As a small-business owner, you know all about busy schedules and endless to-do lists. While some days you might be able to accomplish everything, others require burning the midnight oil to finish daily tasks.
In order to successfully get everything done in your time-crunched world, it’s important to look for ways to free up your time. Here are a few to consider.
Pay Someone to Complete Tasks
Start off by making a list of everything you typically do on a given day and/or week. Highlight everything you truly need to handle yourself. This might include calls with clients, working on projects and brainstorming new business ideas. Then highlight the tasks you can outsource to someone else. The results might surprise and encourage you.
Tasks like email marketing, blogging, social media posting, invoicing, ordering supplies and bookkeeping can be farmed out to qualified people. This one step can save most small-business owners between five and 10 hours a week, giving them time to truly concentrate on the tasks that affect their business the most.
Cut Back Where Appropriate
Take an honest look at your list of commitments and see if you can trim back on your daily to-do list. Focus on eliminating things that don’t grow your business or help your personal life. For instance, if you serve on three local boards, scale back and work on the one you’re most passionate about. Same goes for volunteer work. If you like helping others, choose one project to focus on, rather than four or five, and free up several hours per month on your schedule.
Divide Your Work Into Chunks
Instead of answering emails for 15 minutes here and there, scheduling calls with clients at all hours of the day and working on projects as they come up, try the chunking approach to time management. For example, set aside a block of time in the morning for emails and a block of time for making calls in the afternoon. If possible, schedule these blocks for the same time every day. In addition to being a very effective use of time, you’ll probably end up getting more done when you are devoting all of your mental energy to one task at a time.
Think Multi-Tasking and Automation
A great way to create extra time is to combine tasks whenever possible. Instead of using a variety of spreadsheets to track expenses, invoices and tax information, use an all-in-one, cloud-based accounting software, like Sage One, to tackle everything at once. With Sage One, business owners can keep an eye on account balances, invoice from a tablet or smartphone, crunch numbers and manage bookkeeping tasks in one spot.
In addition, instead of spending time driving to the bank, download your bank’s app so you can deposit checks from your home office. Set up auto-pay on as many bills as you can; this way you can spend time at your kids’ ball games instead of writing checks.
Another popular time-saving tool businesses of all sizes use is Hootsuite. The social media platform offers users one place to manage their social channels. There, they have the ability to reply to a post with a single click, schedule posts for a later date and connect with influencers in their industry.
With these organization tips and strategies, business owners can gain back a few hours a day to focus on the things that truly matter.