Faster & Smarter: These 5 Things Slow You Down

Faster & Smarter: These 5 Things Slow You Down

Leadership | Posted by - February 25, 2016 at 12:30 am

Everyday inefficiencies cost entrepreneurs dearly – small changes can make a big difference to your productivity.

Did you know that time-consuming inefficiencies are costing North American small business owners over 4 billion hours annually?

Read on to learn 5 time-saving habits that will help you grow your business and allow you more time to enjoy your success.

Getting on board with new technology can help make a big difference in your productivity and profitability.

Doing It All Yourself
Business owners struggle trying to manage their businesses alone. They think it will save money. They don't trust others to do things as well as they do. They tell themselves they don't have time to hire people or delegate tasks. The fact is, trying to do it all by yourself is inefficient and can quickly lead to burnout.

Recent Harvard research shows that delegating menial tasks and focusing on value-added ones can free up to 20% of your workday. Take this self-assessment  to find out which tasks you should start outsourcing now.

Getting on board with new technology can help make a big difference in your productivity and profitability. Cloud computing and apps designed to make your life easier can help you grow your business faster.

Review how you're currently doing your bookkeeping, organizing activities, conducting loyalty programs, tracking your expenses and connecting with customers. Then spend some time looking into apps like Evernote, Brownie Points, FreshBooks, Mention and Expensify to help streamline your processes.

Research has shown that 98% of people can't multitask effectively. Your brain needs time to reorient itself when you switch tasks, and it works more efficiently when it's focused on just one thing at a time. Yet many of us still check our text messages during meetings, conversations and even while driving.

When you need to focus on a task, find a quiet space to work without distractions. Set a timer to make sure you stop to take breaks. Turn off those email and text alerts when you're working to give your productivity a boost.

Total System Failure
Time management can be a real challenge for entrepreneurs who believe working around the clock is a normal part of running a business. While long hours may be required from time to time (especially in the beginning), it shouldn't be a way of life.

Implementing systems that streamline your operations will help with time management and living a more balanced life. The most logical place to start systemizing is your schedule. Setting aside blocks of time for appointments, phone calls or responding to emails can be a huge time saver. And relieving yourself of the pressure to be available to everyone, all day, can also help you avoid entrepreneur burnout.

Have a Life
When was the last time you took a vacation? Unplugged and left the office at 3:00 p.m.? Let yourself go for lunch with a friend? Downtime is essential to living a happier, healthier life – and it benefits your business, too. When you've had some time away, you'll return with more energy. You'll be more creative and productive. And most importantly, you'll get to enjoy the other things that matter in life, like your family, friends, and hobbies.

Now that you know how to greatly improve your efficiency and productivity, it's time to take action. Remember to set achievable goals for yourself so you're more likely to maintain more productive work habits over the long term.

Tags: scotiabank, apps, cloud computing, delegating, small business owners, time management, media, efficiency, entrepreneur, goals, improvement, leadership, multitasking, productive, productivity, profit, profitability, technology

Sara Westbrook
March 12, 2016 at 9:10 am
Thank you for your wonderful article. Love learning new ways to make my life easier. I will be checking out the apps you suggested.
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