Entrepreneurs have a lot going on. From our ideas, to administrative work, meetings, contracts, proposals, to-do lists – how are we supposed to manage it all? It may seem nearly impossible, but it has to happen for you to be successful. A huge part of your company's success will come from organization. Being organized will help you create systems and processes, workflows and make repeatable patterns for yourself and your team. Here are a couple ways to efficiently use your time and be a productive business owner.
Many of us entrepreneurs pride ourselves on being "multi-taskers", right? This sounds like a great quality to have. But studies have shown that you are actually 30% less productive when multitasking because you aren't truly focusing on the task at hand. Time-blocking is an extremely effective way to be more productive and ensure better quality. But first, you must be aware of what your workload looks like. Sometimes we don't even realize how much time we're spending on certain tasks because we bounce back and forth so frequently.
Here's how to start:
Spend one week tracking all of the tasks you complete. Track what you do and how long you spend doing it.
Now categorize your workload based on types of task. (Ex: admin, outreach, emails, etc.)
Establish how much time you need per week for each category. (Ex: 1 hour per day of emails.)
Now that you have a better understanding of what your workload actually looks like, start laying out your week. This could mean you block off an hour at the beginning and end of each day for emails. Having these 2 hours blocked off means that for the rest of the day you aren't allowing yourself to be distracted by emails. And you won't have to worry about it getting taken care of because you have your designated time to do it. This also helps with creativity. Do you ever feel like you just can't get your creative juices flowing. As the business owner we find ourselves going from contracts to creative all in a matter of minutes. This can make it very difficult to be efficient in both categories. I recommend splitting your days between time dedicated to allowing your creativity to flow and administrative duties.
Here's an example of a time blocked day:
Organization also comes down to prioritization. I know everything can feel like a priority when it comes to your business – but you have to consider what is actually going to push the needle. What will bring in revenue? And what just takes up time?
So many business owners get caught up in their own "busy-work". We've all done it. We get caught up the emails, organizing meetings, bookkeeping, delegating, etc. But are these tasks that bring in revenue and truly push the needle of your business? No. They absolutely need to be done, but you as the business owner don't necessarily need to be the one doing them. As these tasks build up they begin to take up a large portion of your time. And newsflash – your time is valuable! These are the tasks that you could outsource to an assistant for $10 an hour. How much are you worth per hour? I bet it's more.
I talk more about how to prioritize your to-do list and what to outsource on my podcast Women In Business episode with Rachel Cook. We discuss how there are $10 tasks in your business and $100+ tasks in your business. You, as the business owner, should be focusing all of your time on the $100+ tasks. Outsourcing does require an investment, but it's an investment that pushes the needle! It's allow you to make more money by spending more time on the tasks that generate more revenue.
As the business owner you are the brains behind the operation, the visionary, the creative – and that's where you should remain. How often are you drowning in paperwork, proposals, contracts and invoices? Too often, I bet. Once you have your systems and processes in place you can begin automating them. This means you're automating the repeatable processes in your business. Things like contracts, invoices, booking consultations – they can all be automated so you can spend less to no time sorting through them.
I personally love Honeybook! It takes so much of the administrative work off of my plate. There's no reason to waste our valuable time on repeatable processes that are done over and over again. For example:
Client Lead > Inquire through website > Book consultation > Consultation is held > Client receives Proposal, signs > Client receives contract, signs > Client receives invoice, pays
Doesn't that all look familiar? You've probably done it 100 times! So let a CRM take it off your plate and handle it for you! Trust me, it'll be a breath of fresh air!
Getting organized can be overwhelming. But you can start with baby steps!
Be aware of where your time is spent.
Categorize your time wisely.
Prioritize the needle pushers.
Outsource and automate the rest!
Getting organized can truly transform your business! It will save you time and money and increase your revenue in the long run! It'll be tough but stick with it.
And if you need help or guidance – feel free to reach out! That's why I'm here.