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9 Tips to Get Back an Hour a Day

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9 Tips to Get Back an Hour a Day

In my Smallville article, Don’t Underestimate The Power of an Hour, I showed readers the power of an hour. In this article, I will show you how to get back an hour a day. 

This is also the title of one of the chapters in my small business book, The Five Little Business Pigs. This book uses the analogy of The Three Little Pigs fairytale to show how we build our small businesses – from straw stick to brick.  

But there are two other Business Pigs: The Reno and The Rundown.

In this chapter, I include 27 tips to get back an hour a day.

So in no particular order, here’s the first nine tips to help you do just that:

9 Tips To Get Back An Hour A Day

1. Turn off all bells and whistles on your email program.

2. Set up rules, so emails move automatically into organised folders rather than into an overflowing inbox.

3. Develop weekly rituals and stick to them.

4. Turn your phone to silent (or even better, switch it off) for at least an hour a day of uninterrupted time.

5. Have an answering machine or service so you can be ‘offline’ for at least an hour a day. However, for this to work, you also have to turn down the volume. 

It may seem obvious, but when I suggested to a client they purchase an answering machine, they told me they had one, but it didn’t work. ‘Is it broken?’ I asked.  ‘No’, they replied, ‘but what happens is the phone rings and I stop working so I can listen to the message to see if I need to call them straight back.   

My look said it all.

Eliminate procrastination and increase your focus.

6. Eat That Frog! 

Brian Tracy developed this concept to overcome procrastination and ensure people focus on what’s really important.  If you’re not familiar with this concept, please watch the clip and then just do it. 

I have my own page of cute frogs, which I give to clients and workshop participants, as well as using my whiteboard.

7. Focus on doing your three things every single day and then move on to the rest.

Know your numbers.

8. Work out your hourly rate (your value) and then ensure you’re spending as much time as possible on activities which add value to your small business (and equate to this high-value rate).

9. Spend time working out your financial numbers to ensure you cover how much it costs to keep the doors open (which includes paying yourself).  There’s no point running a program or delivering a product or service if, at the end of the day, you don’t even get paid $20 per hour, regardless of the amount shown on the invoice.

So how many of these nine simple tips are you using to get back an hour a day? 

Might I suggest starting with one or two, and building from there.

But again, everything is about practice and being consistent. These strategies and techniques can help you move occasional tasks to ingrained habits you do automatically.

All the best in regaining the power of an hour, and I’d love to know which tips you decided to embrace and how they’ve changed your business.

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