9 Time Saving Strategies for Business Owners
For a business owner, you will agree with me that time is a luxury! You are engaged throughout the day, but at the end of it, you are not satisfied with what you achieved. In most cases, you’d even find out you were busy doing nothing, because the most important things were left undone.
You can up your productivity level by knowing the basics of effective time management. This begins by having strong business strategies, learning how to prioritize your tasks for the day and sticking to only what matters. You’d realize that you will work less, achieve more and in good time.
You can become more productive by approaching it through many methods, but I have outlined 9 strategies in this post to help you manage your time better. I am particular about these 9 strategies, because they have proven to be the biggest time consumers for business owners.
Apply them in your business and see the wonder of how much time you can save and how increasingly productive you can get!
1. Prioritize Your Tasks
For every waking day, you have lots of tasks to do in your business. You have mails, texts, meetings, inquiries, orders, content to send out and all that. You are also thinking of new business strategies that can help expand your business than it was. And sometimes, you feel so swamped that you do not know where or how to start.
The smart thing to do is prioritize your tasks using the 4D processing system. This means you should…
- DO IT if it will take you less than five minutes to execute the task. Do not put it off or procrastinate.
- DELEGATE IT if it will take more than five minutes and you have someone or persons on your team who are either professionals in that aspect… or you feel can do it right.
- DELAY IT if it will cost you a substantial amount of time to execute. Add it to your to-do list, notes or calendar to execute at a later date.
- DELETE IT if it is negligible. There are lots of tasks we keep around and pressure ourselves over. This is just like keeping music on your phone which you don’t play. Not all tasks are important. If it holds no detriment when you don’t do it, delete it.
2. Control Your Email
Long before I discovered this lifesaving act, my mailbox always looked like a market place whenever I opened it. At some point, I felt overwhelmed and stopped reading my mails. You would see a barrage of unread mails, and I started missing the important mails.
I’d get calls telling me had a mail which needs a reply, and I’d start digging the whole rubble to find it. But when I learned to reduce the volume of it through smart means, the feelings of overwhelm reduced too.
As a business owner, you get about 50 to 250 mails a day on the average. If you decide to spend as little as one minute on each mail, it amounts to a full time job and you would not do anything else for the day.
You can reduce the volume of your mail and save time by cancelling your subscriptions from any list that clutters your inbox with mails. You can also mark them to your spam and let them filter away on their own.
You can also use the services of Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unwanted mail in bulk and group the rest into a category. This will help you reduce the bulk of your mail by as much as 45% and save you so much time for you to be productive.
3. Avoid Unproductive Meetings
You do not have to call a meeting always or attend every meeting. If they are not effective or highly productive, do not grade it as important. Put in serious thoughts before attending or calling a meeting.
Ask yourself whether it is critical, productive or effective. This is because, if and when you eventually give your time to such meetings, it is likely that you will come back less productive than you went.
It is also possible that you would have wasted two hours or more of your time in a meeting that will leave you with more worries or tasks ̶ that will further mess up your day. Avoid it at all costs and save your time for more productive things.
If it does not meet any of these three criteria, it is best you send it in a mail or memo to everyone.
4. Do The Biggest Tasks First
Have you ever had a task that you dreaded doing? You keep pushing it back time and time again, because you want to avoid doing it. This is the task you should do first.
Any task that you are liable to procrastinate out of dread for it, is the one you should solve with all determination before the others.
Fear or dread, whichever you choose to call it, is what holds you back. If you don’t do it, you’d carry over important undone work into the next day and week. This can stall every other aspect of your business life.
Once you can successfully execute that task to the end of it, the rest of your day is bound to go on a smooth slide. Every other aspect of your day will look up with optimism.
5. Adopt A Filing System
Depending on the programs your mailbox affords you, you can create files or folders. Grade your mails into folders that you can easily recognize. File your very important mails into folders that will easily be assessable to you. For other mails, send them into another folder. This keeps your inbox clean.
For your very important mail, you can easily go straight to the folder, but for other mails, use the search icon to source for them. This saves you the bulk of time that you’d waste searching through a flood of mails.
6. Set Your Tasks In Time Batches
Create a timeline for all your tasks. This will help you minimize the amount of time you spend on one task. Put your tasks into batches for the day. Take your emails for instance; it is not productive to visit it every time, unless it is your major work tool.
If your email is not a major work tool, batch your mails into slots which you will fix in your timeline. At specific times of the day allocated to mails, you can check on them. This will help you reduce the number of times you visit your mails daily.
You can apply this same method with every other daily task you do either in your personal or business life. You will become more productive, efficient and focused. You will also have your rest time, because you have learnt the act of time management.
7. Limit Unnecessary Online Presence
About every business today has an online presence. So it is safe to say that one of the work tools of a business owner is an online platform. This one business strategy that can help you boost your business. But when do you draw the line? When do you feel that you are staying online too long and you need to cut back?
It is when you deviate from your reason of being online to conduct business to begin spending more time than necessary on irrelevant things. Lots of business owners are lost per se, as they get online, conduct their businesses and begin surfing the net for a long time during work hours.
It is not bad to do that, but when you go overboard to the point that it hampers your productivity and takes all of your time, then it needs to be checked. If you are a professional business owner who lacks the self-control to enjoy minimal online pleasure outside of your job during work hours, this is for you.
There are tools that can help you avoid distraction during work hours or for the whole day. You can time them depending on how long you want to stay focused. Tools like Freedom, LeechBlock, StayFocused, Mindful Browsing, etc… help you block out distracting information on chrome, Firefox, iOS, macOS, Opera, Windows, etc.
If you really want to stay focused, productive and effective, it is either your discipline yourself or consider using the help of site blockers.
8. Plan Ahead
The age long notion of he who fails to plan, plans to fail is in no way a lie. As a routine to imbibe, learn to organize your day or week at the beginning of every day or week. For example, I take a night at the end of the week to plan a new whole week ahead.
It is very wrong to just float through the day or week. It is also not favorable to leave things to chance. Having your day or week planned out helps you maximize your day and time. Point out all the must do tasks for the day or week and allot times to them. If you are planning for the week, use a realistic timeline or checklist.
Allow space for only minimal lapses in case there are spillovers. This space will serve to help you completes tasks which extended beyond the time allotted to them.
Planning your day or week ahead of time helps you stay focused and productive for the whole time. You would also enjoy the benefit of working at greater speed, because you always know what to do next.
9. Keep Your Doors Closed
If you practice an open door policy, you need to reduce it to a number of hours. It is great that you are an accessible business owner, but if everyone has an unfettered access to you… your time becomes worthless.
You will open yourself to entertaining visits that are not necessary. You will take calls that are not mandatory and even your staff may take advantage. By the time you spend the whole day attending to everyone and everything but your work, you’d end the day achieving nothing.
Make it habit to stay out of reach for few hours of the day. Let your staff know that you should not be disturbed at a particular time of the day for any reason. This will afford you time to have your personal space and focus on important work.
Are you ready to become more productive and effective?
Learn the smart art of saving time through these 9 strategies I discussed. Plan ahead, take time for yourself, reduce the volume of your mail by filing system and create timelines for your tasks.
Also prioritize your tasks by clearing out the biggest ones first, then use tools to block out unnecessary online pop ups. Lastly, scrutinize the meetings you give your time to attend.
All these put together are the top strategies for a business owner like yourself to save time.
If you need our support implementing this is in your business, schedule a call with one of our business strategists here or use the button below.