As a business owner, it can sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. No matter how early you fire up your laptop or how many lunch breaks you work through, there are always a few tasks that carry over into the next week. Although there’s only so much you can do with your time, there are ways to claw some back. We’ve rounded them up below…
Set aside scheduled time to look at notifications, social media, direct messages, and emails and avoid being tempted to take a look between tasks. In our always-on culture, it’s natural to want to be responsive and see what’s new, but this can severely impact your productivity and limit how much work actually gets done. Don’t check your emails every ten minutes and turn off that annoying bell notification - instead, check them every hour or two, and use your time wisely in between that. If you really need to stay focused, turn off your phone for a bit.
Automate as much as possible
You’re a busy person, so finding ways to automate part of your day can save you a whole load of time and effort. For example, writing canned email responses to common questions or client enquiries can ensure you’re able to respond promptly without wasting time, whilst scheduling social media posts, meeting invitations and calendar updates can all stop you from wasting endless hours on administrative tasks that could be better spent elsewhere.
Know when to outsource
You only have two hands, so don’t try to take everything on yourself. It’s easy to feel like an octopus as a business owner, but knowing when to hand over the responsibility to a member of your staff or a third-party is important. For example, facilities management services like cleaning, security, and office maintenance should be offloaded as soon as you can afford to do so; it’ll give you one less thing to worry about and keep your business running smoothly.
Discover the power of “no”
Something else that can save you time is to learn how and when to say ‘no’ to clients, staff, and loved ones. It’s so easy to feel like you have to please everyone, only to regret saying yes to that lunch or meeting. Instead, think about the value you’d get out of that meeting and look for a faster alternative, like a ten-minute Zoom call or an email response. Saying no may seem alien to you at first, but you’ll learn its power and it’ll become your favourite word.
Optimise your personal life
They say that your work life and personal life should remain entirely separate, but any CEO knows that that’s impossible. Although you should always know when to stop - and find time to unwind and relax - it’s also important that you’re using your personal time wisely. For instance, hiring a cleaner or ironer will free up some time so you can relax with your partner or kids. Using a meal prep service will mean you don’t have to visit the supermarket after a busy day. Small changes like these don’t cost the earth but give you more valuable free time.
Do you have any other time-saving tips? Let us know and check back soon for some more.