It’s been said that getting organized is the second most popular New Year’s resolution, after health or beauty goals. If you’re like most people, you love the idea of being organized, but the thought of getting organized is completely overwhelming.
As a skin care professional, there are many aspects of time management that are important to your business success: Managing expense receipts, social media and marketing, organizing office space and storage, tracking customer support and client appointments. The list goes on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and choose to focus your immediate attention on the day’s appointments. Failing to manage your time and procrastinating can interfere with managing any one of these areas of your small business.
How to organize your time: step by step
Consider what goals you want to focus on and make a list. This first step can help get you organized with your time. Here are 9 time management tips to put into perspective:
1. Figure out how you are currently spending your time
Logging your time for a week by tracking your daily activities. This will make clear how much of your time is spent on unproductive thoughts, conversations, and activities. This time management task can be done monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
2. Create a daily schedule and stick with it
Start your day with an organized to-do list. Before you leave work for the day, create a list of the most pressing tasks for the next day. This time management tip allows you to get going as soon as you get to the salon.
3. Prioritize your time wisely
Eliminate tasks you shouldn’t be performing in the first place. Then identify the three or four most important tasks and do those first—that way, you make sure you finish the essentials.
4. Group similar tasks together
Create separate chunks of time for answering emails, making phone calls, filing, ordering, etc.
5. Avoid the urge to multitask
This is one of the simplest time management tips for work, yet it can be one of the hardest to follow. Focus on the task at hand and block out all distractions. You lose time and decrease productivity when switching from one task to another.
6. Assign time limits to tasks
See step #1 to get an estimate of how long an activity takes to complete. Once you’ve spent the designated amount of time on that task, move on to the next important activity. You’ll find your productivity will improve and your to-do list will shrink when you organize your time with these parameters in place.
7. Build in buffers
Make breaks a part of your schedule. When you finish a task, give yourself time to breathe, even if it’s just five minutes. Take mini breaks to recharge.
8. Set up organizational systems
Create a filing system for documents. Unsubscribe from emails you no longer need. Have a calendar of promotions or PTO schedules marked ahead of time. Take the time to set up these organizational systems once—it will benefit you in the long run.
9. Eliminate distractions
Social media, web browsing, co-workers, text messages—distractions can be endless. The key to time management is being proactive about getting things done. Limit interruptions. Take baby steps with this—identify your top two distractions and focus on conquering those.
By making a list, asking yourself the above questions, and determining what you want to focus on can help get moving in the right direction. Set goals for your skin care business that are achievable. These need to be goals in which you have to put a bit of work in, and you know that you need to do X, Y, and Z to get there. Once you've reached the goal, set the bar a little higher. Again, re-evaluate where you are and what you want, and then set a new goal. Just remember not to make them impossible to reach.
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By ASCP Staff