As a busy spa or salon owner, do you feel like there’s never enough time in the day? If you’re chronically late, feeling overwhelmed and running behind, you need to take control of your time.
Careful budgeting and prioritization can help you master your schedule and find tons of extra time each day. When you pay close attention to how you’re spending your time, honor your priorities and handle changes as they come, you can make the most of each day.
- Start by tracking your time.Do you know where your time goes each day? Without tracking your time you can’t be sure. Although it may sound like a pain, for one week, write down everything you do each day in 15 minute increments. You’ll get a better perspective on how you’re actually using your time, vs. how you think you’re using your time. For example, you may think that your daily Twitter check ins are taking just a few minutes when in reality they are eating up two to three hours each day. That time could be spent on specific activities to help bring in new clients or generate more referrals.
- Get your priorities straight.There’s only so much time in each day – so you have to choose what is most important to you. Everyone has different priorities and needs. Evaluate what you absolutely must do each day and give priority to those tasks. If there’s anything that can be delegated to a staff member, do it. This way you can focus on what is absolutely essential for you to do personally.
- Schedule time to move forward toward your goals.Your to do list should be about more than just putting out fires and handling immediate items. You need time each day to focus on getting work done that will move you closer to your big goals. Spend a specific amount of time each day or each week working on your big picture goals. When you schedule it into your routine, you’ll actually see progress instead of wishing that you were accomplishing your long-term goals.
- Expect the unexpected.No schedule is set in stone. Even if you take the time to prioritize your tasks and make room for your big goals, you may find that you get off track. This is completely normal and easy to fix. Things usually take longer than you plan for. There are also unexpected interruptions that can throw off your schedule. Leave space in your routine for interruptions and schedule in some breaks. It’s important to have time for lunch, go for a walk or just take a breather. When you allow for some wiggle room, you’ll be more refreshed, focused and productive.
- Don’t give up!If your schedule gets totally off kilter, don’t lose heart! When you lose track of time and find yourself crunching everything in at the end of the day, just evaluate where you went wrong. Maybe you underestimated the time you needed to complete task. Maybe there was a legitimate crisis that needed to be dealt with. Regardless of the problem, make plans to avoid it in the future and forgive yourself. Great time management is a process – and if you work on it each day, you’ll find yourself getting better and better at it.
Taking control of your time doesn’t happen overnight – but when you master the basics, you’ll find yourself less stressed, more focused and more productive.