Time Management = Cash Management
We’ve all heard the saying “Time is Money.” This is especially true when it comes to running your own business. As the main income producer in your business, it is essential that you work efficiently and effectively. Spending too much time on non-income producing tasks can have a negative effect on your bottom line. By managing your time wisely, you are in effect managing your cash. In this month’s blog, we share three major time wasters for business owners and strategies for avoiding them.
Time Waster #1: Reading emails as soon as they hit your inbox.
When you see an email notification on your screen, are you compelled to stop whatever you’re doing to read it? If you read every email as soon as it comes in, you’re interrupting your workflow and momentum. Ask yourself, how often are those emails truly important? How many emails do you receive that MUST be responded to the moment you receive them? Chances are, they can wait.
Solution: Schedule set times to read and respond to email.
Many time management experts suggest scheduling set times every day to read and respond to your email. Most of those I’ve seen suggest checking email first thing in the morning, right before or after your lunch break, and just before leaving work for the evening.
Help for Chronic Email Readers
If you’re a chronic email reader, it can be extremely difficult to restrict yourself to checking it only three times a day, especially if your tasks and calendar are also linked to your email. If this sounds like you, consider using a strategy that one of my clients has implemented with great success:
- Every one to two hours, schedule 10 minutes to scan your emails and a longer period twice a day to answer those that require a response.
- During the 10 minute breaks, sort your emails and answer those that need an immediate response.
- Create three sub-folders to your inbox: Read Today, Read Later, and Respond Today.
- During the time you’ve scheduled to handle emails, read those in the Read Today and Respond Today folders, taking the necessary actions.
- If you have time, start on the Read Later folder.
- Make it your goal to empty the Read Today and Respond Today folders by the end of your work day.
Time Waster #2: Getting Sucked into Social Media.
When I talk to business owners, it seems that social media–Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, or any of the other platforms–is a huge area where time is wasted. How many times have you logged in to post an update on your business page, research an idea, or just “check in,” only to realize an hour or two had flown by without your accomplishing anything?
Solution: Use a Social Media Scheduler.
Social Media is here to stay and can be a very effective tool in staying current and in front of your clients, customers, and referral partners. But as with handling email, you need a schedule and to hold yourself to a time block. If you post often during the day or week, using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you avoid getting sucked in when you really don’t have the time. Writing and scheduling your posts at the beginning of the day or week and then scheduling specific blocks of time to check in and respond to any comments will allow you to stay on track and focus on the projects at hand, while still being connected to your followers.
Time Waster #3: Doing it All Yourself.
When we start out as business owners, it’s easy to feel like we have to do it all ourselves. There isn’t enough work or money to justify outsourcing. But once you begin to grow your clients and customers, trying to do everything by yourself can take time away from managing the critical aspects of your business and serving your customers.
Solution: Outsource non-income producing tasks.
Outsource your non-incoming producing tasks like bookkeeping to professional service providers. This will free up your time to handle more clients and more customers and develop new products and income streams. Your job as a business owner/entrepreneur is to make sure your business is running efficiently and effectively. Quite often, when business owners compare the costs of an outsourced professional to the gain in income-producing time, they find that what they will spend is less and sometimes far less than the potential income they will realize.
Accounting and Bookkeeping Services in NH and MA
The professionals at Fournier Accounting and Bookkeeping Services can take care of your accounting or bookkeeping needs so you can focus on running your business and serving your clients. Contact us today!