Owning a business comes with a host of challenges that would be made much less challenging by simply not having any type of personal life-prolonging needs like eating, sleeping, exercising and maintaining valuable social relationships. Unfortunately, until we find a way to work around those needs by existing as magicians who make it all so easy with the wave of a wand, we’re forced to do as Tim Gunn famously suggests and “MAKE IT WORK”.
Here are a few brilliant time-saving hacks to help you get the maximum ROI for the time you spend focusing on your business without having to continually cast a spell on the audience.
• SCHEDULING IS HARD. GET AN APP
The “owner” in your title of business owner means you’re constantly wearing more than one hat because EVERYTHING, especially starting out, falls under your job description. Our suggestion - cut down on the chaos and take the time to find a scheduling app that works for you. Google Calendar, as part of the popular Google Suite, is great for managing multiple events, appointments and reminders across more than one calendar. It’s easily shareable which is a great bonus for confirming with clients. Another great option which takes things to the next level is Timely. On top of being a scheduling app, Timely adds billing and budgeting features to the mix, freeing up time, and even possible overhead for your business. Do yourself a favor and take the time to find the right scheduling app for you. It can be an excellent productivity booster.
• HEAD DOWN, BLINDERS ON
Ok, we know this is a no-brainer, but these days distractions come in many forms, lots of which you may not even be aware of. For business owners starting out, your workspace may be in your home or in a public place. If you’re working from home, and we mean this is the nicest way possible, best of luck. If you’re a parent working from home AND your kids are home with you, you’re in our thoughts. While working from home is a great time and money saver, things like pets, laundry, the television and the temptation to hop out and run a quick errand are distraction behemoths. If you find that you can’t avoid at-home urges, our best bet is to go find a cozy Starbucks and get to work while keeping your head down. If you do break out and head to the local coffee shop to work, it’s best to go to the same one consistently and limit your people-watching and social media-perusing to strictly scheduled breaks.
• UP AND AT’EM!
We know the early bird gets the worm, but when it comes to maximizing productivity, there’s another very important part of his strategy. Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog - 21 GREAT WAYS TO STOP PROCRASTINATING AND GET MORE DONE IN LESS TIME, says it’s imperative to focus on and tackle your most important tasks of the day before anything else. While the visual of eating a frog might make you want to stay in bed, it’s a pretty universal concept, and one that couldn’t make more sense when applied to managing your work day. Get over your biggest hurdle early right out of the gate and it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the race.
• JUST FACE IT, YOU SUCK AT PASSWORDS
Just like the time your parents had to take away your great-grandmother’s keys to her 1981 Plymouth Reliant, there will come a time for you to accept the fact that you can’t remember every single username and password you have out in the world. And ain’t nobody got time for the round robin that comes after FINALLY giving up and clicking on that smug little Forgot Your Password? link. Take 2 seconds and keep a running list of the username and password combos you use most frequently. You might not like it now, but one day you’ll thank us for it.
• TELL YOURSELF SWEET LITTLE LIES
If you’re like a lot of people (and by a lot of people we mean US), having an EOD deadline on something probably means you’re going to start it closer to the EOD. By giving yourself fake deadlines, you add pressure to work consistently on tasks that you might have saved for later in the day, or for another day altogether.
We know that every day as a business owner is an exercise in magic. It’s a juggling act and as soon as you pull one rabbit out of a hat, Tim Gunn comes in with a scantily-clad assistant for you to saw in half. There are lots of great hacks to help you “MAKE IT WORK” and once you discover what tricks work best for you and your business, the magic really starts to happen.