The majority of startups experience a shortage of assets. They have an undersized team, a small budget, a lot of tasks, and, probably the most important, very little time. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of time management a startup need to have.
The scarcity of time as a resource makes time management very challenging, but every startup needs to adapt if they want to survive in the market.
Every strategy regarding time management startup implementation has to be perfectly planned and executed to be beneficial. Here are some tips on how to make your new business more efficient.
Create, optimize, and follow a schedule
When you don’t have time, you need to make it. It’s simple as that. Of course, this is just a paraphrase, but you can do something about it. The most common way of doing this is scheduling tasks for a whole working day with their timeframes.
With proper planning and skill assessment, you will delegate every task to the right people. By optimizing their work efficiency, you will create much-needed time for other tasks.
If you are an entrepreneur and solo owner of a business, optimization can be done with the prioritization of daily tasks. You can create schedules for the next day and next week, according to the complexity of the tasks that are awaiting you. It would be a good idea to create a workflow where complementary tasks are executed one after the other.
One of the most effective methods of time management startups can use is called Eat That Frog method. To begin, you first need to label each of your tasks in regard to their importance and difficulty. In that distribution of the roles, “the frog” is the most important and difficult task which needs to be done first.
The secret behind the name of strategy hides behind Mark Twain’s saying “If you have to eat a live frog, do it first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day”. In the business world, that means if you tackle the most important task first, the rest will be simpler, and you will be more relaxed.
You can go with these 5 levels of task prioritization when creating a time management startup plan:
Level “A” – the most important task, and you should take it first to resolve.
Level “B” – a task that goes right after the most important one.
Level “C” – this is the first task you can delegate, if possible. If not, after you finish tasks from the first two levels, this is the next on your “to-do” list. Keep in mind that there are no significant consequences if you don’t do it when rating this kind of task.
Level “D” – low important tasks that always can be delegated to free more time for tasks of levels A and B.
Level “E” – this is a task you should eliminate, whenever possible, as it’s neither urgent nor important.
When scheduling tasks, embrace the precautionary principle, meaning always assign a bit more time than you assessed for given tasks. Also, create a flexible schedule by reserving time for unexpected errands.
Delegate tasks to the right people
This time management strategy works only if you have a dedicated team. Of course, if you haven’t already built your team or don’t have people that are ready to collaborate, you cannot lean on anyone to have your tasks finished.
But, if you surrounded yourself with the people you trust, you can delegate the majority of tasks to them and see how they will enjoy by giving contributing to the whole startup.
Like in the previous time management startup strategy, to recognize what tasks should be delegated, you’ll need to develop a system for prioritization. You can put them in one of two groups:
- If a task is both important and urgent, the best is to do it yourself.
- If a task is urgent but less important choose a suitable team member to whom you can delegate it.
You should also create a chart with the skills of your employees to see who is a good fit for each type of task. That way, you will delegate work to the right people, and the job will be done within the deadline, and in a quality way. When delegating tasks, you need to be specific about requirements so that anyone working on them is aware of what’s expected from them.
To further improve time management in your startup, ask every employee to track the time needed for subtasks (if you have the necessary software) and what difficulties they faced when working on them. With that data, you can analyze weak spots within the task execution process and eliminate them.
By delegating tasks and making everyone accountable and responsible for their work, you will avoid micromanagement. Many things will be done without your constant supervision, so be ready to focus only on essential tasks. Trust your team to do their share of the work, and only provide light guidance.
Minimize meeting time and improve your meetings
Some studies showed that meetings can take away between 6 and 24 hours from the workweek, depending on the work position. Of course, if you are in the top position within a startup, you will have much more obligation regarding scheduling, organizing, and participating in meetings.
The first step in time management startup can take is to choose the right time for meetings. One research showed that Tuesdays at 2:30 PM are considered the best for holding meetings.
There are several reasons why people tend to like this time for business meetings:
- They have already accepted the fact that the weekend is over, and they are now on the move and more focused on the work that needs to be done.
- 2:30 is late enough to reasonably assume that people are finished with all the priority tasks scheduled for that day; on the other hand, it is not so late that people lost their focus and are able to contribute to the meeting.
The next step is minimizing meeting time, and that is something your employees will be the most grateful for. To do so, you need to focus only on the most important topics that require the presence of the whole team. Your meeting shouldn’t last for more than half an hour (more only in specific situations), and keep things on topic during the whole time.
If you think 30 minutes is too short, you can make your meetings more interesting. One idea is to hold them at the same time as everyday activities, such as lunches. When you cannot avoid a meeting, it is surely better to schedulet it over a pizza. Everyone like pizza, right?
Or you can organize a team building and do brainstorming session in the pause between events.
The time of pandemic showed how virtual meetings can be beneficial to startups. You can organize them whenever you want to save time and resources. But respect the free time of your employees.
Implement better organization of work emails
Research from the McKinsey Global Institute showed that, on average, we spend 13 hours per week managing our emails. We can all agree that is too much and that time should be put to better use.
To do so, entrepreneurs can follow some simple tips for time management startup emails:
- Create a schedule for inbox management and try to stick with it. You can do that first thing in the morning before starting important tasks and once again after the pause or right before closing the work day.
- Manage email notifications – you can set to receive a notification just for priority messages while others will be silenced
- Prioritize emails – similar to tasks, you need to decide what emails have an advantage and what can wait for later. Some of them can be forwarded to various departments so you can delegate them. Delete or archive old and unwanted messages, to make priority emails stand out.
- Make time to go through your emails and unsubscribe from all unwanted ones. You surely don’t need so many newsletters and notifications. Also, create filters to separate emails automatically. That way, you will have better control over your inbox.
By implementing these rules into your email checking routine, you can save a lot of time. A time then can be allocated to more important tasks that require your attention.
Time management startup: conclusion
As you can see, it is possible to save some time during the workday. We listed just four ways how to do that, creating an efficient work schedule, sharing the work among team members, and optimizing the time needed for meetings and email correspondence.
Of course, there are more of them, and it is your duty as a business owner to find and use them.
Other time management startup strategies depend on your niche industry and the team structure you possess. The key is finding the best ones for your business and then implementing them the right way.
When you successfully optimize your work tasks, you will be able to do more jobs using less time and resources and raise your productivity and profit.