There’s a scenario in which running a business would be easy. It’s the one where the clock never seems to move forward, where you have forty-eight hours in a day. Everything would be so simple!
Alas, we’re bound to exist in the real world, and that means that you’ll likely often find yourself wondering where all the hours have gone, and why you just can’t seem to get all the tasks done. But what if there was another way?
Well, there is. It’s called being smarter with your time! Below, we take a look at a number of useful – and diverse – tips for ensuring you’re not constantly racing against the clock.
What’s Wasting Your Time?
People often have a misconception about the relationship between work and time. It’s not how much hours you’re “working”; it’s how many hours of actual work that you’re doing that counts.
Let’s take a look at those people who say they’re working twelve hour days, for instance. In all likelihood, they’re not working anywhere close to twelve hours – that’s just how long they’re at the office.
The real number of work hours is probably closer to six, and that’s generous. So take a look at how you’re actually spending your time. Are you wasting time by doing things like, say, making cups of coffee, or talking on the phone?
Cut Down the Commute
Most people don’t have much of a say in how much time they spend commuting. They’re happy to have a job; they’re going to settle for wherever it’s based.
This does not apply to you. You’re the boss! You can decide where the company is based.
While there will be some limitations in place, for the most part, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself if you have a two-hour commute each day.
Find a place – and a start time – that limits the amount of time you spend in traffic. The extra time that you’ll save can make a big difference.
There’s something that everyone should know about life: you can’t have everything. If you’re going to build a successful business, then you won’t be able to have a thriving social life as well.
Something’s got to give. If you find yourself cursing that you’re falling behind in your work, but still find time for after-work drinks, then it may be time to reevaluate your priorities.
We’re not saying that you’ll have to say goodbye to your friends forever, but that, for now at least, you may wish to focus all of your energy on your business.
Bring On An Extra Pair of Hands
People don’t realize how difficult it is to run a business..until they’re running a business, and figure it out for themselves.
You might have started as a one-person operation, but as soon as some success comes your way, you’ll find that you’re spreading yourself pretty thin just to keep up.
So here’s what you do…you hire someone!
You might be loathed to pay out a salary, but if you’re reasonably sure that you have a sustainable business that’ll be here for the long-term, then it’ll be money well spent.
Chase Customers The Smart Way
It’s not easy getting customers. And because it’s difficult, company owners usually spend more time – not to mention money – trying to get people on the hook.
If you’re going to chase customers, then chase them in a smart way.
You’ll want to create buyer personas, use effective inbound marketing, and all-around ensure that the people you’re courting have an interest in your company, to begin with.
Use the Right Technology
Technology and software exist for a reason: to make life easier. In business, it can transform your operations.
Your software changes how you work internally, but can also save time externally, too. For example, you can resell other people’s work as your own, bringing in profit without the work.
If you’re in web design, this may mean selling hosting. If you’re in internet marketing, this could involve using a digital agency private label service. You’ll be offering profit-making services to your clients, but crucially it won’t increase the time you have to spend at the office.
What Can Be Automated?
No matter what business you’re in, there will be some things that can be done automatically by machines or software. If you’re punching in every digit or taking forever with your uncomplicated but time-consuming operations, it’s time to see if there’s a way you can have a machine do things automatically for you.
The overall threat of the “rise of the machines” may be overstated, and even if it were possible, you wouldn’t want to replace your staff with machines, but there are certain incidences when it helps free up a lot of time.
Focus On Your Core Tasks
There’ll be a lot of opportunity for growth during your career as a business leader. But you should only do so when you have the personnel and infrastructure to do so effectively.
If you do it before then, then you might find that you’re unable to keep up with your increased demand. When time is sensitive, focus solely on your core offerings, and leave all the extras out. It’s much better to do one thing very well rather than four tasks just kinda well.
When You’re Working, Work
This last point may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people it catches out! When you’re working…actually work.
That means no multitasking, no talking, no doing anything other than focusing on the task at hand.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve just by spending an hour or so working without distraction. The task will be done, and you’ll still have many more hours left in the day. Nice!
You’re never going to have as much time as you’d like. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for whatever you can take from the day. Learn how to manipulate your working hours and swing them into your favor.