As a business owner, you may have noticed your biggest problem is that of time. You don’t have enough of it. And there seems no way to get more. Looking at your to-do lists often evokes low-level despair. You’ve tried burning the midnight oil, chugging caffeine, or some other unhealthy method, and it’s still not enough. Overworking made the list shrink for maybe a week at most.
And this is because your list is too extensive. No one can do it. You’re not lazy or unmotivated. You are not bad at your job.
So, let’s talk about how to solve the problem.
The first thing is to question every bit of work you do. A lot of work is busywork. It’s procrastination. Admin is essential, and organization is mighty, but it’s easy to do unnecessary stuff to look busy. Yes, petty stuff stacks up. Hire someone else to do it. A business grows upward from the bottom. It’s normal to wear all the hats at first but shed them as soon as you can afford help. Allow others to specialize so you can use your specialization.
The second option’s automation. We aren’t living in the 1900s. Modern technology is impressive. Almost assuredly, someone has made a tool that can help you. Thirty minutes spent searching online for software could become the most productive half-hour of your career. A computer could solve something you spend untold hours on. How much is an hour of your time worth to the company? Do that math, and the cost for the software might seem pittance compared to its long-term benefits.
The third and final trick relates to the previous ones but is more flexible. Think like a lazy contrarian. People get stuck in their ways mainly because they don’t have time to innovate. But I want you to look at the most significant time sinks, the most grueling tasks you have, and ask, “why do I have to do it that way?” Consider what you’ve assumed. Even if you have to divert time to learn a new skill or task management style, it might be worth it. If you feel you should be capable of more, you probably are. Arbitrary chains might hold you back. People who are more productive than you might have found a similar “cheat code” and cut something out that didn’t need to be there. Not all methods, theories, or approaches are created equal.
Now, none of these tricks will let you off the hook. You will still have to work hard. Applying these tips might make you work even harder. But you might finish your daily to-do list. You might find you’ve done enough in a day not to feel stressed all the time. Is it not worth it to try experimentation just for that alone?
So be creative, be inventive, and research your way out of the hole. Finding timesaving methods is working. Time saved compounds. The payoffs are worth it.