“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.”

Jim Rohn

Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs wear many hats while operating their businesses. We are often the Head of Marketing, Finance Manager, Operations Manager, Chief of Sales just to name a few. No wonder they are time poor!

A recent study by Inc.com found business owners and their key executives wasted 21.8 hours each week. While this is a staggering amount, the breakdown of this total number of hours, included the following time-wasting activities.

  • 8 hours per week on low value business activities that could have easily been completed by somebody else;
  • 4 hours a week handling low-value emails and 3.2 hours a week dealing with low-value interruptions that easily could have been handled by somebody else;
  • 8 hours a week handling low-value requests from co-workers.

If you’d like to read the full article, visit the Inc.com website.

We all have the same amount of time, it’s really a matter of how you invest your time. The following are just a few tips that may help you get back some of your valuable time.

Meetings

Meetings can take a large portion of your weekly schedule. The worst ones are unproductive and take you away from completing work.

The best meetings are:

  1. Start and finish on time;
  2. Limited to 30 mins;
  3. Follow an agenda, which has been shared in advance;
  4. Stay focused;
  5. Capture outcomes and action items.

Delegation

While it may be essential for some tasks to be done, is it essential that you do them? Repetitive tasks are the best tasks to outsource. The process can be documented and delegated to someone else, allowing you to spend more time on the tasks or projects that fit with your strengths.

Delegation is an unlimited method to multiply time for achieving results.[i]

Related | Make your Virtual Assistant partnership a success.

Remove Distractions

It’s a common fact that a manager on average loses 3 hours each day on interruptions. Even if you work alone in your office space, distractions such as emails, sms messages, notifications or visitors can break your concentration and take valuable time away from you.

When you are working on important projects, try the following to increase your productivity.

  1. Put your phone on silence or better still DND mode;
  2. Turn off email or other notifications;
  3. Close the door – perhaps invest in a “DND” sign.

Automation

Technology is developing so fast and with so many programs and apps available to help you automate your processes, you’ll be saving time quicker than you think.

  1. Integration – Explore the programs you use (accounting, marketing, etc) for integration options. This can save you time re-entering data again and again.
  2. Set up rules – Whether it’s for emails, invoicing or reconciling rules that can be applied to save you time sorting and issuing repetitive actions.
  3. Templates – Take the time to set them up initially then benefit for the consistency and accuracy of having the pre-prepared.

Productivity Tools

Many entrepreneurs have hacks or tips to increase productivity. Try the following to see if they help you stay focused and beat the procrastination.

  1. As Brian Tracy famously wrote – “Eat That Frog”. If you haven’t read his book on getting more of the important things done, this statement refers to tackling and completing the most challenging task first.
  2. Pomodoro Technique (or similar) – This method involves breaking your project or task into 25 minute ‘chunks’ of time. Work on your tasks until the timer alarm alerts you to stop. Then for 5 minutes remove yourself from the task, before returning again for another 25 mins. Google Pomodoro to learn more.

It’s also important not to delay your workflow progression by holding up other key members of your time by delaying in sharing instructions or details they need to continue with the project. In this instance, you may not be saving your time, but you are saving wasted time within your business or project.

Our last tip – Regularly save your work! There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours working on a piece of work only to have it disappear into thin air because your computer suddenly turned off for some reason.

We hope one of these tasks will allow you some additional time, and if you have another hack, please share it below.

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by Sam Spence – Owner & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

[i] Source |dovico.com

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