July 19, 2013
rosemary published this at 8:18 am
By Jennifer Dunn
Owning your own business is amazing, but there are times when it’s practically a nightmare. Sometimes it gets so hard you just want to give up and go back to a 9 to 5. This usually comes after you’ve tried and tried to catch up on tasks but can’t seem to find any time to keep your head above water, much less actually get ahead.
It doesn’t have to be like this! With a few simple tips you can turn your frazzled brain into a relaxed center of productivity. Don’t give up on your entrepreneurial dreams just yet – check out the following tips and see if any of them can help you.
This seems like an obvious thing to say, but it’s an important point to make nonetheless. Most business owners waste so much time searching around their office, store, or home for a paper or object that should’ve been properly stored away (think: tax time). Eventually you’ll waste so much time on this that other tasks fall to the wayside as you struggle to keep up.
Get an organizational process in place for whatever’s driving you nuts – for example, receipts should all go into a folder so you can find them easily. Alternatively you can use a service like Shoeboxed to digitize receipts for super easy retrieval. Are you always searching for files on your computer? Create a digital filing system. Do you spend hours resetting your passwords? Check out a password management system like LastPass.
Once you have this organization in place, keep it up! Don’t let it slip or you’ll go right back into your old habits.
If you want to get more things done, common sense tells you should just do more things at once. This way you get done with tasks quicker, right? In fact, the evidence says otherwise – multitasking does more harm than good.
It’s all about spending energy – if you give 33% to three tasks, they may not turn out any better than if you spent 100% on one thing at a time. If something gets messed up, you just have to start over again anyway. Learn how to tackle one thing at a time properly so you don’t spread yourself thin. Welcome to “unitasking.”
Get Apps to Help
Tired of doing everything yourself? You may not be able to hire any help, but you can certainly afford to acquire some robots to aid you. Oh, you don’t have a connection to someone at a robotics factory? Then settle for the next best thing and grab some apps.
Whether you have a smartphone, a tablet, or laptop, there are hundreds of applications (and other software) you can grab to help you do simple tasks that eat up your time. Whether it’s financial tracking, task management, shopping lists, or a thousand other things, there’s a way to streamline it.
Another bit of “common sense” that can get you into hot water is attempting to power through a task that’s driving you nuts. Once you get into the habit of doing everything yourself you tend to want to get it all out of the way as quickly as you can. However, like multitasking, this can actually do more harm than good.
Instead, take a nice break once in a while. Go outside, take a walk, play a game, read a book, or just stare at the wall – as long as it’s not about work. This break can not only give you a nice physical stretch it can free up your brain to come up with solutions to your problems quickly.
What are your time management tips for time strapped business owners?