If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you may think you have to work 18 hours a day. Plenty of small business owners do. But you’ll also have heard that this, in the end, can be counter-productive. Get too tired, and you’ll start to find it difficult to stay focussed. You’ll be missing things and making bad decisions. There are plenty of examples of start-ups that were unsuccessful for just this reason.
Finding the Balance
We all have our own ways of managing our time, but it’s good also to consider tips from other people on how they manage to get more fitted into a day and take some time for themselves. Your outsourced bookkeepers will have lots of ideas gleaned from different clients over the years. There may also be many office management tasks they could take off your hands, freeing you up for dealing with your core business activities and your all-important marketing.
Having a to do list and prioritising the items on it will help you to focus on what is important, without losing sight of the less crucial things. Annotating them with deadlines means that they will get to the top of the list when it becomes necessary.
Sometimes you just have to keep going to meet a deadline, finish a project on time or make an important delivery. That’s ok as long as it isn’t all the time. When it’s over, make sure you have time to come down from the adrenaline rush that has kept you going. If you can’t take time off to go for a walk or a swim, this is when you could look at those low priority items on your to do list that won’t take too much out of you.
Make Best Use of Technology
Use technology wisely and it can also save you time. With a laptop, tablet or smart phone, you can work away from the office, so take public transport when you can. If you don’t drive everywhere, you can choose whether to work or relax while travelling.
Don’t let emails and social media take you over. Although they are crucial elements of business success, if you are not careful they can leach a lot of time out of your day. Plan a schedule for checking emails, posting updates and scanning for information. Make notes of anything useful and where to find it. There’s nothing as irritating as partly remembering something and having to take time to root around the web before you can read it again. This is just as important as keeping your hard copy filing up to date and the ‘move paper only once’ advice.
Also remember to make best use of your outsourced bookkeepers, and pick their brains about how you might manage your time more effectively, so that you get a better work life balance.