Why is it that some business owners and entrepreneurs can juggle multiple, simultaneously successful businesses while others can barely hang on to one? Aren’t we all working with the same 24-hour time table each day? What are the secrets that will give you control of your time and be more productive than ever before? In this article, you’ll discover simple truths, expert tips, and proven ways to better utilize your time. You’ll find hours you didn’t know you had and will be able to focus on what’s most beneficial in your business, instead of putting out fires all day long.
There’s one thing we all get an equal portion of every day. Time. But have you ever felt like you’ve been short-changed in that area? Do you have things pulling at you from every direction? An endless to-do list that never seems to get done? Well, if you ever feel like there’s never enough time, you’re not alone. I hear it from entrepreneurs and business owners regularly, but today, my friend, I’m going to solve your “time problem” for you … or at least give you the truth about how to solve it yourself.
Sometimes, Your Brain Lies to You
Start paying attention when you think or even verbally tell yourself, “there’s not enough time in a day.” That’s a lie that your stressed-out brain wants you to believe. The truth is there’s plenty of time. It’s just a matter of how you’re using that time and what you’re doing with it.
Are you being effective and efficient?
Are you leveraging other people’s efforts or not?
Are you allowing unimportant matters to suck up your time?
When I first started my business, my days were spent like most solopreneurs. You’d have seen me juggling tasks and running around trying to take care of everything. I honestly believed I could handle the logistics of running an entire business. After all, the only things I had to do were to run the operation, complete the administrative work, handle all invoicing, collect the money, book trucks and freight, and make sure everything was where it needed to be and on time. Yeah, it was complete insanity to think that I could do that, and in one short month reality hit and I figured out that I could not.
How to Get Immediate Control
I had to learn to leverage people but that was a challenge in a new business because there were not enough funds to pay for full-time staff. So, I came up with a game plan and had somebody relieve me of the tasks that were eating up all of the time I needed to really focus on generating more business. Because as long as I could generate more business, I could afford to hire the next person. Then I repeated the process to grow.
You must take calculated risks as an entrepreneur. (Taking risks is one of the 20 traits for great entrepreneurs which you can download here). So, figure out how to leverage people to free you from doing the things you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. When you relieve yourself of those tasks, immediately, there’s a different focus on the business that wasn’t there. And don’t tell yourself, “no one will do it as well as me” because that’s complete bullshit. We think we are great at what we do, but at the end of the day, there’s always somebody that can do something better. If you excel at bringing in business, it doesn’t matter how great you are at fixing the office toilet. Focus on what you need to do.
Find Your Three
There are three people required in any service business. Skilled people to do the work, managers to manage those skilled people, and the entrepreneur to drive the vision and oversee the business. You cannot try to be all three of those and grow an effective business if you want to have any kind of freedom. Freedom comes from realizing your role and strength. If your role/strength is an entrepreneur, that’s what you need to be. If you’re role and strength is managing people or doing the work, you are going to need to bring in an entrepreneur to drive the business. When you try to improve your weaknesses, you just get stronger weaknesses. What you really need to be doing is focusing on your strengths and leverage those because that brings far more value to the business.
Make Friends With Technology
The right technology can help you slash the time spent in every area of the business. If you haven’t systematized things like invoicing or pricing, you’re simply missing the boat. For example, years ago our operations department was chasing paperwork all over the place. When I put a manager in place that became an ultimate leader in that division, things made a turn for the better. That person utilized technology so successfully that the business was able to turn into a paperless operation. By saving us countless hours, we were able to reduce the team that was running that operation and leveraged the skills of those extra people into an entirely new department.
FaceTime and Zoom are two other ways you can leverage technology. They are great at connecting those in the business and enable the users to have offsite meetings. I can be in the office and have a meeting with anyone on my team, no matter their location. You can imagine the amount of time and resources these save because the meetings can occur remotely and can be as direct as they need to be. In other words, a person doesn’t have to sit around listening to discussions that have little relevance to their work while waiting for their time to talk.
Operate Your Own Time Machine
Another tool that we utilize in the business is the time finder. This is the next best thing to a time machine, and you can go to the website to download this tool. It walks you through where you’re spending your time. It is particularly revealing because it helps you see the amount of “extra” time you would have if somebody came on board to relieve you of certain duties. This allows you to take calculated risks on whether or not to hire a new person (either full-time or part-time), outsource some roles, or use different technologies to your advantage.
If you’re able to free yourself up an hour or two a day and multiply that over the number of workdays in a week, that becomes extremely substantial. At the end of the month, if you work over a five day week, and you add yourself one hour a day over those five days, it gives you another 20 hours a month, 240 a year, which is the equivalent of six, 40-hour work weeks! That’s basically giving you an extra month and a half every year. That is of extreme value, especially if you use that newfound time to work ON the business doing things like setting up a new marketing strategy or improving your processes. Freeing yourself up to focus on revenue-generating tasks, as well as improving efficiency, is the first step in achieving the freedom we all go into business to attain. And in the next blog, we’ll talk about that freedom.
Want even more great guidance on finding and maximizing your time?
Then head over to any of your podcast platforms and listen to the entire podcast where the author shares even more tips and tactics than are summarized in this article.