4 Choices That Will Give You More Time In Business
If there’s one thing that all entrepreneurs can agree they need more of, it’s time. When it comes to running a business, it can often feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that you need to do. There’s always one more call to return; one more piece of market research to analyse; one more document to approve. It’s easy to see why the term is known as “running” a business, because it sure does feel like strenuous, physical activity at times.
When you know that time is a problem in your schedule, the next step is to try and find ways to increase the available time you have… but how is that possible? You’re not going to be able to literally add more hours into the day, but when you know how, you can recapture some of the hours you otherwise would have lost. Here’s how to do it.
#1 - Stop multitasking
Multitasking is so frequently described as a positive; a sign that a person is able to manage their affairs; something that is thought to be impressive. However, multitasking really isn’t a positive— in fact, multitasking has incredibly detrimental effects on mental health and overall productivity.
So stop trying to multitask. Instead, set a schedule that you stick to rigorously, only performing certain tasks at certain points in the working week. If an emergency occurs and needs dealing with immediately, do so, but occasions when you do this should be the exception rather than the rule.
#2 - Stop performing minor tasks yourself
If you are running a business from home or only with a skeleton staff from an office, you will likely find yourself performing a number of minor tasks. These tasks are important, but they are also time-consuming; administrative tasks that have to be done, but aren’t necessarily the best use of your skills.
If you need more time to focus on the actual essentials you need to run your business, then outsourcing these basic admin tasks is by far the most sensible choice you can make. There are plenty of virtual services that can help relieve the burden of basic administrative duties, and ensure that you have more time to focus on the strategic planning and implementation that your business needs.
#3 - Limit your use of the backburner
The idea of leaving things on the backburner is a constant in business. There’s so many things you just don’t have the time to think about in the moment, so you push them to the back of your mind and plan to examine the matter in detail at another point.
The only problem is… how often do you actually go back and examine those ideas you put on the backburner? Probably not very often. If an idea is good, then you’ll want to implement it immediately. If it isn’t, then you’ll “put it on the backburner”. You’ll then consider the idea at some point in the future, likely decide it’s still not viable, put it on the backburner again, consider it… repeat ad infinitum.
Instead of going through this time-consuming process of continually considering the same ideas, learn to make effective decisions. While some ideas genuinely do have a place on the back-burner — for example, ideas you want to implement but don’t have the funds/staff to do so at this point in time — most don’t, so just say no and move on.
#4 - Create a schedule and stick to it
Have you ever created a business schedule? The answer is likely to be “yes”; most of us acknowledge that planning our time efficiently is a key component of running a business, so creating a schedule is something that the majority of entrepreneurs will have done.
Here’s a second question: have you ever then completely ignored that schedule you so painstakingly created?
If the answer is “yes”, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Plenty of entrepreneurs take the time to create and craft the perfect schedule, then abandon it when something doesn’t go to plan. The end result of this scenario isn’t pleasant: the time spent planning your schedule is effectively wasted, and you still end up feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with all the responsibilities that are required of you.
So, start slowly. Plan a schedule for the next day only; set out ideas about what you want to do, craft a to-do list of things you want to achieve, and remember to include some free time so you’ll be able to take care of any urgent matters that develop on the day itself. When you get through your single-day schedule as you should, you can then begin to plan further afield, learning how to manage your schedule and stick to it as you go.
The tips above should help you create more time, which allows you to manage your business more effectively. Good luck!