Sooooooo many people name Time Management as their #1 issue when running a business. Balancing business/kids/personal/family time can be quite the juggling act.
Here's my suggestion for starting your time management. It's easy to do, and a great habit you can start putting into practice TODAY.
We all have lists: grocery lists, school supplies lists, guest lists, etc. I actually have a list of lists, but that's another topic for another blog ;)
One habit that's helped me tremendously is a Task List. It sounds too simple to be effective, but hear me through, you'll thank me later.
What is a task list? It is THE key to business efficiency and the cure for daily mayhem. It's the place I keep all my work related tasks on one page. I have another one at home that I keep there for my family to add to it. Here's an example of a Task List that is available in the FPBTips group (www.facebook.com/furniturepaintingbusinesstips). I highly suggest you go take a look and download this pdf, it's a great jumping point for you to practice managing your tasks. Once you feel good using it, feel free to create your own document, or just keep using this one. Now, let's get started!
What does it look like? Quite simple, it's just a list with checkboxes. Each column represents a day, and I write down absolutely everything. So on Monday I will write what I have to do, and will add anything that I did that wasn't originally on the list, and you'll understand why later on. Every one of my projects has a name, and everything that needs to be done is a task. For example: Day 1 - Repair and putty Lisa's veneer, Day 2 - (task 1) Sand and wipe down Lisa's veneer. (Task 2) Apply primer to Lisa.
Here's a little example of what a Task List can look like:
When you finish a task, cross it off (Woohoo!). If the task has a second part (like "Putty cracks" and "Sand off putty"), add it to the List or move it to the next day. If a task has NOT been completed, move it to the next day's Task List.
Knowing what you've done and what you have left to do will help you manage your time and your business. Knowing what still remains to be done can help identify deadlines and update clients or suppliers if need be. A Task List will also help you see your day at-a-glance; allowing you to bring in a new project or at least plan for one. When you write things down, you get a certain satisfaction in crossing them off when they are completed, and who doesn't like a little pat on the back.