Here are some of the most effective time-saving strategies that business owners can use. Incorporate them into your routine and you will feel the difference.
Time is money; we all know it. When you’re running a business, you’ll know that you’re always up against the clock. While there are days that are better than others, there’ll also be times when it feels like time is just zipping by, and you just haven’t got anything done. If you just let things progress on autopilot, then it won’t be too much of a surprise if time isn’t on your side. However, it’s important to remember that there are always things you can do to reclaim some of the time that you’re losing.
Below, we’re going to run through some of the most effective time-saving strategies that business owners can use. We’re not saying it’ll feel like you’ll have mountains of time on your side, but if you incorporate all of them, then you’ll most definitely feel the difference.
Create a Schedule
It’s sometimes tempting to just arrive at the office and see what happens. Indeed, this can feel pretty natural. However, it’s important to remember that this is a pretty chaotic approach. There’s no control, and if you want to wrestle some back of your time, then you need control. One of the best methods for doing this is also one of the simplest: simply create a schedule. If you have an outline of your day, then you’ll know exactly what you should be doing and at what time. It’ll provide that little bit of structure to your day. Of course, there’ll be times when things overrun and things like that, but it’ll help to keep you largely on track.
Be Aware of the Time
If you’re going to create a schedule that outlines your day, then you’ll need to be aware of the time. Again, this is highly simple — but how many times have you looked down to do something, and then, when you looked up again, saw that much more time has passed than you thought? This is problematic because it has negative ripple effects. Not only does it impact your routine, but it builds stress, which makes it harder to work. So really, wear a watch.
Find Your Flaws
Procrastination is an issue for all people. Nobody hits 100% productivity, but if your number is too low, then you’ll want to do something about it. To do that, a little bit of self-analysis can go a long way. It’ll give you an opportunity to identify the flaws that may be keeping you from optimizing your time as well as you could. For example, are you spending too much time walking to your favorite coffee shop? If the walk is beneficial to you then keep it, but if it’s just a way to get to your coffee, then there’ll be better options. Also, since it’s the 21st century, we have to mention smartphones. They can really drain your time — be mindful of how much time you’re spending staring at your screen.
Hit the Ground Running
You might be at the office for nine hours a day, but how much time are you really working? If you’re not hitting the ground running when you arrive at the office, then it might not be as much as you think. For some people, it’s already 10 or 11 in the morning by the time they feel alert. One way to get around this is to make sure your morning routine is on point. If you’re getting a full night of rest, eating a healthy breakfast, and all-around making sure you’re alert and energetic, then you’ll be able to get on with the most important tasks from the moment you walk through the front door.
Software and Hardware
You’re not alone in your battle to save more time. In this day and age, there is plenty of software and hardware that can help you. For the software, there’s something for every type of issue you’re having, be it communication between staff or customer management. For your hardware, it’s all about getting the right tools for your needs. If you send a lot of parcels, then take a look at the different types of postage meters; they’ll save you the time you would otherwise spend going to the post office and waiting in line. More generally, look at the computers and other electricals that you’re using. If they’re outdated, then you could be spending more time than necessary just waiting for things to load.
Hire Another Person
If you’re really beginning to feel like your workload is getting too much for you, and that you’re no longer able to get everything done in time, then why not consider hiring an additional employee? They’re usually worth their weight in gold, especially if you hire correctly, and can nearly instantly lighten your load.
Outsource a Task
Alternatively, if you don’t have the budget to hire a member of staff or the task doesn’t require a full-time employee, then you could look at outsourcing the job to another company. One of the reasons why business owners lose time is because they don’t have the skills needed to do the job quickly; they can figure it out, but it takes time. Take your IT or marketing, for instance. It’s technically possible to do these things on your own, but you’ll need many hours — and even then might not get it right at the first time of asking. Hand the job over to another company, and you’ll get back your time and know that the job is being performed to a high standard.
Forget Multitasking Tasks
Finally, a word of advice — don’t try to multitask. It’s sometimes tempting to do because it feels like it’s saving us time, but in fact, it’s not. Jobs end up taking longer when we’re not fully focused. So be sure to get yourself organized and acquire the discipline to focus on just one task at a time.
And there we have it! Incorporate them into your routine, and you’ll have given yourself the greatest gift — time!