How much free time do you have in your day? If you’re feeling strapped for time, you’re not alone. But could you be the problem?
We’re living in a time when working long hours and sacrificing personal time is glorified. And while the concept of hard work is admirable, hustle culture is highly counterproductive, and results in nothing more than poor time management and burnout.
Let’s uncover your real issue and turn your business from burnt-out to brilliant.
The Cost of Hustle Culture
Hustle culture occurs when a workplace environment places its focus on productivity and hard work, but gives little regard for rest or the wellness of its workers.
This recent phenomenon promotes the pursuit of success at all costs. Sadly, being obsessed with staying productive every waking moment can be detrimental to both your mental and physical health.
In fact, one of the main issues with hustle culture is the pressure to always achieve more. This mindset will land you on a first-class flight to burn-out city. And the fight for perfection is anxiety-inducing. Stop being proud of being busy.
Rest is a necessary part of life, and it’s anything but lazy. Your success is determined by more than just your work ethic and productivity. If this is your first time running a business, your standard of success shouldn’t be measured next to someone who inherited a fourth generation business.
If you’re not seeing the success you expect from yourself, it could very well be that you’re mismanaging your time. And if you think your time-management skills are a 10 out of 10, but you haven’t taken a vacation, you’ve found the flaw in your reasoning.
You, as a small business owner, are important. You create job opportunities, drive innovation and help stimulate the economy. That’s pretty overwhelming. And when you don’t take the time to mentally reset, your staff can suffer, along with your innovation efforts.
After all, when your brain is constantly focused on work, it can be nearly impossible to come up with fresh ideas and solutions to current customer woes.
It’s time to figure out where you can flex your schedule and get back some personal time to can reset and come back to your business more productive than ever because, let’s face it, 24/7 work weeks benefit no one.
Identify the Root Issue
Time. We all want more of it, but you get 24 hours in a day and that’s it. Because you can’t magically add more hours into the day, it’s key to use that time wisely. Identifying tasks that waste time is crucial for boosting productivity within your business.
Some common tasks that waste time include:
- Multitasking. While it may seem like a time-saver, multitasking can actually decrease productivity. Only 2.5% of people can multitask effectively, while the rest of those multitaskers lose 5%-15% of their cognitive efficiency while switching between tasks. Instead, focus on completing one task before moving on to the next one.
- Procrastination. When it comes to productivity, it’s not just about managing time but also the tendency to put things off. If you find yourself procrastinating, break tasks down into small steps and set deadlines in place. Work on those tasks for 25 minutes at a time and reward yourself with a 5-minute break before you start the cycle over again. Work that way until your to-do list is cleared.
- Disorganization. When your workspace and processes are a mess, you can spend more time searching for answers than you are resolving the issues. This can also impact employees by hindering them from completing important tasks and meeting deadlines. By having organized systems in place, and maintaining them, you can save time and reduce errors.
When it comes to your business, you know best. Take the time to pinpoint what tasks are sucking the time out of the day. Spend time analyzing which tasks do and don’t add value to your business or contribute to your goals. These can be things as simple as excessive paperwork and repetitive administrative duties that could be managed through business management software.
Once you’ve locked in on where those time-wasters are, develop a plan to eliminate or streamline them. This way you can improve the productivity and efficiency within your business and feel less strapped for time.
If you’re looking for strategies for managing your time better:
- Be aware of how you’re spending your time
- Set your priorities and readjust where necessary
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
Implement Tools Where You Can
Implementing software to manage your business is a game-changer when it comes to streamlining your processes. By identifying the areas of your business that need improvement and selecting the appropriate tools to address those issues, you can optimize your operations and achieve better results.
Here are 5 areas where software proves to be useful:
- Accounting and finance to handle invoicing and tax filings
- Payment processors to manage financial transactions
- Marketing to help with campaign management for social media and email
- Internal and external communications to improve productivity and collaboration
- Reporting to aid in analyzing and interpreting data to gain insights
Get Back to Brilliant
Now that you have a plan to reclaim your time, get ready for the fun part — creating a plan to reignite your passion for your business. Surprisingly, the first step is going to be to step back.
Evaluate which aspects of your business excited you and which ones are draining you. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks that don’t align with your passions. Seek support from your staff, stakeholders and mentor to see if there are tips they can offer or tasks they can take on.
You may find it helpful to outsource those duties, and luckily for you, the gig economy is going nowhere anytime soon.
Consider breaking from your daily routine for a jumpstart to recharge your batteries. I’m sure you’re overdue for a vacation, but if a getaway isn’t in the cards for you, give yourself a well-deserved break each week.
Set aside a few hours each week to brainstorm new ideas or attend events where you can network with other business owners.
In you find yourself strapped for time, it may be because you’re pouring it into the wrong areas of your business. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a business, but remember that your passion for your business is what set you apart.
By adopting better time management practices, you can get back to prioritizing your passion and ensure the long-term success of your business.
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