When you run your own business, you naturally want to do as much as you can without spending every waking hour in the office. Spending 18 hours a day working does not suddenly indicate that you or your workers are more efficient fact, they are much more likely to be less productive, and you run the impact of potentially huge wage bills and burn-outs and fed-up employees that will cost you significantly in the longer term. In this article, we share a few tips to help you free up some much needed time during your working day.
Automate as many processes as you possibly can
These days, there are very few tasks that cannot be accomplished, at least in part, by automation. Payroll and HR management tools, workflow platforms and e-mail scheduling software can be used. These tasks can only seem to take a few minutes each, but over the course of a week, they all add up to a few hours of what is undoubtedly excessive work for you or your team. By automating these tasks, you and your employees can then use that to work on the other, more valuable aspects of your business, such as attracting new clients or coming up with new ideas.
Employ or hire a social media manager
Almost every company has a presence on social media, but very few do it properly. Perhaps you check-in and refresh it when you get a few spare minutes here or there, or maybe a few different people log in and post something when they remember, which means there’s a lack of cohesion and continuinty between them. A good social media plan is crucial, but hiring someone to take care of it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run and give you much better results. I This does not need not be a full-time, in-house employee; in fact; it is the ideal job to outsource to a freelancer or a third party.
Are all of your meetings necessary?
Most of us know how it feels to be trapped in a meeting that never seems to be finished and is completely irrelevant to much of the people sitting around the table. Try to onlu have meetings if they are necessary – perhaps an email would suffice instead – and if you do really need one, just invite the people who really need to be there. Keep them as short as possible and to the point by having a clear agenda and not allowing the discussion to divert away from it. If there is a need for more conversation around a point, think of other ways that you can work that in a day.
Ditch the office
One thing that the current Coronavirus pandemic has taught many people is that in many industries, an office is no longer essential. In fact, many people actually work better from home/local coffee shop/co working space – and it has the added benefit of being a lot cheaper. There may be times when you do need a space – perhaps for client meetings or presentations, and that is when a serviced office may become useful. To find one near you, take a look at the Directory of Serviced Offices. Otherwise, provide your staff with the tools that they need to get the job done but allow them to work wherever is most comfortable and convenient for them – and you.
Stay on task
Time for some honesty now: how often do you get distracted by pointless or non-work-related tasks during your day? Perhaps you just quickly check your social media or send that quick email.
Maybe you linger just that little bit too long over the coffee machine. Now, think about all of your employees – they are probably doing exactly the same – more so much of the time, as they do not have the responsibility of running the business. That is an awful lot of wasted man (or woman!) hours. The problem is that we often try to work too long on a task, which makes us bored and more likely to go off task.
If this sounds like you, try implementing the Pomodoro technique. This is a tried and tested time management technique. It involves using a timer and working on a task, and one task only, for 20 minutes, before taking a five-minute break. This cycle of 20 minutes on, five minutes off is repeated four times before taking a slightly longer break.