Have a question? We have answers.
A wise man by the name of Lee Iacocca once said, “The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business – or almost anywhere else for that matter.” We think Lee was onto something.
Small business owners work long hours and juggle roughly 1,087 tasks at any given moment, so it’s no surprise that you end up feeling like there’s never enough time. We can’t add more hours to your day, but perhaps these tips can help you get more out of the hours you do have:
Tip 1. Prioritize your to-do list. One big to-don’t is to have a big long to-do list. When you have 101 things to do, it’s hard to know where to start! Our tip, assign each to-do item a numeric value. If it brings cash in the door, it’s a 1. If it makes a client exceedingly happy? Give it a 2. Keep this up until you have a real plan of attack!
Tip 2. When you can, automate. Take the time to think about all of those things that repeat throughout the day (such as monotonous emails) and automate the process. In the case of emails, it’s as simple as creating templates to keep on hand. This will save you tons of time, and maybe even prevent a few errors.
Tip 3. Checklists made? Check! When it comes to recurring tasks, nothing prevents things from falling through the cracks quite like a reliable checklist. Have staff members make checklists of their daily tasks too! This way you can see at a glance if there is something a more highly skilled member can pass to a newbie. It’ll also make training a little easier.
Tip 4. Less can be more. When you’re just starting out, sometimes it’s better to limit the amount of services you provide, freeing up your time to really specialize in what you do best. You don’t want to be a jack of all trades, master of none, do you? In-N-Out Burger is the perfect example of keeping things simple in order to focus on quality.
Tip 5. One word: outsource. You know your hourly rate and what your time is worth. If you can hire an employee or find a freelancer or contractor to handle some of the workload for less than your hourly rate, maybe it’s time to outsource a few things to help you get ahead of the game and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Bonus tip: Relax. Seriously. We know your to-do list is ever-growing but pressing the pause button can be far more productive than you think. Stepping back from work to de-stress boosts energy, focus, health, and mood, which leads to increased output, creativity, stamina, and resiliency. Those are all good things, so take a break for your business’s sake!