The infinite to-do list of a small business owner pairs very poorly with the regrettable fact that a day has only twenty-four hours. No matter how you stretch it, the day isn’t going to get even a minute longer. Make the most of the time devoted to your business with these helpful hints:
This is an art that comes easy and naturally to some people, while others would rather have root canal work done, rather than being forced into what they feel is insane anal-retentiveness. Be the feelings as they are, as a business owner and operator, you’ll have to get over the pricklies on the issue; because it’s the only way to get enough done to get ahead, while still living your life. Check out these posts on time management tools, strategies for focusing, and prioritization.
Keep any documents that need collaboration between partners, supporters, financiers, etc. on a Google Drive file. This way, there won’t be any confusion over versions of documents, with no need to re-save them and send differently-coded variations to different people and keep it all straight. Confusion definitely takes away from productivity, so cut it down to a minimum.
Think while exercising
Exercise gets your brain moving, as well as your body. It makes you feel better and gives your brain the ability to better concentrate. Time spent exercising can be time efficiently used as a period for you to brainstorm. Being healthy gives you more time to do what you need to do, and moving your body makes your brain move better. Win-win!
Pre-write business correspondence templates
Chances are a lot of your business correspondence can fit into a few general template letters. Getting those written up well and keeping them accessible and organized will save you the time of re-writing them every time they’re needed. You’ll have to remember to personalize them at each use, but that’s still less time than starting from scratch. If you use Gmail or Google Apps, you can save your template responses and insert them into emails at a click. Here’s a great tutorial on how to do that (view it in full screen, otherwise you probably won’t be able to see what’s going on):
Make an appointment with yourself
Schedule your work tasks and goals the same way you schedule doctor appointments and work just as hard to be on time. Sure, it might feel silly, but if it gets the job done, who cares?
Take a step back
Every once in a while, take a look at where you’ve come with your business, where you’re at and where you’re going. Consult your business plan and your advisory partner or board to make sure everything is on track. It may seem like it takes more time, but it will save you time in the long run. Going back and correcting mistakes is NOT efficient.
Streamline social media
These days, social media is essential, even for the smallest start-up. There’s no real reason to be logging in and out of Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, etc. to post and re-post the information that you need to get out there. Take advantage of one of the fantastic apps that gets it all done from one, joint dashboard. HootSuite, Edgar, Sprout Social and MarketMeSuite, plus many others, are all worth looking into to see what best meets your needs.
Virtual Assistant in another time zone
If you’re based in the United States and work with a virtual assistant from Virtual Assistant Israel, make use of the time difference! We’re seven hours ahead of Eastern time, ten hours ahead of Pacific time, literally allowing you to offload items that you didn’t manage to do during your work day and get those tasks done while you’re asleep.
Bonus efficiency tip
Check up every few months to see if any new apps or other tools have been developed that will help you increase your productivity even more! Technology develops rapidly in this day and age. Keep your ears and mind open for tips and you’ll stay at the top of your game.
Submitted by Aviela