When you are just starting your new business, it can seem like there’s not time to do everything—because there truly isn’t. Time is one of the most precious resources you have, and if invested in the right activities, it can pay off in spades. However, if not managed carefully, time can easily pass before your eyes without anything gained. You must be intentional about how you spend time on your business. How can you take advantage of the precious time you have to complete those tasks that will ultimately move your business forward? These three steps will help.
- Delegate, even when you’re the only employee. When you are starting a business, it’s easy to get caught in the mindset that you have to do everything for your company, from building the shelves to ordering product to setting up your website. This can leave you frustrated at best and exhausted at worst. Turning over simple responsibilities to others can free up large portions of your day, but you must be willing to give up responsibility for all tasks.Start with someone you trust: a spouse, a family member or a trusted friend. Give them everyday tasks, like running to the post office, purchasing supplies or delivering product to customers. Menial tasks can make those closest to you feel connected to your new endeavor, while you gain a few hours per week of time to focus on the business.
- Blend your work and personal life. At first glance, this might seem against popular wisdom, but research has proven that adopting a flexible schedule decreases stress and increases productivity for new business owners. When you’re starting a new business, it is almost impossible to separate work life from personal life or keep designated “office hours.” Be flexible to carving out spaces of time when your family is less likely to need you, such as getting up early in the morning before the rest of the family and checking e-mails, or balancing your accounts after everyone else has gone to sleep. Likewise, find moments in your workday to disconnect when your family needs you, such as at sporting or school activities. Vow to eat at least 4 meals together per week. By integrating your work and personal life, instead of trying to separate it into two distinct categories, you will develop a flexibility that will allow for extended time to work on your business.
- Say “no” more often than “yes.” Being overloaded doesn’t make you more productive; on the contrary it increases stress and decreases focus. Evaluate every action you take as a small business owner. Before agreeing to attending a meeting, or even going for a cup of coffee, it’s important to ask yourself what clear value the activity is providing to move your business ahead. Ask yourself if the opportunity will be a good investment in terms of time spent and anticipated results—just like you would do if you were purchasing a new product or service for your business. You will find that saying “no” can be just as valuable to your business as saying “yes.”
Managing your time will continue to be a challenge as your business grows from early stages into maturity. However, if you learn to use basic tools to manage and carve out time early on, and value results-driven time investments, you can take charge of your schedule and move your business forward without the stress that comes with having too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. Interested in learning more about securing a firm legal foundation for the future of your company? Call the attorneys at LexLaunch.com at (816) 434-6610 or click here for more information to learn more about how to decrease risk and protect your small business.