Running a small business is tough, no matter what it is. Your days might be spent without a second to spare for some time until you can find your feet, expand, and get into a schedule. But if you have trouble managing your workload and hitting your objectives for the day, you might have bigger problems. Here, we’re going to look at a few reasons why you might feel like there just aren’t enough work hours in the workday.
You’re not planning properly
You might think that you’re giving yourself more time to get stuck into your work by skipping the planning process at the start of the day. However, all you’re doing is ensuring that you’re working without direction. When you do that, you might end up spending a lot more time on the stuff that doesn’t matter over the actions that are urgent. You should use more than a to-do list, you should spend the first half-hour of the day prioritising your workload and finding out which items on that to-do list are most important. Measure them by both urgency and importance. Some items might not be as urgent, but you still have to get them before the day is done. When you’re laying out your schedule, try to set items that require similar skills or tools closer to one another. That way, you can shift from one task to another without having to get into an entirely different mindset.
You’re doing everything manually
Manual labour is way overrated. You might think that doing everything yourself means giving it the detail it deserves, but the facts show that businesses that use automated software more end up making fewer mistakes. That’s because they eliminate human error as well as giving you more time. Tools like accounting software, HR software, and so on still need a little supervision. But they can take some of the most monotonous and time-consuming work off your plate entirely, leaving you free to get stuck into things that are more engaging.
You’re ignoring the team
If you can’t automate it with software, ask if you can instead pass it off to another team member? A lot of employers can feel uncomfortable about delegating because they’re worried they might adding more work than an employee can handle. That’s a valid concern, but it shouldn’t stop you from asking. When delegating, ensure that it’s not a responsibility that should fall directly to you, that it offers some benefit or experience to the employee, and that they’re the person for the job. Everyone has weaknesses, and if you turn out to be less effective at the task than your employee, you could end up transferring the duty to them. Just make sure it comes with a bonus, benefit, or even a title change. They need to feel like it’s a career progression, not just having more work put on them.
You’re getting bogged down by tasks outside your field
In the same vein as delegating, outsourcing can be more than helpful, it can be crucial. Virtual assistants can help you with the little admin or communications tasks that might otherwise take up your whole workday, but there are services you should rely on for the sole fact that you might not know how to do it yourself. Small business IT support is one such service. As, too, might be online marketing advice. Or fulfilment services. Identify the core processes of the business that you’re not yet equipped to handle on your own and consider outsourcing them. In the future, you may be able to scale to equip your business with those skills internally. Until you do, however, trying to handle them yourselves can be incredibly time-consuming, not to mention ineffective.
You’re communicating inefficiently
How much time a week do you spend having to explain something, or dealing with requests for information? If the answer is “a lot”, you have a communication problem. When it comes to sharing information specific to a goal that the team shares, there are few tools better than project management software. Systemising processes, the act of creating documents that detail the specific steps of doing a task, can save you a lot of time training employees in tasks that have already been done in the business, just not by them, yet.
Time management is more than just a neat trick, it’s an essential skill for anyone running the business. Not only can you apply what you’ve learned here to your own workday, but you can use the tips of prioritising workloads, communicating better, and finding automating solutions to your team as well.