, collaboration, and innovation are more important than ever for fostering productivity.

Sure, you may be able to cross a lot of tasks off your list… but are they moving the needle towards your long-term goals, or do they not align with your growth in any way? And would you say it’s high-quality work, or was it more on the “so-so” side because you were feeling burnt out while completing those tasks?

It’s important to ask yourself those questions as you’re putting your to-do list together. It’s also crucial to remember that rest is productive, and taking short breaks to go for a walk, eat lunch, sit outside, or something else can increase your energy and support you with powering through the remaining items on your plate.

Leverage Project Management Resources and Softwares

Are you using a project management tool such as Asana to map out your tasks and their deadlines? Doing so prevents you from letting important projects slip through the cracks, and it also helps you to prioritize what needs to get done and when. Additionally, you can add your staff and team members to the project management software you use so they also have a system in place to optimize their workflow.

However, don’t discount the effectiveness of the old fashioned pen and paper method! Listing everything that needs to be completed in one week and then breaking those tasks down into four or five days helps you to accomplish what you need to.

Through this method, you can define your productivity by what you complete and not by how many hours you work.

Additional Resources for Time Management

Seek Accountability Through Massachusetts Business Network

At Massachusetts Business Network, you’re likely to find other business owners who are in the exact same position as you with wanting to optimize your time. Additionally, organizations listed under the Business Services section of our directory may help you to connect with experts you can hire to take a few tasks off your plate.

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