A common experience people have currently, is not having enough time! Business owners, coaches and consultants make excuses as to why they can’t be active or even look at using social media to market their business. It seems that while technology is meant to make our lives easier it has just gone and made things all complicated because it is now easier to connect and communicate but harder to keep up.
Most of us have learnt the art of multi-tasking and I think for some of us it created more confusion and a whole lot of unproductivity. Let’s create good habits by starting with, “Being in that moment” avoid multi-tasking but give each task your full and complete attention.
Here are some time saving tips:
If you have the advantage of shopping online, do it! Shop and pay your bills online. Why spend time getting in your car, sitting in traffic driving to the store, then look for parking and stand in queues when you can go online and have it delivered to your door.
Get a digital recorder or record on your phone
This is super handy for those moments where you get a burst of inspiration and you don’t have a pen and notepad handy. I find my best inspiration comes while driving. I use my recording device to remind myself of things to do. I record ideas that come to me, these could be ads, tag lines, a tweet, a post. What I also do is use the speech to text and email myself articles I’m inspired to write. The speech to text facility does not always interpret what you say accurately and does have a language of its own but very handy in saving you time especially if you are not a professional speed typist.
Delays and Queues
Always carry a book, an Ipod, or your Tablet with you for these moments. This is the perfect time to catch up on reading, catch up on telephone calls or catch up on social networking. Instead of complaining the queue is too long, or the train is late, take out your book, your audio, or your tablet and be productive.
While public transport has its issues and we all get frustrated, on the upside, if you can travel via public transport I recommend it because it’s a good time to catch up on reading, listen to that audio or have a catnap. It is also a good time to catch up on networking online.
Systems and Processes
Alot of creative people love to dig in their hills here and scream NO, GET ME OUT OF HERE! I’m a creative and a systems person so I get to see the benefits of having a balance of both. The reality is people need boundaries, they need to know how things work and they need that security to know that things are running smoothly, it builds confidence. When things are all the place, not getting done or it keeps changing from one day to the next, then it causes people to wonder if things are secure and stable and trust me if people feel that on the inside, it will be felt on the outside. You can lose potential partners and investors because of this.
I recently worked with a company who were all over the place. They had no systems in place and when you were given a task to do, the next thing you know it’s been taken away from you and someone esle is dealing with it. No one knew what was going on and there was no clear communication system in place. People were in the dark, and as I connected with people on the outside of the company and mentioned I no longer worked there, people actually started sharing with me that they had their doubts, that they felt things were unstable, things were in chaos. They thought it was all going to crash if something is not done. Funny how people always say things after you leave or when you no longer friends with someone.
Get someone who knows how to help you implement systems. Get the process started and stick to it. Really lead by example, if you as the leader follows the system everyone else will. It will build confidence and save a lot of time.
Don’t dump everything on one person. Have different department heads who are complete control of that area and if they have an issue they report back to you. There is a chain of command. Yes, the bosses door is always open but only when you felt you had no joy with your department head. One of my clients does this really well, she has a virtual team. One person is in charge of sales, the other in charge of online, the other in charge of products.
Systems and processes actually help to relieve stress. It boosts investor and partner confidence. I’ve been on both sides and I’ve seen it, this is why I’m sharing this.
I know alot of small businesses think they save lots of money doing it themselves, but seriously you don’t. Think of all the hours you are wasting doing that admin, writing that content, when you could be generating leads or working with clients? If you earn R500 per hour and you are spending 3 hours on things you can pass on to other people you are losing out on R1,500. Use that time to write your books, network, generate leads, develop products.
Automate and re purpose your content
It’s impossible to be in front of your computer 24/7 if you have a business to run, unless of course you run an online business. Over the years I’ve received flack for automating but I know that Guy Kawasaki is a believer in automation to. I don’t have time to be constantly creating new fresh content 24/7 I have clients to look after so yes I automate. I’ve automated my content for many years and guess what it still generates me business. See what you can automate and automate. Revisit old blog posts, old tweets and see what you can share again. Not everyone is online 24/7 and not everyone has read your stuff. If need be give the article a fresh outlook. Use tools like Postific, Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your content a week or two in advance.
What suggestions do you have that’s helped you save time? I’d love to hear your thoughts experiences you’ve had when businesses function without a system.