Even More Time Stretchers and Strategies
Time, Time, Time – the wish for every Small Business Owner – We Want MORE Time! But the reality is, we ALL have the same 24 hours per day. So after we addressed the ‘Time Stealers’ – I gave you 5 of my fave Time Stretchers and here are the other 5!
6) Menu Plans & Grocery Lists ~ You didn’t think I was going to talk about domestic stuff but here’s the deal. We write down our favorite 10 meals and the grocery lists that go with that. Keep a standard master list. Check off stuff when you run out, take the list with you instead of forgetting things or racking your brain about what to fix next week. Plan ahead. (Men, seriously – my husband and I work on this together.) Need help here? The Dinner Diva rocks at this stuff and fills in all the domestic skills I lack. (Same with office supplies. Pet supplies. Yard supplies. Get the idea???)
7) Checklists ~ anything you do more than once deserves a checklist
- Get the kids to school.
- Getting ready for church.
- What to pack for a slumber party.
- How to update the website.
- How to format the marketing emails.
- How to update the blog.
- How to answer incoming phone calls.
- How to fill a client order.
- How to welcome a new customer from the website.
- How to follow up with stale clients.
- How to schedule and confirm appointments.
Checklists allow you to delegate to other people when you’re not having to STOP, think, and remember all the processes. Beth Schneider from Process Prodigy taught me that and WOW! does it ever make a difference!!
Here’s an exercise for you…what if you were sent to the hospital with a medical emergency (think worst ca
se scenario). You are not able to speak, or text or email. What would your family, your team, your assistant need to know in order to keep things functioning?? Of COURSE they won’t do it as awesome as YOU – but it could get done!
My husband just left for 10 days in Europe with my teen daughter and left me a pool checklist, an a/c checklist, a yard checklist and a checklist about where all the important passwords, paperwork, etc are – I can’t tell you what a stress-reliever that is!
8) Routines ~ You know when you get up you’re going to go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, take your vitamins and start the coffee. You should have work-related routines too. The more you make things routine the less you have to make a choice about whether you’re going to do it or not. As entrepreneurs we’re what I call ‘schedule rebels’ – that sounds good, in theory, but really will have a negative impact on your bottom line and stress levels if you don’t have routines.
9) Delegation ~ Those of you who struggle with delegation because you think you can’t afford help (or you don’t have ‘time’ to delegate) should know that my 4 year old, 7 year old, and 13 year old work pretty cheap and/or free. They don’t always fold the towels the exact way I would but they get it done. My husband, brother or mom can grocery shop if they have the list. My virtual assistant can help send out cards or notes if we have a checklist or system in place. You might use Fiverr.com, Elance.com, Mechanical Turk or other discount outsourcing. I love using my web team for tech stuff, they do LOTS of the nuts and bolts I just don’t want to spend my time on and they are really affordable. Also, eventually, when your business calls for it, an efficient virtual assistant you can trust is worth her weight in gold bars.
At home delegation tip: Resist the urge to go behind your family and correct, fix or fuss. (Train, don’t criticize.) They will stop helping if you make them feel like they can’t please you.
10) Mail & Packages ~ Have a set time you deal with it if you deal with it at all. I don’t deal with mail. My husband does. He cannot stand to NOT go to the PO Box every day. I would go once a week if I were single.
My rule is: I only see happy mail. Thank you notes, envelopes with checks or invitations to fun stuff – that’s what I deal with. I don’t deal with the barrage of ‘noisy’ mail or marketing materials. If you don’t have the luxury of having somebody help you with that, then set aside a block or chunk of time every FEW days (not daily) to deal with it. Honestly, some of you use it as an avoidance behavior. I think it’s a mistake.
In future posts – we’ll cover ‘Power Hour’ and ‘Filters & Qualifications’ for those of you still resisting some of the strategies 🙂 Let me hear from you below. Have anything to add? Using something that works amazing? Have a question or resource to share?