10 Time Management Tips for Salon Managers to Beat Burnout

By Liz McKeon, Salon Business Expert and Founder of the International Salon Business School

Managers often have the heaviest workload in the salon, especially if they are also running their own column of clients.

Because the demands of being a manager can ebb and flow, it’s especially important for managers to be aware of how they manage their time.  In particular, those who’ve recently been promoted to management may find themselves struggling with their new responsibilities.

Beat burnout with these 10 time management tips:

1. Plan – take time to make time

Time spent planning is not time wasted.  A little time spent in understanding what needs to be done, and planning how to achieve it, will have a massive return on investment.  Training and coaching staff can seem like an interruption to other work, but will pay off, in the long run. Don’t plan for every moment of your day – leave time for dealing with unexpected tasks and for adapting to interruptions and changing priorities.

2Make lists

Making lists is a vital part of planning your day, based on workload and priorities.  These may be to-do lists or on-going lists that are constantly revisited and updated.

3.  Communicate

Effective communication is often one of the first things to go when a manager is struggling to manage their own time, rather than taking the time to listen, understand and explain; their minds are on their workload and misunderstandings occur.  Management relies so heavily on communication that you absolutely must check regularly that you are taking the time to communicate effectively with your team.

4Take breaks

It is tempting, when you have a big workload to skip your breaks.  This is a false economy, as it means your concentration can suffer later in the day and make you less efficient. Also, taking breaks is especially important for managers as they need to set an example for other staff – otherwise it might be implied that taking a break means lack of commitment.

5.  Manage your emails

A salon’s manager email inbox is usually a busy place, with all kinds of emails that need answering.  Put aside a certain amount of time each day to reply to all emails and social media activity.

6.  Prepare to delegate

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.  If you’re under pressure, think about what tasks you can delegate.  And, this can include the tasks you enjoy.


Effective delegation empowers your staff to work independently and confidently.  Staff who are not given responsibility will be more needy and require more of your precious time. Making sure everyone has the training and resources to do their jobs will make life easier all round.

8Keep up appearances

If all else fails, make sure you appear to your team to be on top of your time management, even if you’re not.  It is so important that employees feel they can approach your for help and guidance.  If you give the impression of being too busy to be approached, you risk not being made aware of important issues.  You will need to adjust your mindset to ensure you deal with interruptions in a flexible open manner.

9.  Know how to deal with interruptions

The temptation is usually to react and try and deal with all issues immediately – but the disturbance to your working day may not be worth it.  If you find interruptions frustrating, then consider a time sensitive open/shut door policy so people can come to you with issues only during certain times. Teach yourself conversation ‘closers’ – polite ways of firmly ending a conversation that threatens to drag on.

10.  Know what to do if it gets too much

A bit of pressure is a great motivator, especially when you know you can get everything done by just organising yourself a bit more and working that much harder.  In the long term, if your workload is so much that you just can’t manage your time, then you must take whatever steps needed to correct this, or you run the danger of burnout.

To learn more on Liz McKeon, visit her website here.

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