10 Tips To Help Business Leaders Get A Few Hours Back Each Week by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Workaholism is a serious condition, and it’s only enabled by technology that allows us to be on the clock at all times. Many professionals—but especially entrepreneurs—find themselves ditching friends, answering phone calls and emails at dinner, and even staying up past midnight to work on one of their many tasks.

There’s always something to be done when you run a business, and not handling these responsibilities right away may lead to guilt and anxiety. But being busy isn’t always synonymous with being productive, and you can often save time by increasing efficiency. Below, Young Entrepreneur Council members share ways you can get back up to five hours of your time each week while still making strides on your to-do list.

Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share tips for finding extra time in an overcrowded work schedule.

All photos courtesy of YEC members.

1. Narrow Down Your Top Three Must-Do Items Each Day

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 Pareto principle: 20% of the work you can get done will give 80% of the actual productive results you want. Every day, make a top-down list of everything that needs to get done in the next 24 to 48 hours. Circle the items that absolutely must get done today, before you sleep. Be very picky—ideally choose no more than three items (30-minute increment tasks). Put a star next to the one item you can at least get started today to get you ahead for the week or give you more depth in something else. Now, if everything is turning out to be a fire drill on your list, there are other issues that need to be looked at. – Arry Yu, Yellow Umbrella Ventures

2. Track Your Time

Whether it’s with an app or simply writing down a log of how you spend your workday, tracking this information will show you where your time is being spent most productively and where it’s being wasted. We use an app called Time Doctor to track our time and our employees’ time to make sure everyone is working at their best capacity and getting the most done. I would suggest sticking to an online application; it’s easier for me not to have to think about what I’m doing every minute of the day when I’m working. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

3. Delegate

Delegate or outsource work. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Hire people who understand your objectives and train them to accomplish the tasks, always asking if they can improve on the methodology. Be open to multiple ways of solving problems. – P Mohanty, Navedas

4. Get Organized And Focus On Your Skills

One concept that I have found that allows me to create more time for production and relaxation is to be extremely organized and methodical. Creating systems that make it easy for you to do, along with building muscle memory, is important and will create more efficiency. I also believe in outsourcing the things that you are either not very skilled at or not really interested in. If you are not skilled at marketing and don’t like doing it, outsource marketing. If you do not like dealing with customer service, hire exceptional people with experience in customer service. This will give you more time and flexibility to be more productive with the things that you are best at and enjoy doing while providing more time for other people who are more skilled in other areas to excel and push your business forward with what they are best at doing. – Alec Friel, Prosperity Flow

5. Outsource Your Social Media

Our business social media accounts take up a ton of our time on a daily basis. If you find yourself constantly checking social media for customer questions or concerns, perhaps it’s time to hire a social media expert to mind these matters for you. These same folks can also create and schedule your social media posts, which will free up even more time per week. If you have someone who is skilled in a certain area, put them there so that they can handle that part of the business and report any significant changes to you. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

6. Keep A Journal And Meditate

We often feel like we are accomplishing a lot by working on a project all day, but what we often don’t realize is how much time we waste by letting the mind get lost in thought without us noticing. These thoughts can be about something you did, another project or problem you’re dealing with, etc. The two things that have helped me the most with this have been to journal and meditate. Through journaling, I’m able to clear my mind and think things through more by “talking to myself” about them, which keeps me from replaying those thoughts in my head over and over again. Through practicing mindfulness, I’ve been able to “catch myself” faster when I do get lost in thought and lose focus on the present moment or task at hand. Combining these two practices has increased my efficiency big-time. – Adelaida Sofia Diaz-Roa, Nomo FOMO

7. Block Out Daily Personal Time

Block your calendar and be strict about it. I create space in my calendar that’s reserved for me. If you need to get to the gym, spend time with your family, grab lunch with a friend, read a book, whatever—create that block in your schedule and stick with it. This has helped me sustain the hecticness of being the owner of a growing business that demands my time for many years. – Frank B. Mengert, ebenefit Marketplace (ebm)

8. Stop Task-Switching

Task-switching—such as doing a call, going back to emails, then heading out for a coffee meeting and coming back to the office—is very inefficient. Try to bundle tasks together to save time and have more efficiency. For instance, if you’re going to a meeting at a coffee shop, take several meetings or calls there. If you think about it, you spend a lot of time driving to and from the coffee shop, so make it worth your while. The same goes for computer tasks—if you start something, stick to it. If you’re doing emails, go through all of them (or the important ones) at the same time, then switch to another task like spreadsheet work. Many entrepreneurs waste a lot of time starting, stopping, then starting up a task again. – Andy Karuza, FenSens

9. Automate Your Tasks

When I first started my business I had to watch every penny that went in and out of the bank account when it came to general expenditures. The focus was always on saving money by doing things myself. Whether it was in a Word document or a spreadsheet, everything was done manually. When my time got short and the need for me to be less involved in the grunt work became apparent, I had to begin investing in automating my daily tasks. Like anyone else running a business, I’m sure we all look at some forms of reporting and data. One thing I’ve done to save time is to automate the creation of my reporting, along with graphs and charts that show me what I need to see weekly. This saves me a ton of time creating reports and doing the math my business needs. I’ve also found it increases accuracy. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

10. Try The 4D Method With Your Email

As the CEO of a rapidly growing company, my time and attention are constantly being pulled in multiple directions. One of my key strategies for keeping a clear head is by maintaining a clean inbox through 4D methodology. The basic concept is that when an email comes in, I either: Do, Defer, Delegate or Delete. Learning to prioritize which emails demand an immediate response and which can be pushed off until a later time without being irresponsible has been a significant time-saver for me, helping to improve my productivity. Of course, filtering out which tasks to delegate to other team members, or simply to delete, has been pretty useful as well. – Rami Sass, WhiteSource

May 31, 2019 at 01:19PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs