If only you had more time in the day to get things done. With the gallery of tasks ahead of you, from dealing with customers to sorting out your paperwork, you will have much to do.
The clock is continually ticking, and before you know it, you might get to the end of the day with work left unfinished. You could, of course, work overtime if needed. You could also start earlier in the day to give yourself a fighting chance to get things done.
But considering burnout is common in small business owners, you should really avoid both of those options for the sake of both your personal and your business health.
So, what can you do?
Well, there are ways to make life easier for yourself. With the tips in this article, you should be able to work productively and get most of your to-do list finished ahead of time. You might then get to go home early, or, at the very least, start work on tomorrow’s tasks if you have plenty of time ahead of you.
#1: Work more efficiently during the day
On a practical level, this should be your priority. You see, many of us waste time during the day. We might have one break too many, get distracted by Facebook and other internet sites, and spend too much time talking to colleagues and clients about non-work matters.
It’s little wonder that we still have work left over on our desks at the end of the day, and we only have ourselves to blame. Thinking of yourself then, what do you do to waste time during your working day? Make a mental note to avoid your worst habits and put actionable steps in place.
So, you might install a website blocker on your computer to stop you looking at time-wasting websites, and you might turn your phone off if you’re not expecting any important calls. By taking these actions and any relevant others, you might then work more productively with fewer interruptions.
#2: Delegate to your employees
If you have employees working for you, the last thing you want to do is overburden them. But if they have time on their hands, and are better at certain tasks than you are, then delegate some of what you have to do over to them.
Not only will this free up your time to get on with tasks that may be more relevant to your position, but it might also improve the morale of your employees.
By taking on more tasks, they might appreciate the trust you have shown in them. They will also have the opportunity to vary their workload, and this might make their day more interesting.
#3: Outsource work to others
If you don’t have in-house talent, or if your employees are busy elsewhere, then it makes sense to free up your time through outsourcing.
So, you might hire an accountant or a bookkeeper to take charge of the financial side of your business. You could hire a marketing team to manage your day-to-day promotional activities.
And you could outsource your customer service to a call center to cut down the amount of time you spend on the phone.
There will be an expense, of course, but if reducing your workload gives you the ability to be more productive in other areas, you might still be able to make a profit if sales are increased because of your efficiency.
#4: Automate your workload
There are hundreds of software applications available to you, each of which are designed to make light work of some of your most time-consuming tasks.
One such example is the SAP Business One software package developed by Softengine. This innovative piece of software can automate key business functions within a wide number of areas within your business, including tasks relating to human resources, accounting, and customer relations management.
You can find out more with this Softengine SAP insiders guide. This is but one example but does your research online for others. Be sure to research apps for your smartphone too. With the right apps, you should be able to save time during your business day.
As examples, consider ‘Free Agent’ for your accounting needs, ‘Smartsheet’ for collaborating with your employees and clients, and ‘Appointy’ for managing your schedule. There are many more, so visit the app store and download anything that will make your life easier.
#5: Start saying ‘no’
‘No’ is only a small word, but it’s an immensely powerful one. By using it more within the day, you should be able to save time. So, you might say ‘no’ to meetings that don’t require your attendance.
You might say ‘no’ to clients when you don’t have time to take on any new work. And you might say ‘no’ to friends or family members if they offer you an invite away from your desk when you should be working. You do need to be careful, of course.
You shouldn’t avoid meetings that could be useful to you. And you shouldn’t make it a habit of turning down work when approached by clients. But when you have deadlines to meet, and you know you need to find ways to save time during your day, then you have to utilize the word ‘no’ occasionally.
Especially when it comes to your clients, taking on less work is better than taking on more than you can handle and rushing projects through to completion. Quality is always better than quantity, remember, especially where your reputation is concerned.
#6: Shorten your workday
Okay, so we know this sounds counterintuitive, but we have two points to make here. Firstly, by shortening your day, perhaps working 6 instead of 8 hours, you might have more incentive to focus on what you need to do, instead of wasting time through the distractions we mentioned earlier.
Secondly, if you can leave work earlier, you will also have more time to rest. This will ensure you are energized and refreshed for the following day, as by being less tired, you should get through a lot of your tasks a lot quicker. It’s something for you to think about, anyway!
Short of freezing time and cloning yourself, the suggestions we have offered should help you save time in your business.
Let us know what you think, and if you have any other ideas that could be useful to our readers, be sure to share your thoughts with us.
What are you doing to save time with your business?