As a business owner, your time is one of your most valuable assets. You'll learn that every second you spend driving, multi-tasking, reading, working, procrastinating, and marketing become extremely valuable seconds.
On this entrepreneurial roller coaster, efficiency is the ultimate goal. I want to share with you a few of the strategies I know of to make the most of your time, save you some time, and sometimes even sell time!
I know, sounds like a no-brainer, right? But let's break it down. How many times have you sat down at your desk, all ready to work and then you spend 2 hours in and out of emails, texts, and Facebook? We've all done it. And I'm no exception. But what if you set aside one hour at the end of the workday to respond to emails? I also know that when I put my phone on airplane mode, close my other tabs and focus, I can get a ton more stuff done.
Next, let's plan out your tasks for the week. Set some time aside on Sunday to plan out all the tasks you need to complete for the whole week. Then, organize them into priority order. Last, categorize them into which day would be the most optimal day to complete those tasks. This will not only give you a daily list of to-do's – but it will also give you a "clocking-out" point.
Okay, we're about to get a little techy. The best way to get automated is to spend a week tracking all (and I mean ALL) the tasks you perform during the days – and bonus points if you track how long they take to perform. Track emails, bookkeeping, contract writing, booking meetings, taking calls, driving to meetings – track all of it (and for grins, let's track time spent on social media, too!). Then, let's evaluate what is wasting most of your time.
Is it going back and forth with clients to arrange a meeting time and place?
Is it driving to and from meetings?
Is it explaining your services to potential clients?
Where are you spending most of your time?
Now that you have a better idea of where your time is allocated, let's shave off any wasted time.
Can you optimize your time and energy by having a service menu listed on your site? Can you hire a virtual assistant for a few hours a month? Can you outsource to a bookkeeper? Have you looked into one of the scheduling platforms? Or would it be advantageous to get a better website?
Sometimes you have to invest in your business in order to gain more time – which we mentioned before – is your most valuable asset.
Now for the tough one. In order to grow, you'll have to let GO! LET GO OF CONTROL. I get it, trust me – I really get it. But if you want to grow, you must let go of control. Sometimes you need to hire an intern or a contractor, a virtual assistant, or even an employee. Yes, this will initially cost you a pretty penny. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable letting someone else represent your business. And yes, you might even need to fire someone before you find the perfect fit. But – it will be so worth it!
These aren't changes you can make overnight and for some of us it'll be a hard transition. But I promise you, these will be game changers in your journey.