6 Time Management Tips for Contractors
- Prioritize the Right Way: Instead of focusing on what feels the most urgent in that moment, take a step back to focus on what the most important issues are. What is the best usage of your time? If you are the head of your contracting company and have other employees, is the best use of your time staying late on the job-site to complete clean-up, or finishing more quotes and selling new jobs? One of the biggest time management tips for contractors is focusing on what is most essential to the long-term success of the business, not necessarily the thing that is right in front of you.
- Get Rid of Distractions: Contractors are typically very busy, and there are so many distractions that can take you away from your work. One of the easiest time management tips to change your productivity is merely eliminating some of the distractions that you have. How many times a day do you check your email? While email is important, all of the minutes you take to answer something immediately take away from other tasks and add up to hours over the course of the day. Practice devoting different blocks of time to different tasks, and keep yourself accountable.
- Use the Right Tools: If you aren’t skilled in time management there is great news—many different types of software and companies are here to help! Choosing the right software will make the entire process intuitive from start to finish, and keep you on track so that you don’t need to worry about continuing to research time management tips. The right partners are also critical. The best businesses are not only those who hire the right people internally, but also who hire the right partners.
- Budget Time for Recurring Tasks: If you have some tasks that you have to do every day or every week, build the time to complete them into your schedule. Things like reading and responding to your emails, invoicing your clients, touching base with different critical employees and scheduling meetings can all be built into your schedule so that you don’t find yourself rushing to complete them at the end of the day. A little bit of planning can go a long way to limit your workload and maximize your productivity.
- Automate and use Time-Saving Strategies: Build templates for things that you have to do repeatedly. For instance, have one or several templates for emails to new clients, emails to those who are late with payments, contracts for clients and sub-contractors, etc. By simply cutting and pasting what’s already been prepared you save time over reinventing the wheel each time. Also check if some functions of your job can be automated. Can your accounting software accommodate repeat billing?
- Delegate whenever possible: If you have grown your organization to the point where you have employees, delegate tasks that don’t require your attention. Yes, that may mean that you need to give up a few things that you really enjoy doing. It also means you need to create procedures and train someone to do things according to your company standards. This does not mean, however, that everything has to be done exactly the way you do it. There may be other even more efficient or effective ways of doing a task. Train for outcomes, not necessarily for exactly doing something in one way only. That said, if there is a standard for a particular task that sets your company apart, by all means, do give others the tools to do it exactly right.