What is your time worth to you? Here are 20 tips to help you save time in your small business.
1. Know when your most productive time of day is.
Plan to do important work during your most productive hours and keep the less important work for your less productive hours.
2. Don’t procrastinate.
Do the job you’re dreading first so that you can enjoy the rest of your day.
3. Do just enough.
Don’t do a poor job but don’t ‘gold plate’ your work either. Unnecessary quality is wasted time!
4. Have ‘Do Not Disturb’ times.
Let colleagues or family know when you are not to be interrupted. Either arrange set times or have a clear signal like a closed door.
5. Be organized.
Don’t spend time looking for things. Keep good records and your desk clear. If you struggle with organization find someone to help you get your stuff in order.
6. Learn to say ‘No’.
Don’t take on work that has no value to the business. If a customer is insistent, outsource the work and make the customer pay for it.
7. Don’t be distracted by emails.
Turn email notifications off, schedule a couple of times a day to reply to emails and let your colleagues know.
8. Avoid unnecessary meetings.
Don’t have a meeting if you can deal with the issue over the phone.
9. Avoid long, unnecessary emails.
Before you draft and redraft that long email try calling – it’s usually quicker.
10. Automate your email system.
Setup your signature, inbox folders and email rules so that emails are automatically prioritised for you.
If you haven’t read that weekly subscription email in the last three months you never will – unsubscribe!
12. Master your mobile phone.
As unnatural as it sounds, you do not have to react to every chirp from your mobile phone. Schedule a time in your day to respond to non urgent messages and keep ‘urgent’ calls to a minimum.
13. Schedule any social media time.
If you use social media for your business decide on how much time you should spend on it. Schedule that time into your day and then do not go near it outside of those times. It is a monster that will consume every second you give it!
14. Use templates.
Use templates for all of your standard documents and spreadsheets. Also, keep email templates for replies to questions you are asked regularly.
15. Have an up to date, information rich website.
Reduce customer telephone calls by providing relevant information about your business with a good FAQs section.
16. Do one thing at a time.
Forget multitasking, it’s for computers. The quality of your work will rapidly decrease with each additional task you attempt.
17. Use cloud computing and mobile apps.
Use cloud computing software like Google Apps to collaborate with colleagues and to keep your files up to date across all of your devices. Mobile apps can liberate you from your computer allowing you to work whenever and wherever you need to.
18. Identify tasks you can automate.
Most repetitive and manually intensive tasks can be automated. Identify the tasks, assume that they can be automated and then find out how. There is a lot of time saving software available e.g. dictation software, software that converts scanned documents to text, online time sheets or expense sheets to capture data at source etc.
19. Outsource tasks.
If other people can do tasks as well as you or better for the same money then consider outsourcing.
20. Leave work on time.
Your small business will fill any time that you give it. Keep your working day focused and productive by knowing that there is a fixed end to your day.
No small business owner believes they have enough time in the working day but by following these 20 time saving tips you can turn a busy day into a more productive day and set your business free.
© Business Set Free Ltd 2013