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As a small business owner, I am sure that you often hear the phrase about working on your business not just in your business.
It is much easier said than done as it is easy to get caught up in everyday life. There are work assignments that need to get done, blogs to write, emails to send, calls to coordinate and presentations to practice. And that’s just the work side of things. It doesn’t include all of the family, friend, volunteer and community commitments.
It is hard to take a break from all of this busy-ness and just focus on our businesses. However, coming up with a plan (and sticking to it) is essential if you want to keep the momentum going in your business. If you don’t change anything, then guess what? Nothing is going to change on its own. Check out my tips below to help squeeze some business planning into your busy schedule:
1. Find your me time.
Find that time during your day when you can focus on your business. It took me a while to find the right time but now I have a set schedule that I am religious about following. Every morning, I wake up super early before the rest of the people in my house are up. During this time, I read a book, review my goals for the upcoming quarter and map out my day in connection with those goals. When mapping out my day I ask myself what needs to get done in order to get closer to my goals. If something isn’t aligned with my business goals, it doesn’t make it onto my to-do list. It’s as simple as that.
2. Cut back on distractions.
Imagine what you could get done if you cut out even 1 hour per day of TV time. And don’t get me started on all of the other distractions in our lives – scrolling through social media, playing games on our phones, etc. I’m not suggesting you do anything drastic like cut out TV or instagram entirely (OMG!), but it wouldn’t hurt to cut out 1 hour of TV per week. That’s 7 extra hours of time per week that you get back. Seven!
Another option is to use social media purposefully. That means only using social media with a purpose – such as to interact with clients and potential clients. You may also want to set a time to go off after a certain amount of time on social media. You will be amazed at how quickly the time goes. But when that timer goes off, turn it off and move onto the next item on your to-do list.
3. Outsource, outsource, outsource.
You know those tasks that you dread doing? The ones that take forever and you put them off until the last minute because they just don’t interest you? I’m going to give you permission to stop doing them. Really. Well, don’t stop doing them altogether, find someone that you can outsource these tasks to in order to free up your time and focus on what you do best. For me, when first starting out, I dreaded doing my finances. It took me forever and I dreaded it. One day I smartened up, hired a bookkeeper and that was the end of that misery. I now leave the numbers to the professionals.
Trust me, there are people out there who actually like doing the tasks that you dread. Take me for example. I love drafting and reviewing contracts. I realize that makes me sound like a huge dork, but it’s what I have always loved to do. So when a business owner is frustrated with their contract or has no idea what it says, they call me to help figure it all out for them in no time. It’s a win-win!
Once you have managed to find your elusive me time, cut back on distractions and outsource the work you are not interested in doing, you will have much more time to focus on activities that will set you up for success. It’s such a valuable way to set yourself up for success. What are you waiting for?
What about you? What do you do to set yourself up for success?
Read more of our Starting a Business articles that may be helpful to you as you grow your small business.