As an entrepreneur, time is one of your most valuable resources and any time-saving methods or tools are highly coveted. The trick to successful entrepreneurship is time management; how are you spending the 24 hours you have each day?
Business ownership is extremely rewarding, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not properly allocating your time. Entrepreneurs are constantly torn in different directions, but it is possible to balance chaos and structure with some time-saving tips. You’ll see a significant increase in productivity by starting your day early, outsourcing, hiring a virtual assistant, and sticking to a schedule.
Outsource Professional Skills
Outsourcing is a very useful way to lighten your load and save time. You should carefully consider which tasks to outsource before making the decision, especially when it comes to outsourcing professional work. Research highly skilled individuals or organizations, and remember you’re not paying their salary and you can decide the frequency in which they perform. Entrepreneurs outsource repetitive tasks, like payroll and data entry as well as specialized knowledge, such as IT support.
Depending on your circumstance, you’ll want to decide if you should outsource locally, nationally, or overseas. If outsourcing abroad is appealing, take the time zones and language barriers into consideration. You’ll want to crunch the numbers and make the best decision financially but be sure not to sacrifice quality to meet budget demands. This may be a process at first, but it is one that’ll pay off and prove to be time saving.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
While you are more than capable of completing the myriad of daily administrative tasks, you shouldn’t have to. Successful entrepreneurs benefit greatly by hiring a VA because their focus and efforts shift from supporting their business to growing it. These are some benefits of hiring a VA:
- Builds Trust – You may find it difficult at first to renounce control of any part of your business, but once you have a handle on delegating tasks, you can focus more on the big picture. Not to mention, delegation will build trust.
- Saves Money – Virtual Assistants are not only time saving, but they also save you money because you’re not paying for any overhead expenses
- General Support – Along with their daily tasks, a VA is extremely useful when a sudden need arises and needs to be addressed.
Start Your Day Early
It goes without saying that every aspect of your business requires your attention, from menial tasks to the exciting big picture line items, your day is already booked. You’ve probably come across studies concluding that waking up early boosts productivity, after all, many billionaires have this trait in common. Here are some habits you can create in order to start your day earlier:
- Set an alarm – Don’t overthink it, and don’t snooze, simply make it a rule to get up when your alarm first goes off. You can incrementally set earlier times to ease into it, or use an alternative alarm, such as a gentle light alarm.
- Make your bed – The reduces the urge to get back in it but more importantly, it’s the first task of the day already completed.
- Stretch your body – Some entrepreneurs opt to work out, but simple morning stretches can also do the trick. Here are some great morning stretches to increase productivity.
- Eat healthy – Choose breakfast foods that will energize you, like apples and oatmeal.
- Listen to Music – Music can improve your mood and reduce stress; you can even multitask by using a shower radio.
- Wake up early on the weekends – Don’t allow yourself to sleep in on the weekend, however tempting it may be. Your body’s natural rhythms are negatively affected by abrupt changes in sleeping patterns. Plus, it’ll make it more difficult to wake up when Monday rolls around.
Don’t rely on your memory to get you through the day. Organization and scheduling are crucial to your business and saving you time. You may prefer to write your schedule down, although there are great calendar apps available to keep you organized. There’s no harm in trying an app or new method to schedule your time until you find the right fit.
Prioritizing is key. Categorize your tasks by complexity and start with the most time sensitive job. Entrepreneurs know better than anyone to expect to unexpected, and if you already have the priority tasks done, you can take on anything. Be careful to avoid distractions if possible. You can turn off notifications to help avoid social media and let your colleagues or family know you need x amount of time before you can give them your attention.
All entrepreneurs have one thing in common: lack of time. Time saving is an evolving art and there are countless tools and strategic decisions at your disposal to help maximize your time; take advantage of them. Outsource the professional skills and hire a VA because you do not have the time to spend on tasks that are not growing your business. Wake up early and schedule well in advance and adjust as you go.