It’s well-known that entrepreneurs must dedicate a lot of their time to getting their businesses off the ground in order to be successful. It’s not uncommon to hear of a business owner working 60 or more hours a week in pursuit of that success. However, this amount of work can have a major negative impact on one’s mental and physical health.
Tips to Cut Down Working Hours
To address the issue, busy professionals need to find a way to work smarter and gradually reduce the number of hours spent running their businesses. That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
“Working hard is important, but working too hard can impact your health. What’s one practical step busy entrepreneurs can take to reduce a 60-hour work week to 30-40 hours?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say.
“Put your rest activities into your calendar just as much as you put your work activities there. It’s the only way you can effectively force yourself to take time for yourself.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
2. Let Your Experts Work
“It may sound obvious to some people, but not so obvious for the others: As a business leader, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Your main job is to mentor and coach the people who work on all the elements of the business. Take a look at all the tasks that you do. I’m sure you already have dedicated experts in your team to deal with some of these. Then, fire yourself. Let people work.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
3. Divide Tasks By Size
“I divide tasks that I need to accomplish by size. Then, I figure out what size task I’m best able to complete at a certain time of day. Since I’m a morning person, I find it easier to accomplish large tasks quickly at the beginning of the day and then smaller tasks toward the end. However, you might prefer working on large tasks toward the end of the day. It depends on your productivity habits.” ~ Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA
4. Be Realistic
“We’ve all heard that people overestimate what they can do in a week, but underestimate what they can do in five years. If you want to keep your work weeks to a minimum, start being honest about what you can accomplish in a week. Identifying the most important thing you can be working on to affect the bottom line of your company each day is key. Then do that 40 hours per week.” ~ Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
5. Leverage Automation
“If entrepreneurs aren’t leveraging automation yet, then they need to. Marketing automation performs routine, everyday tasks for you so you can spend your time wisely and still get more done. It’s easier to stay productive and meet deadlines when you have technology working for you.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
6. Set Clear Boundaries
“Only with clear boundaries for their time will a driven entrepreneur find that balance. Many successful entrepreneurs leave their industries after a few short years to build a family or pursue their passion because they are unable to have both. The only way I am able to “work to live” is by design, and I assure you it’s worth the effort. Set clear boundaries and respect them.” ~ Reuben Yonatan, SaasList
7. Cultivate and Build Leaders
“The right mindset, leadership and systems are key. In order to greatly reduce your time, you’re going to have to trust people. Then you need to cultivate and build leaders within your organization. To be successful you should have a system where those leaders routinely meet with clear goals and agendas around managing and growing the company. That’s it. Enjoy your time off.” ~ Kevin Getch, Webfor
8. Outsource Tedious Tasks
“If an entrepreneur doesn’t have the resources to hire in-house and delegate certain tasks, they can outsource tedious tasks that don’t generate revenue. For example, the following tasks could be outsourced: blog content creation, social media marketing, website design, payroll and bookkeeping.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
9. Recharge Between Work Sessions
“Avoiding long hours is hard, but taking breaks in between tasks can alleviate the pain. If long hours span from early strategy calls through late-evening client meetings, make the most out of your business day. Hit the gym, take lunch outside, listen to an audiobook. Recharging between other energy-intense sessions is a long-lasting exercise worth trying out.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX
10. Schedule Hard Stop Breaks
“Scheduling hard stop breaks into your daily routine will help you balance work with the other parts of your life. Break your day into multiple work shifts to create a natural separation in your schedule. Neglecting this aspect of your routine can be harmful to work and oftentimes lead to counter productivity.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
11. Set Goals Outside of Your Career
“Entrepreneurs are goal-driven, and usually get overly absorbed in career goals. I like to have fitness goals that dictate a workout schedule, for example. I recently took classes in scuba diving and boat sailing, as well, to get out of the office and focus on something new and adventurous. Leave the phone at home and go explore the world.” ~ David Boehl, GoLastMinute
12. Empower Your Team
“Empower your team. Too many entrepreneurs think they need to still have their hand in every single thing at the company, which is draining to them and ultimately discouraging to the employees who are ready to step up and take on more. I did this years ago when I had a major surgery and had to delegate responsibilities during my recovery and then just didn’t take all of the responsibilities back!” ~ Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
Managing time is a serious challenge for busy entrepreneurs and professionals. So posts like these are really helpful.
Amen to #4. So true! You really need to know what you’re capable of and stick to it.