Do you often feel like you don’t have enough time? There’s a limited number of hours in the day so it’s important to effectively use the time you do have. Here are 7 strategies to help you become smarter with your time!
1. Plan your day
It’s important to plan your day and a good place to start is with a daily planner. Having a plan ensures you’re more efficient with your time as you’re more focussed when you have a clear to-do list.
Your daily planner doesn’t need to be fancy. It simply needs to capture what you need to get done that day. Get started now by downloading our daily planner template.
2. Complete the most important tasks first
You should aim to identify a maximum of three tasks that must be completed each day and these should be done first over anything else on your to-do list.
If you’re finding it difficult to choose just three tasks, think about your goals. Having clear goals will help you decide which tasks are really important as they’ll help towards achieving them. If you find all your tasks are key to achieving your goals, you’ll need to prioritise them based on the time pressures or deadlines associated with them.
By knowing exactly what you need to get done in a day you’ll focus your mind to efficiently complete an achievable to-do list.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
There’s being busy and then there’s being productive and it’s important to remember the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
Being busy can see you checking emails, setting your staff targets and making a phone call all at the same time. However task hopping is a productivity killer.
So focus on just one task at a time. In doing this it’ll have your full attention and you can put all your energy into it. You should notice you’re finishing tasks faster and doing better work.
4. Set a time limit for each task
Another approach is to set a time limit for each task. Instead of sitting down to work on a task and thinking “I’ll work on this until it’s finished” try saying to yourself “I’m going to work on this for an hour”. A time constraint pushes you to be more focused and efficient.
However, it’s critical you set achievable deadlines. You need to allow yourself enough time so you’re relaxed and do a good job. But be careful not to allow too much time as you can easily become distracted or end up wasting the time.
When it comes to bigger projects, make sure you break them down into individual tasks with shorter time frames. It’ll make the project seem more achievable and allow you to complete part of the project even if your daily planner shows you only have half an hour to spare.
5. Working smarter, not harder
You can work smarter by being more thoughtful about how you complete a task. Always ask yourself if you need to do it, if something can be done more efficiently or if you could delegate it to someone else. Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.
You can also work smarter by batching similar tasks together. To do this, group like tasks and complete them consecutively. Different tasks demand different types of thinking, so it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow on its current thought pattern.
6. Use technology
This one may seem obvious and you’ll most certainly already be using technology in your day-to-day life. But there are some tools you may not be aware of that’ll be sure to save you time!
- Salon software: Set targets, manage your stock and create automatic messages like happy birthdays and appointment reminders. Doing these manually is a huge time waster.
- Social media: Schedule your social media posts in advance for a week or even a month using free scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Devices: Grab a couple of tablets or give your team access to your software on their smartphones. They’ll save a lot of time if they can quickly check client notes between appointments and save photos and documents.
- Projects: Asana is a free tool that allows you to plan projects, track progress and assign tasks to individuals in your team.
7. Learn to delegate
If you’re a salon owner or manager you may need to delegate tasks – you simply can’t do everything yourself even though a lot of us try to. It’s easy to “just do it yourself” but this is where you can see so much time wasted. You need to focus on the business and your team while your staff help you with the rest.
Tip! Create owners in each area where you require assistance. For example whoever you put in charge of stock can receive in stock orders, complete stock takes and look after merchandising.
Giving your staff ownership over an area in the salon will make them more invested in the success of the area and the business. You may even find they discover ways to make some great improvements!
There’s no way to increase the number of hours in a day, however, there are plenty of ways to be smarter with the time you do have. So challenge yourself by starting to use even just one of these strategies in your day-to-day life and see how much time you can save.