Growing a small business takes time and effort, and every business owner faces the same dilemma: How to make the most of every minute when you are constantly being pulled in multiple directions.
Wasting time is synonymous with wasting money. As Daylight Savings Time comes to an end and we get ready to change the clocks on Sunday, we’re sharing some of our favorite time saving tips to help you work more efficiently and improve your bottom line.
1 – Lighten your load.
When your work schedule is packed, it can be difficult to maximize your productivity. It’s easy to lose focus on your priorities, which in turn can lead to a drop in efficiency. Handling fewer tasks will help you simplify your overall work schedule and concentrate on the most important things you have to do.
Delegate time-consuming tasks to trusted staff and enlist colleagues or service providers who can quickly take care of problems that may take you hours or days to resolve. When you’re faced with large or complex projects, consider breaking them into manageable pieces. Not only will this help you stay on track, but checking things off as you complete them will help you feel good about making progress instead of stagnating under the weight of one massive task.
2 – Tackle the most important task first.
Rank your tasks each day in order of importance, and take care of your most critical item first. The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing high priority tasks tends to result in less procrastination on minor issues. Keeping your list updated and organized by urgency will help you stay on top of new tasks as they hit your desk.
When setting your priorities, focus on results. Be clear about why you are doing each item, and ask yourself how it will impact your business. Concentrate on one task at a time, and wrap it up before moving on to the next one. Multi-tasking may seem like a time saver, but it can actually hinder productivity. Be mindful of expecting to accomplish everything in one day. Setting realistic expectations will help ensure that you take care of the things that really need to get done.
3 – Assign yourself deadlines.
When you’re the boss, there are often times when even your most critical tasks do not have due dates. If you need motivation to complete a specific project, set a hard deadline and tell others about it so they can help hold you accountable. Deadlines make us more efficient by providing the incentive to focus on what is most essential. When you’re under pressure to finish a project, it’s easier to avoid distractions and not get bogged down in trivial details.
4 – Handle work in batches.
Rather than interspersing tasks throughout your workday, opt for categorizing similar or related items and do them consecutively. For example, make all of the day’s phone calls back-to-back or designate a specific time to review and answer emails instead of responding to them as you receive them. Allocate a set time each day to do paperwork or run business-related errands. Batching your work can be a practical way to save time and allow you to concentrate more fully on the most pressing tasks on your To Do list.
5 – Choose software that offers integration.
Many small businesses use software platforms or applications to simplify processes ranging from project management and scheduling to payroll and invoicing. When choosing programs and services, look for those with integration capabilities. For instance, ADP integrates with Quickbooks, so data can easily be transferred from one to the other. This can save you a significant amount of time.
In addition to integration, many of today’s business management apps are also available across multiple devices, meaning you can access them from your desktop, phone, or tablet. The freedom to work seamlessly whenever and wherever you like can add valuable time back to your day. A word of caution: using too many productivity applications may backfire if you spend more time learning to master them than you save.
6 – Shorten your workday.
Although it may sound counterproductive, shortening your workday actually can help you accomplish more. When you make the effort to limit the time you spend at work, you will be more inclined to prioritize tasks, work more effectively, and waste less time.
If you are currently working more than eight hours a day, try to limit your workday to eight hours. If you work eight hours daily, try to cut back to six. With fewer hours available, you will need to focus on completing the most crucial tasks within the time frame you’ve chosen.
7 – Stop waiting for customers to pay you.
Debt collection is a time-consuming process and slow paying customers can wreak havoc with your cash flow, impacting your ability to manage expenses and expand operations. Summit Financial Resources is here to help you take advantage of opportunities to improve receivables as well as navigate any shortfalls. We offer working capital loans for small to medium-sized businesses that involve using your accounts receivable as collateral. Our invoice factoring option offers you quick access to the funds you need as well as time saving services like helping to get your factored invoices paid faster.
No matter what type of work you do, it is important that you manage time wisely and focus on what makes your business thrive. Implementing even one or two of these changes will help you eliminate distractions, improve efficiency, and maybe even create a bit of free time in your workday.
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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.