I know that if you are working for yourself one of your most valuable commodities is time. Why is it, then, that there never seems to be enough of it?
If you want to create more time for yourself you have to learn to work harder, faster or smarter. The chances are that you are already working flat out so that rules out both harder and faster.
Instead you can use these four simple tips to work smarter and save time into the bargain.
1. Think about your emails. How much time do you spend each day reading and writing emails? If you are like most people the answer will be quite a lot, especially if you work for yourself. That means dealing with clients, suppliers and customers as well as wading through the oceans of spam. Half of those emails may be essential but you don’t need the other half. If you have an assistant, give them access to your mailbox and let them delete the rubbish for you.
2. Delegate. Talking of assistants, it is vital that you make use of your team as much as possible. Get them to take responsibility for things you don’t need to waste your time on. Having an assistant manage your calendar or diary means you don’t have to worry about juggling appointments. If you don’t have an assistant, think about getting one. There ae plenty of people looking for work out there, including part time and flexi hours.
3. Prioritise. This is one of the easiest things to do but one of the most difficult to stick to. Create a daily ‘to do’ list. Allocate time to each project or task and make sure it gets done within that timeframe. ‘Fail to plan and plan to fail’ maybe a cliché but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
4. Learn to say ‘No’. Nobody likes doing it, but sometimes it is just the right answer. Yes, some people may feel affronted but ask yourself if they really need you to do whatever it is or are they looking to make life easier for themselves. Say ‘no’ to timewasters.
Want more hours in the day? Well you can’t have them so you need to learn to manage what time you do have better.