Four Ways To Approach A New Task When You Feel Like You Never Have Enough Time
Content was originally published on Forbes.com on June 4, 2019.
“David, if only I had more time…”
“I would love to do that, but I just don’t have the time…”
“I work 70 hours a week and still run out of time…”
The only thing business owners need more than cash is time. I see it over and over again with the thousands of business owners I work with each year. These are entrepreneurs who are putting in 60-, 70-, 80-hour work weeks, yet still struggle to do all the things they want to do in their businesses. If this sounds like you, you are not alone. But there are a few simple ways that you can cut back on your workload without sacrificing productivity.
Here are the top four things I do each and every time a new task comes across my desk.
1. Don’t do it.
A thousand things come across your desk every single day and the most powerful thing you to do to create value is decide which ones just aren’t worth doing. Look at the task and ask yourself “what would happen if I just didn’t do it?” If it’s small or doesn’t create value, then consider just crossing it off altogether. It’s an instant time saver and allows you to focus on the things that really matter in your business.
2. Give it to someone else.
“Great David, but what if it does actually need to be done?” If the task is a valuable one, and you decide to devote the time and energy to following through, that doesn’t mean that you have to be the one to do the actual work on the first draft. Hand it off to your assistant or another staff member and ask them to put together a draft for you. You can then go in and add your comments and edit. This method will allow you to focus on higher-level things instead of worrying about the small details of the first draft.
3. Do it later.
Don’t want to give it to someone else, but you really don’t have the time to devote to the task right now? Do it later. You may find that putting it on the back burner is the smartest decision and will really highlight its importance (or lack thereof) on the big picture. You may find that it never really needed to be done in the first place.
4. Fix the system.
If you find yourself doing a task over and over again, it could be that there is a problem with your systems or processes that needs adjusting. We see this all the time in customer-service-orientated tasks. If someone asks a question more than once, consider putting it into a self-serve knowledge base or FAQ page. That way, customers can find the answers themselves, thus freeing up your time to focus on higher-level tasks. Another great way to accomplish this is through the use of video. A great YouTube video can save you thousands of work hours and give your customers instant access to information they need to better use your product or services.
What are your favorite ways to free up time during your work week without sacrificing value?