The likely answer is 'Yes!'
For all of us, our time is precious but on many occasions, we get trapped into undertaking tasks that eat into our time and focus. If you're running your own business, it's easy to prioritise customer needs above your own and that late email or phone call that starts, "Can you just..?" usually ends up using up time that you had planned to be allocated elsewhere.
Going above and beyond for your customers is natural and commendable (and they do love you for it) but you could be adding to your stress levels resulting in you being less productive than you think.
There aren't enough hours in the day
It's tough when you're chasing your tail from one week to the next. The 'To Do' list never diminishes; as soon as one task is ticked off, another replaces it. The following points may help you reduce that list and focus on what really is important.
If you find delegating a challenge, remember that if managed well, it can really benefit everyone. Begin by entrusting a team member to undertake a task you would normally do but ensure that the support is there. You're providing a safe environment to allow mistakes to happen but not so they prove to be catastrophic and can't be rectified. That individual now feels empowered, your business is upskilling and you have one less task to worry about.
Consider categorising your clients so you can allocate sufficient time to those that have the potential to do more business with you. Time thirsty customers are not always the most profitable and whilst demanding of your time, another client might be escaping the benefit of your service offering.
Note down the time spent on certain tasks during your working week - is there anything you could pass to someone else, simplify or actually eradicate? Be brutal - you may be surprised by the result!
How many times do you feel 'in the zone'? We all recognise in ourselves when we're most productive and it's important that you monitor when is your most efficient time of working. With so many of us working flexible hours, use the autonomy to produce your best work at the optimum time - and encourage your team to do the same.
Do you have clear protocols for given tasks? If you don't, you may want to consider the benefits of systemisation. Clear step-by-step documentation written by one member of your team, then followed by another will mean that over time, everyone has a clear process to follow. It means that the business is not relying on you or senior managers to fulfil simple tasks and enables you to do what you do well, run a successful business.
2 further strategies to help you
Have you heard of BAMFAM and BAHFAH?
They're 2 simple strategies to:
- Minimise procrastination
- Grow sales
- Leverage time
- Reduce stress levels and perhaps most importantly of all
- Plan for the things that truly matter.
What does BAMFAM mean?
Book A Meeting From A Meeting
Meetings are a necessary evil. Whether that's sales meetings, personnel interviews or team meetings. If done effectively with an agenda, they're a great way to get things done.
From that meeting, book another. It can be just a phone call or a zoom meeting and even face to face - but booking another meeting from that meeting creates a sense of progress and urgency and propels people to act.
It’s also the oldest trick in the book of creating recurring sales. If you secure time for another meeting, particularly when your customer’s perception of the value of the service they’ve just paid for is at its highest, you're more likely to see sales continue.
Obviously, this might not be applicable for your line of business but don't discount it until you're 100% sure.
What is BAHFAH?
Book A Holiday From A Holiday
There are times when we all need to step away from our business: to reconnect with nature and those closest to us. It’s proven we’re more relaxed, effective and productive when we take regular breaks and get away from our work environment.
It's long been suggested that a 4 day working week may be more effective than the current 5 day model we're all used to.
The 4 day week - new UK trial launched
Reported in the media (6 June 2022) is news of a trial involving more than 3,000 employees in around 70 UK companies - said to be the world's largest work pattern study.
The UK firms to be studied over this 6 month trial will be dropping to a 4 day working week and will be measured on productivity and the wellbeing of staff as well the impact on the environment and gender equality.
It will involve academics from Boston College and the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford while the organisers are 4 Day Week Global, in partnership with think tank Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign.
Finding work-life balance to improve our mental health and overall life enjoyment is destined to be a hot topic for some time.
Booking a holiday from a holiday is the best way to ensure you put yourself first – because surely your business is there to serve you (not the other way around)?
There’s also no better way to reduce those post-holiday blues than to schedule something else to look forward to.
Want to know more?
If you wish to maximise your meeting outcomes, maintain a healthy perspective, and ensure you plan your business around the things that really matter, think about the points we've raised.
Similarly, get in touch with us for other ways to achieve time, mind and financial freedom.