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Balance the work loadSmall business owners are busy people. They wear many hats, juggle many tasks and have a lot on their minds. Some manage families, and some even do other jobs. Basically, there is a lot to do in a 24-hour period.
However, running around like a headless chicken, cramming the day full to the brim of activities only serves us to become exhausted. Our thoughts begin to race quicker than our brains can keep up with and we are often unable to distinguish the wood from the trees. In short, we are rendered useless.
So how does the small business owner stay on top of things and how can they ensure that they are prioritising their time effectively. By applying 5 simple techniques, the small business owner can learn to take charge, gain control and achieve a healthy work life balance.
1. Saying NoStart by learning to say no rather than just rushing in and automatically agreeing yes. The inherent need to always want to take on more causes us to be overly busy. However, by learning to say no we gain the confidence to take charge.
Let’s say you’ve been presented with an opportunity to do some work for a new client. Saying yes may jeopardise the work you are doing for your existing clients. Therefore, it is not beneficial to do this new work. To avoid the risk of losing the business forever, explain why and keep the relationship alive with regular contact. Being too busy to take on a new client is not a bad position for you or your business to be in.
2. Prioritising tasksLearn to prioritise your work tasks and your family commitments against each other. This alone can help to strike a balance.
To do this ask yourself 3 questions:
1. Must this be done now
2. Must this be done by me
3. Must this be done at all
These 3 simple questions can help to understand the importance of a task. They are not provided as avoidance tactics rather a vital way of calculating whether a task should be done and by whom. If the answer to number 1 is a renowned yes, then something else needs to take a back seat. However, if the answer to number 2 is no, then find someone else to do it for you. And if the answer to number 3 is no then why waste any further time persuading yourself it needs to be done.
3. Being flexibleWe all need wriggle room in our lives and this too applies to work. Booking in and cramming your daily diary full to the brim with appointments leaves no room for the unexpected. At times we are presented with situations or even emergencies that we need to attend to. Not having space or time to deal with such eventualities just adds to the pressure.
Give yourself room to move and breath throughout your day. Leave slots between appointments and allow extra time for those just ‘in cases’. That way you can provide yourself with openings to move and reschedule commitments to deal with other issues as they arise.
4. Hand it overNo one likes to admit they can’t do it all, but in a small business there are tasks that can be done by others. Learn to hand over tasks that can be dealt with by other people or other businesses so that you are free to do the things that only you can do.
A simple example of this is your business phone calls. Do you really need to be on the end of the phone taking every single call? If not, then outsource your calls to a third party. This can provide you with extra time and offer peace of mind that your customer calls are being handled professionally.
5. Recharge the batteriesWhen life is busy we sometimes need to stop and recharge. This doesn’t mean booking a holiday and rushing around trying to see places pretending you are taking it easy. Going on holiday can be just as stressful as working.
Taking time out means stopping and doing nothing. For the busy small business owner this is a hard pill to swallow. The concept of just doing nothing doesn’t sit right. It fills our heads with guilt. But to go forward we sometimes just need to stop and recharge ourselves.