Raise your hand if you already feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. There’s nothing “small” about being a small business owner – a jack-of-all trades that juggles a massively large “To Do” list. But as Stephen R. Covey famously wrote in his seminal work: 7 Habits of Highly Successful People: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
In other words, do your daily actions (and ultimately habits) most efficiently and effectively support your goals for success? Here are 4 simple ways to make every action count, while doubling your productive output in half the time. Read on.
1. Take Advantage of Scheduling Resources
We recently reported on the killer resources available within your local community, but there are also many digital resources available to help with time management and productivity. Owning a small business means that maintaining an online presence, whether through email lists, social media or your website, is a primary way of attracting a constant stream of customers. By using apps or online services to automate social media posts, email blasts and blog posts, your social media content will be presented to the public on a consistent basis and during peak hours without interrupting your day.
2. Hire a Virtual Assistant
The internet and associated technology allow us the flexibility of utilizing specialists across the globe for business related tasks. As the owner of your business, your efforts and attention are best utilized in areas of business development, customer satisfaction and efficient operation. Many business owners become bogged down with tasks such as purchasing, scheduling, data entry and research, which are perfect tasks to delegate to a virtual assistant. Various virtual assistant services are available online offering multiple levels of service and price points.
3. Listen to Podcasts and Audio Books
Staying ahead of the latest trends within your industry requires continuing education. Take advantage of commutes, school pick up lines or appointment waiting rooms by having a business related podcast or audio book ready. Not only will this time saving trick ease your stress while waiting, it will inspire innovative ideas and provide industry updates. With the use of iPods, Bluetooth and car audio technology, wait time is no longer wasted time.
4. Utilize Time Saving Apps
What are your biggest time vampires? Which annoyances eat up precious time each day? Take a mental inventory of the menial, time wasting tasks throughout your day and implement a solution. The following activities are the most reported tasks that rob precious hours from a productive business day:
~Looking up passwords
~Sitting on hold with customer support
~Locating misplaced to-do lists
Once you have identified your top time wasting problems, chances are, a tech solution has been developed to solve it, either in the form of an app or a cloud based solution. Many apps sync with multiple devices, allowing the consistent use of the tool across various platforms. Check out our recent article on the best time saving apps for small businesses.
If you find yourself wasting time on social media and want to reclaim hours of productivity, check out the numerous app options that block social media for certain time periods throughout the day. If you struggle to discipline yourself, these apps will do it for you- and you will be thankful.
It only takes a few moments to raise your productivity level through the roof and focus your efforts on being a business owner. See how other business owners, like you, are taking advantage of resources designed to ensure the success of their small businesses.
Yodle connects consumers to local businesses simply and cost-effectively through its online marketing platform. Yodle currently serves more than 45,000 small business customers. This blog is used as a forum to provide key company updates and milestones, and to discuss important industry and business trends. Learn more.