At times we all feel a little overwhelmed by our work load, and that is especially true for sign shops. Most of us are small business owners. With less people to delegate to, oftentimes the majority of tasks are split between the few employees, while anything additional falls square on the shoulders of the owner. We all wear many hats!

To reduce stress and increase efficiency you need to make sure you are using your time wisely. Take the time out to plan how you will use your time! It may seem like it takes more time to apportion out your time, but doing so actually makes you more productive and less stressed. Try these tips to improve your time management:

  • Track your time. It is important to know where your time is going. Keep track of what you do on a daily basis and examine if you are really using your time wisely. You may find there are areas where you are wasting time.
  • Get your priorities in order. Grab a clean sheet of paper, or open a new document on your computer and make a list of everything you need to get done. Analyze the list and order each task by level of importance. Make sure and include everything you need to do, no matter how minimal. The sense of accomplishment you will feel from crossing things off your list will provide you with more determination to remain focused.
  •  Certain task can be almost never ending, such as responding to emails or researching for the company. Make sure and establish a set amount of times for such jobs, as they can be entirely time consuming, leaving you unable to complete other tasks.
  • Set goals. With your list in hand think about what things you would like to accomplish in the day, the week, and the month. If you do well with micromanaging your time, you may even want to try setting hourly goals. Work hard to succeed in reaching such goals.
  • Delegation and outsourcing are key. There is only so much that you can do on your own. If you have employees who are able to share the load, let them. It may take additional time to train your team to complete new tasks, but the resulting time saved by not having to do them yourself is worth it. You may also decide to outsource particular projects to other companies in a goal to be more time efficient.

Of course, when the work load gets heavy even the best time managers are going to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, if the majority of the time you are using your time wisely your business will be more organized and successful. In addition, such efficiency and order makes it easier to get through the busier times, enabling your business and life to remain happy and stable.