Time management can be a big issue for many business owners. It’s easy to spend an entire day on busywork where you’re essentially reacting to other people’s agendas by replying to emails, taking phone calls and answering queries from your staff.
The reality is that if you want to achieve business growth or hit your own specific targets then just staying busy, without proactively managing your time, is not going to be helpful in reaching your goals.
Mike Gardner, aka The Time Doctor, is a trusted BizSmart Select colleague of ours, so we asked him what business owners could do to manage their time better.

Time management success
Mike says that one of the challenges of being a business owner is the number of different hats you need to wear during the course of a day or week. Many of us act as the boss, the marketing manager, the sales manager, finance director, HR manager and perhaps many other roles.
For obvious reasons, this can lead to us losing focus, and struggling to regain focus after we’ve lost it. Here are some of The Time Doctor’s best tips for achieving greater focus in your work.

Prioritise your to-do list
One of our favourite tips from The Time Doctor is to prioritise your to-do list. Divide your list into two sections, with one section for things that you need to do personally, and one for things you can assign to other people, whether that’s a member of staff or a virtual assistant. On your own personal list, prioritise the tasks that will bring in money. For any complex tasks, break them down in to smaller, more manageable tasks and prioritise them accordingly.

Schedule your time
Work for two hours at a time, with a 15-minute break after each work session. Set a timer for two hours and then again for 15 minutes. Make sure you put the timer out of sight so you don’t keep checking it.

Do one thing at a time
Don’t multi-task. Research shows that it takes about 15 minutes to focus on something, so every time you switch tasks, it will take around 15 minutes to regain your focus. It’s much more effective to work on one task or project and see it through to completion.

Remove distractions
Turn off instant messages, forward your calls to a staff member or voicemail, log out of your inbox and switch off email notifications. Shut your office door.

Plan tomorrow the day before
Write out your plan for the following day in a notebook. The very act of writing things down will help you to remember, and writing a plan before you leave will help you to clear your head before you head home. Put the plan o your desk and read it through before you switch our computer on the following morning.

So, in summary:
Prioritise your to-do list
Schedule your time
Do one thing at a time – don’t multi-task
Remove distractions
Plan tomorrow the day before

All of the above will help you to regain focus, improve productivity, and ultimately help to create a more profitable working environment for you and your team.