On average, how much time do you spend at work handling all the day-to-day tactical jobs involved in ensuring that every aspect of your business runs like a well-oiled machine? Most business owner will usually say – All of it! And that's also where the main problem lies.
As a business owner, the best ROI of the time you spend on it is derived from constantly focusing your attention and energies planning your business, managing & tracking results that help improve the way your business functions; this also helps open up the path for expansion in the future.
Every business owner that consistently put in this kind of time and effort into their business will tell you that it is well worth the effort which also makes reaping the benefits exciting. But finding the time to do everything can pose a major challenge. Running a business is no mean feat and after all, we have just 24 hours in the day, don't we?
While that may be the fact, the other important fact is that running a business without becoming stressed and strapped for time isn’t about finding, but more about making the time. Here are some solid tips that will help take some of this time-related stress out of your life:
Become more curious; start investigating and discover how things are being done and what is really happening. This is because all the things you already have in place are all perfectly designed to garner the results you have been getting till date. When you investigate and become an observer, it puts you in a position to get a very dispassionate and clear understanding of your business’ inner workings and this is the very first step. Get real about how you spend your time currently and take a closer look at where you are against where you want to be, before you start making any changes.
#2 Write down what’s really true
Make a detailed note of every little thing you do on a typical work day, starting from the time you get out of bed, till the time you retire for the night. Most small business owners like to tell themselves that they are masters at multi-tasking; the fact is there really is no such thing. You need to be a little objective and recognise the serial-tasker tendencies which make you move from one activity to the other without any fixed plan.
#3 Commit to yourself that you will move out of autopilot mode
Observe all your actions with attention to detail. Make note of the time you start every task, write down a very brief description of that activity, and the time at which you finished it. This allows you to calculate the total duration of each activity/task later. At the end of that day, review each one of these activities, every task and its duration, and ask these questions of yourself:
- How much of your day was spent working ON the business (strategic and visionary work), versus IN it (all the regular tactical work).
- Which of these tasks can be handled by someone, and what would the cost of hiring someone for them be?
- Can you train a member of your team to take over this particular task? If yes, what would you require to do to make that happen?
- Check in with yourself and whether you are able to focus completely on some task before you are side-tracked or interrupted.
- Are you more likely to become distracted by employees or customer issues, or on account of your own multitasking?
Based on these findings, you can then improve your planning and scheduling for each day, and this approach can help you feel less strapped for time.