Five steps to using your time effectively

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Most business owners have an endless to-do list. There are never enough hours in the day to get through all of it.

Because it’s an endless list and you’re so busy, you start to prioritise. You make sure you do all the most important tasks first before moving on to the others.

This may have worked for you up until now, but my advice is: Don’t prioritise!

Before you can even think about prioritising you need to take some other actions. Time is your greatest asset and where you invest your time will carve out your future results. We want to create a systemised approach that gives you back your time and lightens your workload.

  1. Eliminate

The general way that people prioritise is they look for the most important tasks, but instead you should ask yourself:

  • Should this be on my list to begin with?
  • Should I be doing this?
  • Should someone else in my business be doing this?

If you can eliminate some of the tasks from your list it will lighten the load quickly. Often the things on the bottom of the list you’ll never get to and eventually you cross them off because they are no longer relevant or necessary. Start eliminating them sooner than later.

Time is your greatest asset and where you invest your time will carve out your future results.

  1. Automate

Technology has made business so much easier the past decade. Have a think about how you can do what you are already doing with technology.

  • Can sales processes be automated?
  • Can reminders, emails or reports be automated?

There are a lot of great programs and apps that will streamline many of the to-do list items, saving you time and resources.

  1. Outsource

Have a think about who else could do the task. If you are honest, probably only a few tasks on the list MUST be done by you – they just need to be done by someone.

Look at each item on the list and consider:

  • Could you outsource it?
  • Could someone on ODesk do it for you?
  • Can you contract it out to a specialist?

Go through until you are left with only the tasks you specifically HAVE to do.

  1. Delegate

Now the jobs left on the list are the jobs that you specifically have to do. But you will find that even some of those could be done by someone else with some guidance.

Consider: could you delegate some tasks on your list to someone within your business?

With some clear instructions, and a little supervision, you can move a few more of those items off your plate and onto someone else’s. Ask yourself who you could delegate some tasks to.

  1. Prioritise

Now the only things left on your list YOU have to do. So now you start prioritising.

You need to use your time wisely: it is precious. Before you put your head down working away for hours, stop and run through this process and you’ll find that technology and other people will lighten the load and allow you to be much more productive.

Brought to you by Rueben Taylor, business mentor, educator Business Wealth Educators