Expert Advice: Manage your time & use automation to grow your business in 2022
Alicia Humphreys looks at ways to balance your work and life to benefit your business.
Let's be honest, time management isn't the sexiest topic to talk about when it comes to business. But if you're a business owner who's wearing many hats and spinning all the plates, this one's for you.
The dictionary definition of time management is:
(noun) the ability to use one's time effectively or productively, especially at work. "Time management is the key to efficient working"
However, what it means to most of us is working out how to juggle a business, family life, home life, friendships and just generally being sociable…it's a constant battle. But there are ways you can balance your work and life without feeling like you're juggling. Learning how to manage your time and use automation could help your business grow in 2022.
So how is it possible I hear you ask…
1. Plan your week ahead
Creating a schedule for your week allows you to plan and structure your time so that you can prioritise and re-prioritise tasks. Deadlines and urgent jobs should define how you organise tasks across your week. But remember, be flexible and ready to reorganise your schedule if priorities suddenly change, too.
Don't be afraid to use an app or software to help with this, I personally use Trello & Evernote, but there's a huge range of free products on the market, so look around, download a few and find the one that works for you.
2. Time blocking
Time blocking is a time management technique that many small business owners find useful. It's the practice of chunking out your work into small sections of time. The idea is that by focusing on one thing at a time, you can dedicate attention and energy to each task and get it done more quickly and to a higher standard.
To time-block your day, you need to plan out the hours you have available and then start assigning items from your to do list. There are several techniques you can do to stick to your time blocking, for example you could use an app such as Toggl to help you keep track of times spent, you could use the Pomodoro technique or a go manual with a diary and alarm.
3. Work out where you can automate
Start thinking about which tasks you can automate or outsource, for example, could you set up an auto responder on your social media business messenger or email? Can you automate your invoices (I like to use QuickBooks for this), are you scheduling your social media posts in advance? I personally like to use the Facebook Business Suite for this as it's nice and simple to use, but others are available.
Make a note of all your daily, weekly and monthly tasks you do for your business and think about which you could automate easily or outsource. You could also write down the amount of time each tasks takes, so when you do eventually automate, you'll be able to see straight away how much time you're saving!
Alicia Humphreys is a Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager, who previously worked as a beauty therapist. She supports beauty therapists and salon owners by taking on tasks such as admin, client liaison and social media management, allowing therapists and salon owners to focus on their clients, rather than their admin.
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