It can feel as if aren’t enough hours in the day when you are running your own business. You shouldn’t let work get on top of you. Time management is not just about working harder, it’s about working smarter. Here are ways to help you get more out of the day.

Assess your working day

Have a think about what time of the day you get the most done. For some businesses, it’s the first thing in the morning but others end up working late to finish off tasks. You should make sure you don’t have a series of interruptions. Think about why you get more done at certain times and try and recreate it at different times. For example, it could be in the morning with a cup of coffee and breakfast giving you the energy to push through your workday. It could be late at night where you feel that the time is running out and you are getting more ticked off the list.

Make a To-do list

Productive people know exactly what they need to achieve each day and they systematically work through tasks. If you don’t have a daily to-do list, it could mean you can’t tackle important tasks when you need to and then you run behind. At the beginning of each day, you should itemise everything you need to do and note down any deadlines. Try to batch together smaller administrative tasks and ensure that bigger tasks that require concentration take priority. Above all, make the list achievable and put it somewhere you can see it. You will feel like you’ve achieved more when you start crossing out each item and moving on.

Stay organised

Consider buying a diary. This could be paper or computer-based, but scheduling important tasks and setting up effective prompts will help you ensure you get everything done. Computer-based organisers will help you if you need to move anything around and don’t want it to look messy. Constant scribbles and untidy behaviour can put you off doing the tasks. Try googling online planners or diaries. You can create shared online diaries for the business so that all team members can stay up to speed with other colleague’s commitments.

Coordinate your activities

Make sure tasks and/or meetings in similar locations are scheduled for the same day. It will cut costs and save you time. You should agree to your meeting’s finishing times in advance. This will prevent unnecessary run-over and organise appointments properly. You can often get a lot done during a train journey, to prepare for the meeting or make more when you are in the area.

Take regular breaks & Limit your availability

You aren’t a robot which can function non-stop for 24 hours. Working too hard or too long can be counter-productive – not to mention bad for your health. Take a full hour for lunch (30 minutes at a push) and eat some healthy food. Take a couple of 15-minute breaks throughout the day and remove yourself from where you work. Go and speak to people, too. Take time to refocus, this can help your work to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.

Let your employees know when you are available and when you shouldn’t be disturbed (unless absolutely necessary). This will save you time knowing that your company will leave you alone unless it is important. To get more admin work done, you might occasionally work from home or another quiet area, where you’ll be free from the usual distractions.