Every business owner is busy, but busy isn’t the same as productive and it doesn’t necessarily lead to the revenue stream you desire.
If you want to grow your revenue and your business, you need to maximize the time spent working “on” your business and reduce the time spent working “in” your business. In other words, spend less time doing stuff and more time making money. That’s what these productivity tips are for.
Set your business hours. Just because the corporate world considers 9-5 or 8-4 “normal working hours” doesn’t mean those hours work for you or would generate the most productivity in your day. If you work from home and run a virtual business you might choose to avoid scheduling meetings or client calls between 7:30 and 9am when your family is rushing to get out the door. You might also want to avoid scheduling business activities mid to late afternoon when kids are getting off the bus and coming home.
Welcoming your kids home might be a welcome interruption in your work day, but it can cause a disruption if you’re trying to multi-task while on a call with a client. Determine the best hours for you and communicate that schedule to your clients.
Stick to a Schedule. It’s not enough to just set business hours, you need to stick to a schedule that allows you to get the most out of those hours. Set a schedule that works for you and the activity in your house. For example, it might be easier for your business if you get up an hour or two before your family to send early emails that clients can take action on while you’re dropping off kids at school.
It’s not just how your start day, it’s how you schedule the end of it. Working right up until bedtime doesn’t increase productivity, but it does increase fatigue. Schedule the end of your business day, and then stick to a regular bedtime.
Scheduling Success & Money In The Bank
Delegate errands. Take advantage of the growing number of services that save you the time and hassle of running errands. I realize it’s not difficult to drop off clothes at the dry cleaners, but it does reduce your billable hours. A service like Task Rabbit can complete your errands and take routine tasks off your plate. Ordering groceries online and having them delivered right to your doorstep is another way to delegate tasks and maintain your business productivity. If you have a hard time justifying the cost consider what you would bill a client for that same amount of time. Now consider you’re losing that money by doing tasks you could delegate to others.
Automate administrative tasks. According to a survey done by The Alternate Board and quoted in Inc., the average entrepreneur spends nearly 70% of their time on day-to-day tasks, leaving about 30% of their day to focus on business goals and strategy. Your business won’t grow to the heights you envision if you spend more time dealing with day-to-day activities than executing your business strategy.
Make a list of tasks you do over the next three days and evaluate which ones can be automated. For example, you could skip the back and forth emails with clients by utilizing an online scheduling system, set up an auto-responder for certain types of emails and automate bill-paying or invoicing.
Plan Ahead. If you start the morning by wondering where to start, you’re wasting time. You’re also missing an opportunity to be productive right out of the gate and more easily distracted by low priority tasks or interruptions. To make the most of your day make a plan the night before. Block out the last 20 minutes of each day and identify the top five things that need to happen the following day. Write them down, prioritize them and then assign them as appointments with times on your calendar the next day.
Implementing these tips will help you discover that being productive and profitable sure beats being busy.
If you’d like some accountability around your goal of being more productive and less busy, you can find that in my private Facebook group which connects business owners who want to keep more of the money they make. Here’s the link to join.