Melbourne business coach David Guest has some great time management tips for business owners trying to work out how they can better manage their time.

1. Keep a time diary for a week

Time management is self management and it can be hard to catch yourself out wasting time or spending too much time on tasks that are not as important as the other more pressing needs of the business. Keeping a time diary for a week is a great self-diagnostic tool. The insights you gain into your own behaviour will help build the foundations of better time management for yourself, your employees and your business.

2. Manage your inbox

“A poorly managed inbox can translate into disaster come crunch time,” warns Melbourne business coach David Guest.

Foster the good habit of spending time every day scanning your inbox and filing away the messages you need and deleting the messages you don’t need. Become familiar with your folders in your email account and organise messages into folders. Using folders groups information and makes it easy to retrieve later. There can be few things more frustrating than hunting through a long list in your inbox for a message with vital information, particularly if you are on a tight deadline.

3. Organise your websites

Melbourne based Guest advises, “Learn to bookmark those sites that you visit frequently, or those that contribute to your work. That way, you won’t have to search through a whole Google page every time you want to get back to the website again.”

Become familiar with the bookmarking function on your web browser or mobile phone and create pathways that can instantly get you to a page you go to often.

4. Keep a schedule

Guest says, “Doing things on a regular, scheduled basis may take up a few minutes of your time each day but it will keep you on top of everything and those things that are currently slipping through the cracks won’t be anymore.”

Scheduling your time and doing certain tasks on a regular basis cultivates productive habits and ensures the little things that you are always putting off until tomorrow, can finally be addressed and marked off your ‘To do’ list. And crossing something off a list always feels good.

5. Have your own organiser

To be effective with your time management, one has to have a set plan for the day, week or month: your business coach would call it a ‘default diary.’

A default diary is where you plan or map the time you spend on various tasks during a day, week or month. Some business coaches regard it as a ‘no matter what diary’ but if you’re doing 70% of the tasks every week then you’re doing well.

Even a default diary has to be flexible for the needs of your business. One technological approach to running a default diary is through the Google calendar, which has a default diary function that can send messages from your Gmail account to your phone as reminders before each activity.

A business coach can help you find more ways to manage your time, and in business it is that race against time you have to win to be successful.