Whatever your industry and the size of your business, you will know the value of time. In business, the familiar adage ‘time is money’ is truer than ever. Wasted time could mean wasted money, squandered opportunities, unsatisfied clients, and more.
However, time management can quickly become overwhelming. If you are an entrepreneur, you are likely already fulfilling multiple roles in your business.
But that’s where the ideas below come in.
If you are keen to manage your time effectively and to maximise your energy levels, you need techniques and strategies in place to support you. With the following five tips, you can take back valuable minutes, hours, and even days’ worth of time — all of which will add up and make a difference!
- Hire Experts
Intelligent, confident business owners do not think they know it all. On the contrary, they are the first to admit when someone else knows better — and they want them on their team! Hiring experts to cover areas where you feel weaker, less confident, or uninformed is a great way to save time.
Rather than handling their own deliveries, for example, many companies know the value of hiring a professional courier to do it for them. Or if they’re concerned about an urgent legal matter, rather than attempting to absorb conflicting information online, most businesses will consult a qualified lawyer.
While the initial investment is likely to cost money, the time and peace of mind you will ‘buy back’ will – more often than not – make the expense worthwhile. This is because experts can do things quickly and correctly for you by utilising specialist knowledge that may take you months or even years to acquire for yourself.
When it comes to complex areas such as industry compliance, safety, accounts and more, do not risk fines and penalties if you are unsure! Simply hire an expert instead.
- Delegate Tasks
Entrepreneurs are well known for their versatility. But just because you can fulfil a lot of roles doesn’t mean you should! Delegate simpler (or indeed, more specialised) tasks to appropriate team members or outside experts.
Such tasks could be time-consuming but non-demanding, so that they do not require inside knowledge and could be outsourced if needed.
Take an honest look at your to-do list — especially the tasks and processes that recur — and assess just how many of them could be delegated to others. You will then have the time and headspace to focus on the tasks that only you could do – including, but not limited to, creative processes, public appearances, and more.
- Do ‘Little And Often’
The ‘little and often’ approach describes attending to issues and tasks regularly, rather than, for example, annually, or only when they become a problem.
This ‘little and often’ method can apply to tasks, business processes, and especially budgets — where regular reviews and check-ups can help to prevent an overwhelming task developing for the end of the business year.
This is true of maintenance too.
For example, by keeping your company car in good working order, you will save money as well as time. This is because a well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient to drive, meaning it will be better for your finances.
The ‘little and often’ approach may at first appear to be taking more time out of your day — but the positive effect is cumulative. Overall, you will save yourself more time by preventing small issues and tasks from quietly becoming major problems in the long term.
- Automate Processes
It is remarkable how many entrepreneurs and other busy people still overlook this tip — but automating processes is a major time saver.
Regular tasks such as paying bills, sending invoices, or filing documents can all be automated. Devote the time to setting up automations — or at least simplified processes — and enjoy the time and peace of mind this provides!
- Batch Similar Tasks Together
Switching between wildly different tasks can lead to greater mental exhaustion and ‘decision fatigue’. Going from an in-person meeting to working through emails and errands, and then making phone calls, for example, would be draining and inefficient.
Instead, batch similar tasks – such as meetings and phone calls – together, then take care of light work such as emails and errands in the same time block, before working on deep, concentrated duties in their own dedicated slot.
This will help to prevent the fatigue that comes from expecting your brain to make a sudden change – thereby helping you improve your time management and overall efficiency!