Most businesses owners never feel like they have enough time to do all the things that need to get done. Startup founders feel especially burdened since their teams are usually small and they have limited resources. While there’s nothing you can do about the number of hours in the day, you can make every day more productive. Here’s how to get the most out of each day.
Monitor Your Online Time and Minimise Distractions
The Internet can be a key facilitator of modern businesses but it can also prove to be a major distraction. Apps like RescueTime and even the new Screen Time feature on iPhones provide lots of insight into your online activities. The stats collected by these apps may shock you. If you’re running an online business, social media screen time will be key to your productivity. However, if most of your business is done offline, 3 hours on Twitter per day may not be the best use of your time. Try muting the notifications from these apps. If you still find yourself checking them for updates, log out at the start of the workday. Only log in during breaks or at the end of the day.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel; Use Templates
You can get templates for virtually anything you need to create. These include editorial calendars, social media audits, purchase orders and more. These will keep you organized, ensure everything has a uniform look, and save you lots of time. Customize the templates with your brand colors and logos and any special sections you need. This will take a lot less time than designing everything from scratch.
Automate Tasks Where Possible
Take advantage of the wide range of tools which can help you automate some of your functions. This can free up some of your time so you don’t have to do repetitive processes manually. Apps like Hootsuite, Drip, and Autopilot allow you to schedule your social media posts, manage inbound messages and track audience growth and performance. UiPath can take over both front and back office processes. Invoice generators and accounting tools make it easier to manage your finances and make tax season a lot more hassle-free. You can also use an alert system to monitor online brand mentions. Tracking social media manually for reviews and comments can be very time-consuming.
Sign Up for a Managed Email System
Startups get lots of emails and forgetting to follow up on a critical one can have a significant impact on business. Managed email systems allow you to have more control over your inbox. You can schedule alerts, mark emails which have been successfully handled and organize messages according to importance. This may not seem necessary in the beginning but once you start to get lots of offers, orders or queries, you will see the need.
Make Sure Your Workspace is Work-Friendly
Getting the most out of your day doesn’t only revolve around digital tools. Your office environment can either boost or hamper productivity. You should have adequate space for each worker, good lighting and proper equipment. You also need to ensure that office furniture is ergonomic. Your office should be set up in a way that employees can interact as necessary and have access to the tools they will need. If privacy and security are important in your field, make sure these are not compromised in any way. You can also add some custom neon lights in your workspace to remind you to work hard.
Outsource Small Tasks to Freelancers
The gig economy is growing and startups should take advantage of this. There are certain small jobs which may not suit anyone in your team. Instead of leaving the task undone or giving it to someone who can’t handle it, hire a skilled freelancer online. Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and other freelance marketplaces list hundreds of people who work for as little as $5. Outsourcing allows your team to focus on their areas of specialty and the core aspects of business.
Ban Meetings on One Day of The Week
Asana is one startup which has put this policy in place. Having one day of the week free of meetings allows workers to focus on their respective tasks. While meetings can be valuable, if they aren’t properly planned or organized, they can simply be a waste of time. Unless there is an emergency, impromptu meetings can stop everyone from actually getting work done. Leave one day each week for focused work.
You can land clients, build your brand and bring in revenue without spending every minute of the day working. Create a workspace that’s conducive to work, automate where possible and outsource when necessary to make sure you and your team operate at optimum levels. Don’t forget that there are ways to market your business with minimal effort.