One big goal that every business owner has is to save as much time as possible and make business less stressful. By doing that, you can spend more time with your family, work on your fitness, go on vacation or even enjoy some quiet time to yourself.
To really buckle down on your time management, here are some tips to help you discover where you are bleeding time:
1. Write it down: This may sound a little crazy at first, but from the time you get up, to the time you go to sleep, write down what you do every 15 minutes. If that is too difficult, do it at least every 30. When all of this information is down in front of you, you can really start to see what you do with your time. Try this over the course of a few days up to a week. In there somewhere you are bleeding time out that you could be spending better elsewhere.
2. Time Yourself: Ever say that it takes you SO long to do XYZ and you don’t even know how long, you just know that your day is wasted on it? Odds are that you are not spending ALL of that time doing what you should be. For example, let’s say that you need to write a blog post, but it just seems to take forever for you to write it. Sit down and time yourself. If you are tabbing out and checking on Facebook and answering emails, that will explain part of the reason why it’s taking so long. It’s not the only thing that you are doing. The way to nip the time in the bud is to see what other things you are doing. Once those are out of the way, find out how long it actually is taking you to do something and write it down.
3. Look at all of the things that you do: Now that you have a list of all of the things that you do during the day, you have a good idea where you are wasting time. It could be that you are tabbing out and playing games, or surfing on social media sites when you should be working. Maybe people start chatting with you live on social media and you get wrapped up into a conversation. All of these little things add up, but they don’t need to be part of your work day. When you are working, work. Shut the chat options off. Give yourself some time at the end of the day to enjoy social media and look at what you want, but only after you set your hours that you are going to work.
4. Write a To-do List: I’m sure you have heard this one a gazillion times, but you need a to-do list. Here is where you can get caught up. You have all these things to do so you write ALL of them on your list. You have set yourself up to fail and the day didn’t even start yet! Only write down the things that must get done today. Not stuff that can wait. What must be done today. Those are the things that you do. Don’t skip and do other things, don’t write down extra. Just the bare essentials. The rest of the things that you need to do can be classified as ‘later this week/month/quarter’ or ‘soon’. Keep a streamlined view.
5. Delegate: Now that you know where your time gets spent, how much is spent and where you are able to really look and see what you can pass off to someone else. Let’s say you have household chores on there. Is there anyone that you can delegate that responsibility to? Maybe someone can take that one thing off your plate and free you up for 30 minutes. Do you really need to be scheduling and making all those social media pictures? Do you really need to wasting time trying to format your newsletter? Outsource it!
What on your list is something that makes you busy and not productive? Those are the things that you need to outsource. Could be someone to help you with your Facebook groups, upload and format your blog posts, source your photos or manage your social media accounts. All of these things can add up to countless hours that you could be saving to do things that make you money. You do the work that makes your business grow and let someone else help you with the rest.
Heather Santo is proudly a Certified Virtual Assistant with over 15 years of customer service experience via face-to face, telephone and internet. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting.
She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently.
If you have found this article to be of value, please share it!