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As business owners, the commodity we’re always shortest on is time. There are so many tasks to do in a single day, from winning over that big new client in a pitch to finally sourcing that supplier, chasing invoices, sorting recruitment, finessing your marketing plan… You pull longer and longer days but still the to-do list seems never ending. The solution could be not to strive to work harder, but to work smarter to turn things around for the new year. To look for time saving hacks and strategies which allow you to squeeze more into your day. The truth is, following some simple productivity best practice can transform the way you work and help you free up some much needed time.
Master Your Emails
Email is a tool that we think helps us, but actually it can hinder just as much. How much time do you waste on inbox management? The average business owner gets up to 200 emails every single day, so even if each one only takes you two minutes to process and reply to, that’s still a huge amount of your day gone. You simply must get to grips with your inbox. Start making more phone calls. Often simple matters which could be resolved with a very short call spark long trains of emails, all needing a response. The next tip is only to handle emails once. Instead of opening it and dealing with it later, do it then and there – file it or reply. That way you aren’t processing everything twice. Services such as Unroll.me will bulk unsubscribe you from annoying email lists and bulk others together into one daily hit. By streamlining the amount of time you spend on dealing with emails and also cutting down the volume you receive, you can claw back significant amounts of time and energy.
Just Say No To Meetings..
Running effective meetings is definitely a skill that is in short supply, so break the mould now. There is no point hosting procedural meetings for the sake of it – always cancel if the ultimate aim isn’t clear, and don’t be afraid to set a strict time limit that is not allowed to overrun – it helps focus the minds of everyone involved. If you run a lot of meetings purely to update people, there are better ways. Meetings should not be about giving everyone a precis of current events – they are forums to be reserved for discussion. Updates are better communicated using a tool such as whispir, which can spread the word fast and let everyone have the memo, so get into the habit of using it, and then have anyone that wants to bring discussion points on the information contained in the update to the meeting.
Don’t Be Afraid To Shut The Door
Sometimes you just need to concentrate, so don’t be afraid to shut yourself away from time to time. You don’t need an open door all of the time – some business like writing reports, demands strong concentration. You want to remain approachable to staff but not to the point where it becomes too much of a compromise. It’s okay to seek out a balance – and it will help you to produce quality work.
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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
Your Coaches ArtSHINE industries