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While having a small business may be something you have always dreamed of — planning your own working hours, being flexible, living wherever you want in the world, the list goes on — it is, nonetheless, a difficult undertaking. Having your own venture may feel like you need to excel in all aspects of your business, from budgeting to hiring staff.
However, that kind of mindset might just be the one that makes you feel like you have no time left on your hands. Are you working a solid 16 hours a day without the impression that you are getting anything done? Do you keep seeing your to-do list getting longer and yet have no clue how to even get through half of the points? If so, you may feel like you just need more time. What if, instead, we found ways to reduce your workload and increase your output? Here are five ways to make more time for your small business and to increase your productivity:
1. Planning, planning, planning
One of the main mistakes many small business owners make is trying to work on everything, all at once and without a certain order to follow. The problem with this approach is that while certain things might indeed get done, there is no long-term planning. This is a mistake, because you aren’t able to plan how you will manage all the various small items to get done throughout the day as well as over the next few weeks. You need to plan more! With specific targets, milestones or goals to achieve, you are able to break down the parts of your work that take the most time, and hence, you can figure out what needs to be rearranged.
2. Use block scheduling
While planning, you may realize the following: While you thought you were working 16 hours a day, you were actually busy getting distracted every few minutes by a new email coming in, a Voxer Voice message or something along those lines. These distractions add up. As such, using block scheduling can help you avoid them. Block a few hours at a time (one and a half to two hours is usually a good amount) and stay focused on this specific task throughout the entirety of the countdown. This will save you time that you usually spend being distracted!
3. Outsource time-consuming tasks
Next, think about the tasks that you are not very good at or knowledgeable about. As mentioned earlier, we may feel like we need to constantly be doing everything on our own, at least until we can afford full-time staff. Right? Wrong! Doing it all on your own takes a lot of time away from you that could be spent on scaling and growing. Outsource the most time-consuming tasks you have, such as hiring a virtual assistant or finding talent on websites such as Fiverr.com and Upwork.com.
4. Simplify and streamline your marketing
One of the main activities that can take a lot of your time is marketing. The reason for this is simple: If it is done step-by-step or post-by-post, you may feel like you are spending hours on social media every day trying to market your business. Instead, free up some of your time by creating a content calendar and batching your content. This way, you are not spending valuable minutes and hours on apps as it will all be done in advance.
5. Take time to rest
Finally, and yes, this may be a bit cliché, you need to schedule some time to rest. While solopreneurs, founders and entrepreneurs love to work, we also struggle to stop ourselves from overworking ourselves quite often. The result? We end up burned out and can’t stay focused on a task — and that’s if we can even get ourselves started on it in the first place. With this in mind, you need to take the time to reboot yourself once in a while.