When you run a small business, maintaining productivity at an optimal level is key to getting ahead. Time – yes, your sweet, precious time – is money, quite literally.

You may not be aware of just how much time can be effortlessly wasted during any given working day. Thankfully, simple organizational adjustments can help you manage you time more effectively, giving a boost to overall productivity.

Here are our top three time management tips to instantly increase you productivity.

1. Set milestones when making goals

When your objectives or goals are too vague or general in nature, you’re far less likely to achieve them. Increase productivity by taking the time to set detailed, step-by-step goals.

Your business will ultimately benefit productivity-wise if you are savvy enough to include specific milestones for each of your goals at the initial planning stage. Setting milestones is the best way to ensure goals are achieved fully, within a realistic and workable time frame.

2. Focus on one thing at a time

Multitasking is widely viewed as an essential skill for those in small business as they’re often required to fill many roles.

But before you decide to take another conference call whilst simultaneously scheduling other meetings, responding to an email and sending out a press release, consider this: According to the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, only 2.5% of people are able to multitask well—that is, to complete each task as well as they would if said task was tackled alone.

It may seem like you’re getting more done when you try to do it all at once, but in reality, unless you’re in that top 2.5%, you’re probably not doing such a great job. That means you’ll have to go back and fix things later, costing more time and reducing overall productivity.

The golden rule? Force yourself to concentrate on one task at a time for at least 15 minutes before moving on to another, separate task.

3. Don’t be a slave to your inbox

Many of us check our email inboxes every five minutes. If you’re running a small business and are concerned with overall productivity, consider changing this habit.

Constantly checking email takes up a great deal of time when you add it all up. While being on the ball as far as email communication goes is key to maintaining functionality of your business, this does NOT necessarily mean you need to check and reply to messages constantly. Instead, set aside two time periods during the day dedicated to emails and stick with them.

This time management trick requires you to have a high level of discipline. However, it will free up more time during the day to focus on other important tasks.