Get back 15 minutes a day by doing these 5 simple things.
Meetings, phone calls, emails, text messages, and water cooler conversations with your employees constantly bombard and distract you as a business owner. Freeing up even just another 15 minutes a day (which is over an hour a week) could dramatically improve both your workflow and peace of mind.
Here are some suggestions for increasing your productivity:
- Use your phone. Whenever possible, pick up your phone and call someone (yes, people still do this) instead of sending an email. Oftentimes talking with someone directly is more efficient than spending the time to compose an email. Plus, email chains can fill your inbox and require precious minutes to read and decipher. And phone calls can also help avoid potential misunderstandings, as a person’s tone of voice conveys information that may be lost or misinterpreted when shared via a written message.
- Be brief with emails. Tech entrepreneurs Mark Cuban and Jeff Bezos are known for their brief emails that consist of only a couple words. In situations where you do use email, consider crafting a response that is only several words in length. And remember the golden rule of emails: send fewer emails to receive fewer emails.
- Plan your meetings. Face-to-face time with colleagues, vendors, and customers is often productive and essential for growing a business. On the other hand, meetings can be a huge waste of time if not properly planned. Establish an agenda with clear goals for every meeting in advance so your team can focus on priorities and get back to work.
- Minimize distractions. Business owners enjoy developing a rapport with their employees. It’s natural and necessary. However, these personal conversations need to have boundaries so that both you and your employees can stay on task. There may be days where it’s necessary to eliminate the small talk in order to get tasks completed and meet deadlines. Consider putting an old-fashioned Do Not Disturb sign on your door when you can’t afford distractions.
- Delegate when possible. If you’re a small business owner who built a company from scratch, you may be reluctant to relinquish control over day-to-day operations. But failure to delegate can sap time from more important tasks like planning, building relationships with key vendors, and growing your customer base. Develop a plan to train your employees to assume more responsibility over time so they can grow professionally, and you can focus on your own priorities.
Fifteen minutes may not seem like much, but a busy business owner can work wonders with just a little more time every day.