Small business owners have so much to do: run a business, serve customers, manage employees…the list goes on. So what if I told you that with just 5 time-saving tips you could use right now, you’d be able to save hours of your week and spend more time doing the things that matter?
These tips won’t help you get rich quick, but they will give you some pointers on how to simplify the daily tasks within your small business allowing you to spend more time building it into a successful venture.
Okay, let’s break it down.
1. Pick the right time to prioritize
I love a good to-do list but…if you’re finding that you’re still not getting to the high priority items, maybe it’s time to change when you make your list. Barry Enderwick, a consultant and former Director of Marketing at Netflix said, “Write down five objectives for the following day the night before — no more than five, though. By doing it the night before, your mind is removed from the tactical and you can think more strategically about what are the highest priorities.”
Think about it. Instead of creating your to-do list based on what’s around you [emails, client presentations, invoicing] you can take the time to evaluate what’s going to have the most impact and prioritize accordingly.
2. Shorten your workday
Yes, you read that correctly. While it may sound a little counterproductive, by shortening your work day, it can actually help you get more things done. When you make effort to limit the amount of time that you spend on work, you ultimately focus on the critical tasks that need to get done in the allotted time. Remember those five high priority tasks you are going to start setting for yourself the night before — now imagine completing those five tasks by 2:00 p.m. instead of 2:00 a.m. You get me?
3. Keep your work space organized
Another easy time-saving tip is to keep your work space organized. It may seem obvious, but, many entrepreneurs forget the importance of keeping a desk clean.
“An organized work space is a more productive work space.”
Have you caught yourself looking for something you can’t find? Create a system to prevent clutter from piling up.
• Designate a physical folder for all your paperwork — one for incoming and one for outgoing.
• Unless an item serves a purpose, put it away.
• When in doubt, throw it away! Don’t hoard.
4. Check your email [and social media] at certain times of the day
Don’t let email and social media interrupt your productivity. Give yourself two times to check them throughout the day instead of reaching for the phone every time you hear a notification — in fact, let’s take that one step further. Does it scare you to turn off your notifications? Have a bit of FOMO if you don’t check your social media accounts throughout the day?
Think about pausing notifications, better yet turn them off during the times that you’ve set to focus on those high priority tasks. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself reaching for your phone less and less during the day — Trust me, it’s not a bad thing.
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5. Stop attending [or Creating] low-impact meetings
Before you attend or schedule a meeting ask ourself this question, “Would the information in this meeting be better put in an email or memo”? If the answer is yes, ask the person requesting the meeting if it’s possible to capture it in an email — then during to scheduled time to check your emails you can respond and move forward with your day.
There is no need to have a meeting to decide if you need a meeting. By taking this step alone you can reclaim hours in your week to focus on other parts of the business.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. If the only thing saving you time is staying up late and working on your business when everyone else is asleep, then you’re not really saving time at all. Busyness is dangerous and time draining, especially when you are a small business owner. You need to spend your time on activities that bring the most revenue and create the biggest impact for your business which means you need to make smart use of your time.