Getting More Done In Less Time – A Challenge Facing Small Business Owners

Getting More Done In Less Time – A Challenge Facing Small Business Owners

Small business owners have a limited amount of time to get all their tasks done. Many of them struggle to complete their daily to-do lists. At the end of the day, some jobs invariably remain unfinished.

Here’s how I tackle this issue:

Prioritizing work

I ensure that I set very clear goals for myself. At the end of each day, I list down the tasks that I need to complete on the next day.

Each item on my list needs to pass several tests before I allow myself to write it down. Will the work provide any lasting benefit to my business? Do I need to do it myself or can I get it done by someone else? Is there any way that I can do the same work in less time or in a more efficient manner?

Keep a time log

At one stage this was my #1 productivity strategy. I noted down the number of minutes/hours that I was spending on each activity. It was a real eye-opener. I realized that several hours each day were being spent on replying to emails and other routine matters.

What’s worse, I was carrying out these tasks in the mornings, when my productivity was at its highest. Now I devote my morning hours to the essential jobs that I have to accomplish. As a result, my efficiency and work output have soared.

Minimize distractions

My social media feeds used to play havoc with my productivity till I discovered the “airplane mode” function on my smartphone and on my computer. Now I simply switch off when I have an important task at hand.

Keep meetings short

Earlier, my sales calls and client visits used to stretch on for hours. I thought that spending more time with clients meant that I would be able to build stronger bonds with them. But I have realized that it is not the length of the interaction that matters, but its quality.

Now I limit most meetings to 30-40 minutes, an hour at most. Consequently, I have freed up a great deal of time without compromising my work in any way.

Avoid multitasking

I have realized that working on several tasks at the same time doesn’t help in accomplishing more. In fact, it slows me down and restricts my productivity. I have also learned that it is impossible to do two jobs simultaneously.

Now I take up one task and finish it and then go on to the next. Of course, this is not possible all the time. There are occasions when I have to drop what I’m doing and tackle something that needs my immediate attention. But I’ve realized that most interruptions can wait.

A lasting advantage

My time-saving strategies have given me several long-term benefits. I am able to give my full attention to my most important work. What’s more, I’m able to do this without stressing myself out trying to do more than I can handle.

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