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When you’re running a small business, time is literally money. Without a salary or a clock to punch, the only time you’re making money is when you’re working. Unfortunately, this leads too many small business owners to work extra hours – and eventually burn out.
This infographic from Maven Link demonstrates the value of time for small business owners. A few highlights:
- 72 percent of small business owners work evenings and weekends.
- 53 percent say the hardest thing about their business is wearing multiple hats – and 46 percent fill 3 to 4 employee roles on a given day.
- 25 percent, or 1 in 4, say that one extra hour in a working day is worth more than $500 to them.
There’s no question that if you want your small business to succeed, you need to put in the work, but it doesn’t have to be 60 to 80 hours’ worth every week. Follow these tips to squeeze more hours out of your working days and get more done in less time.
6 Time Saving Tips to Shave Hours Off Your Week
Your smartphone can let you work on the go, anywhere you happen to be. There are plenty of timesaving apps for small business owners, and many will also help you automate tasks and keep things organized—saving more precious minutes.
Look for apps that cover tasks like bookkeeping, invoicing, appointment scheduling, document sharing and more. You’ll be surprised by how much time you save. A study by the Small Business and Entrepreneur Council, Saving Time and Money With Mobile Apps (PDF) finds that apps save small business owners an average of 5.6 hours a week.
Don’t Stay Attached to Your Phone
You’ve probably heard the popular time management advice to limit the number of times you check your email. But are you applying this advice to your phone?
Text messages can suck up just as much time as your email. How much time would you save if you didn’t pick up your phone every time it buzzes or chimes? If you have a hard time ignoring incoming texts or messages, try turning your phone off during business hours until you need it.
If your cell is your primary business line, limit interactions to calls only and designate a few times a day to go through texts.
Tackle Your To-Do List
To-do lists are a great way to keep you focused and on target. Schedule a short block at the end of the day to go through your list, check off what’s been done, and add tasks for the next day. But don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t finished everything. Simply move incomplete items to tomorrow.
You can save even more time with a to-do list app. Check out this top 10 list from PCWorld, most are free.
For a long time, multitasking was touted as a highly productive strategy for any busy professional. However, it’s been shown that most people can’t fully concentrate on more than one task at a time. In fact, the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry found that when you’re drowning in texts, emails and phone calls, your IQ drops ten points.
By concentrating on just one task at a time, you’ll ensure that it’s finished correctly and save yourself the trouble and time of redoing it later.
Schedule Tough Stuff During Your High Energy Time
When are you at your best? Do you power through tasks in the morning and slow down after lunch, or does it take you a while to get up to full steam? Identify your most productive time of the day, and tackle your big, complicated items then.
Though it’s tempting to handle the fun, easy things when you’re feeling productive, try to resist. You’ll feel better and save tons of time when you get through the difficult tasks while you’re operating at full capacity.
Make Sure You Punch Out Every Day
It’s important that your business day has an actual end – the point where you disconnect completely by shutting off the computer, putting the mobile devices away and relaxing. While you may have times when quitting isn’t an option, you should strive to leave the office behind for the day as often as possible. Ask yourself whether what’s keeping you working is truly an emergency, or if it can be moved to the next day’s to-do list.
When you commit to developing time saving habits for your small business, you’ll end up happier, more relaxed and more productive than ever.
Time Photo via Shutterstock