Some days it seems as though everyone is busy. We come to work early, work through our lunches and stay late, but our to-do list never diminishes. Just as soon as we’ve ticked off action points, several more take their place. This can be a problem for entrepreneurs and business owners, as it prevents them from moving the business forward. However, there are several steps you can take to work more efficiently and create time in your schedule.
Cut Travel Time
A recent survey revealed that efficiency is one of the main concerns for business owners. When trying to save time and increase efficiency, the first step is to look at problem areas. How long does your daily commute take? How long does it take employees and colleagues to get to work each day? It’s not just about the time it takes. If you have to battle through traffic or stand for long periods on a packed train, the tendency is to feel stressed before you even arrive at the office. This can affect health and lead to increased absences. It also affects productivity. If you feel stressed, you’re unlikely to work at your full capacity. So if you could remove or decrease the amount of time spent traveling, this is likely to have a positive impact on your business in terms of staff wellbeing, productivity, and efficiency.
More and more businesses are turning to virtual office environments. Rather having an office where everyone is based, staff work remotely. Of course, in order to do this, you need to ensure everyone can access systems and tools. Fortunately, many applications can now be hosted on the cloud where staff can access them via an internet connection. Packages like Sage hosted solutions allow teams to access and share important data, without the necessity of coming to the office.
Reduce Working Hours
When you’re busy with deadlines looming, the tendency is to increase working hours. However, this is counterproductive. Last year Sweden conducted an experiment to reduce the working day to six hours. Due to its success, this has since been adopted by many Swedish companies. Results revealed that employees were much happier and productivity increased. So it pays to work fewer hours.
Though it may not be viable to adopt this approach in your business, there are simple changes you can make. For example, cutting overtime and insisting that everyone takes their lunch break. Try it. You may be surprised at the results.
Delegate And Say No
If you have too much work to complete each day, it’s time to delegate. Though you may be reluctant to do this, it is necessary in order to achieve growth. As a business owner, you should be working on the business and not in it. Either pass work onto other members of staff or hire new employees. If this isn’t an option, consider outsourcing some of the work. There are many organizations dedicated to completing work that you don’t have time to do. It will be completed by a professional, freeing you up to focus your attention on the areas that will make a real difference.
Learning how to say no, goes hand in hand with this. If you are constantly taking on more than you can complete, you need to say no. Work out why you are being asked to complete this. For example, is it a training issue? Take steps to resolve problems and establish healthy boundaries.
Adopting a few simple strategies is all it takes to free up your day, create some time and work more efficiently.