8 time management issues for SaaS managers (and how to work on them)

by 

Maciej Wilczynski

 in 

Organization & Management

July 7, 2021

KPI's, client acquisition, customer retention, and similar business areas are the primary concerns of employees directly involved. Time management, however, concerns every SaaS employee top to bottom, no matter the specialization or seniority.

When we're posting this, it's early July, and most of us are either on holiday or about to go. For many industries, the upcoming two months are slower, which is an excellent opportunity to take a break. From my perspective, however, vacation time is also a great chance to work on things we usually don't have time for, such as time management itself.

KPI's, client acquisition, customer retention, and similar business areas are the primary concerns of employees directly involved. Time management, however, concerns every SaaS employee top to bottom, no matter the specialization or seniority.

Being involved in multiple projects myself, I've realized that managing time well is an absolute priority. So today, I'm sharing my thoughts on this subject.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What are the most common time management issues in the SaaS industry?
  • How to solve these issues?
  • What tools can you use to manage time better?

1. You don't prioritize

Tasks have different priorities due to their strategic importance for the company or because of the deadline. However, suppose you don't consciously categorize them. In that case, it will be much easier for you to interrupt a vital project to deal with something seemingly essential and urgent.

Consequences: essential tasks, notoriously interrupted by small activities, drag on forever. You work overtime because you have to meet deadlines. You spend an hour a day figuring out what to focus on first. You toggle between tasks instead of starting one after finishing another.

Solution: Prioritize tasks—every day. Your best friend for this task will be the Eisenhower Matrix, which I recommend using every morning to plan your day.

via https://luxafor.com/the-eisenhower-matrix/


2. You don't set deadlines

As Tim Urban outlined in his TedX, the procrastinator's primary mistake is not setting deadlines. Is there anything easier than postponing a task without a specific deadline to the next day? And another one? And one more?

Consequences: You ignore tasks with no particular deadline, even though they're vital. You postpone them every week with remorse and the guarantee that you will do them on the next occasion until you completely forget about them.

Solution: set deadlines for each task and make them binding whenever possible, e.g., by communicating them to the client, team, or yourself.

3. You don't use task managers

In the long term, you can remember most, but not all there is to do. Especially if, like myself, you're involved in many different projects or businesses. You can count on your memory, but it will occasionally fail no matter how good it is.

Consequences: you forget about small tasks and have to catch up after hours or when you remember them, thus stopping other activities.

Solution: use task managers to plan your activities. Every CRM, ERP, or project management software has one. Task managers also allow you to better plan your daily activities since you can easily manage them via a list, a board, or a calendar.

4. You don't take breaks

Sometimes you are in the zone, and 3-4 hours of continuous work on one task brings tremendous results. Sometimes, however, you spend the same amount of time in front of the laptop, but the work doesn't move forward as fast as it usually does. As a result, you're afraid to take a break because you think you don't have time or the need for it.

Consequences: Your efficiency drops, you get distracted more easily, you make minor mistakes.

Solution: take breaks from work. If you don't know when to make them and how long they should last, help yourself with dedicated techniques and applications, such as Pomodoro.

Important note: scrolling through social media doesn't count as a break time.

5. You don't delegate

I often see CEOs and managers who are deathly afraid of delegating anything to anyone. They fall into the trap of thinking that "if I don't do it, no one will." They often feel that delegating a task to someone will put their company or position at risk.

Consequences: you spend your time and nerves on tasks that you don't know how to do. You have less time for your primary duties, and you do them after hours. Alternatively, you do the extra work, such as modifying pricing or setting paid ads, overtime. Either way, you have less time for your personal life.

Solution: delegate tasks to employees and let them develop in their fields. Outsource tasks. Read "Extreme Ownership."

6. You don't turn off notifications

Your focus is a finite resource, and every notification that pops up from your phone or laptop drains it. The best example is social media applications that have mastered attracting attention through all sorts of messages and alerts.

Consequences: You stop working because someone commented on your Facebook post. The task that was supposed to take you an hour takes two or three, because you check the app, read comments, interact, and distract yourself.

Solution: Disable notifications from any application that is not carrying critical business information.

7. You don't know how much time you spend on what activities

"You can't improve what you don't measure" - this saying also relates to managing your own time. How can you reduce the time you spend, for example, writing product content, if you don't know how much time you spend on it daily or weekly?

Consequences: You misestimate the time to complete tasks.

Solution: Use a time tracker like Toggl or Clockify.

8. You don't automate repetitive tasks

Are you bored of sending repetitive emails to customers so much that you start looking for errors on the company's website instead? Or maybe downloading data about leads is a tedious process for you. Although you have to do it to develop your business, you avoid it at all costs?

Consequences: you don't perform specific tasks regularly and move them to the end of the month or the week instead. It takes you 2-3 times longer than if you were to do them daily.

Solution: Take advantage of task automation tools like Zapier. Alternatively, delegate them internally or outsource them.

What we have learned

  • Time management applies to every employee, regardless of position or seniority
  • Holidays are a great time to work on your time management
  • Help yourself with ready-made time management programs and techniques and adapt them to your individual needs

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