Now, this goes without saying that there are some of you that have tied yourselves up so much on your business doing the day to day, that it’s not going to be that simple. It’s going to take you a bit of time before you can reduce the number of hours you work in your business. There’s a big need for it…
If you’re business is built around you, you are actually doing the work. That means that you have to be there to answer the phone and serve your customers and make all of that to happen, then you are in a dangerous situation. Because just imagine that something went wrong with your health and you couldn’t be at work for months, 2 months, 6 months, what will happen to your business? Would you just have more than just a car park left? At the end of the period of time.
This is the challenge that so many business people are faced with! Is that they are working way to many hours and they don’t know how to reduced their hours. Now I am going to give you five very simple tips on how to reduce the number of hours that you are working in your business. Some of them are very simple and very easy to implement. You should be able to implementing some of these ideas straight away.
Tip #1: Track your time
What that means is that you start to track your time on each and every individual task that you do. This is going to help you with my tip number 2. So, it’s very important that you do this. Now, I call it a time finding sheet and what you do is you set up a sheet where you have increments on that sheet of whatever time’s going to be viable or probably suitable to what it is you do. So, for example, for some of you, you want to track your time every 15 minutes. That is every 15 minutes you want to note down what you are doing on that particular time and then write it down.
Now for some of you that 15 minutes is too often, so you want to do an hourly. You make a sheet or buy a diary and just write in there; 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock or each hour what it was that you are doing. And it will start to highlight to you exactly where it is that your time is going and what sort of tasks that you are personally doing that’s taking up all of your time. Now this leads me to Tip number 2…
Tip #2: Delegate.
Once you’ve got all of these tasks and you’ve worked out, what it is you are doing, I want you to go through every single task that you wrote down over a two or three-week period and work out, out all those tasks, what can you delegate? What is it that you can delegate from what it is that you are doing. Because I’m sure that there are probably at least 20 percent of the tasks that you are carrying out, you can get someone else to do.
Now, I’m going to talk about it in one of the tips about the fact that you feel you are the only person who can do it. We’ll get there at tip 5 and stick with me and I’m going to tell you how to get through that. Now, once you delegate those things that you don’t need to be doing, you can get somebody else to do and of course there’s also some of the stuff on the list that you shouldn’t be doing and they’re called distractions. We’re going to talk about that as well. But before we get to that… It’s important that you keep yourself structured so that you stream line your day and become more efficient.
Tip #3: Daily To-Do List.
I see to many people today in business that are trying to remember everything they’ve got to do and it’s impossible. I am a very task orientated person so for me it’s easy because I write a to-do list, I work through that to-do list and I cross off each item as I complete them during the day. I can sort of measure my progress I get instant feedback from my to-do list as to how I am travelling for the day. I know what’s left to get done, I can prioritize my to-do list. A to-do-list is a fantastic tool and are underutilized by many people. Whether you own your own business or you’re an employee or any if you’re just doing something like housework, you could put it all on your to do list and you will be much more efficient.
The other thing is by putting things on your to-do-list is it’s easy then to eliminate distractions, which is tip number 4, eliminate distractions…
Tip #4: Eliminate Distractions
You see, it’s easy to get distracted if you don’t have something to focus on like a to-do list. When Facebook opens up with a message to you, a friend rings up and says “Hey. Do you want to catch up for coffee or chat?”, it’s easy for you to get distracted. Where if you’ve got a to-do list your looking at and there are 5 things that I want to get done today and you’re only up to thing number 2 and a distraction enters your day, it’s easy to push that distraction back out of your day because you know exactly what it is you’ve got to do.
So, eliminate distractions and this takes discipline by the way. It takes a huge amount of discipline to eliminate these distractions. This is why a lot of people get caught up and I would guarantee that at least 20 to 25 percent of your time will be wasted with things that are distracting you. So, think about doing things like turning your email notifications off, put your mobile phone on to silent and just check it once an hour. Close Facebook down and get rid of all these distractions that are in your day and utilize time in your morning coffee or in your afternoon tea break when you check those things rather than having them notifying you soon or something happens. Because those distractions are time thieves and you know they will steal a lot of your time.
Tip #5: Stop it!
You probably wondering what that is…? I’m talking about ‘no one can do it as good as me-ites’. It’s a disease a lot of business people have that no one can do it as good as me-ites. You’ve probably heard that before… You know how I know about this particular ailment? It’s that I had it once and to some degree, I still do have it with certain things but by going through and mapping at every task that I do, I can then map what that task is in relation to skill and to fun for me.
So, if you go back to tip number 1 where I said go through and do your time finding sheet; go through each of the tasks that you do and rate them out of 5, from 1 being the lowest to 5 being the highest: what skill it takes and what fun it is for you to do. And anything with low numbers on both of those scales, you can delegate straight away. And the next things is to look at the next set of tasks that you are holding on to, because you don’t think that anyone can do it as good as you and work out how you can train someone else to do it.
Now I know for a lot of you this is going to be difficult and it was difficult for me but that’s how I know… The reality is that there are a lot of great people out there that can do the job better than you. Shock horror but that is the truth. There’s no other way to put it than there are people who can do better than you. But even if that is not the truth, even if they can only do it 80 or 90 percent as well as you can do it, it’s still probably good enough to get the job done and make your customer happy.
So be okay with delegating and be okay with people making mistakes and not getting it done as well as you.