In my previous Smallville article, I provided nine tips to getting back an hour a…
Want Even More Tips To Get Back An Hour A Day?
You can never have enough tips to get back an hour a day.
And the feedback was ‘are there any more, please?’
So here is my final, at least for the moment, nine tips to get back an hour of the day.
And like the previous 18 tips I’ve already given you, it is all about determining what’s going to work best for you, and implementing just a couple at each stage and building on them, so you are consistently applying them, every day.
Even More, Tips To Get Back An Hour A Day
1. Plan and Declutter
Spend the last 30 days of each day decluttering and planning for the next day.
2. Only check emails three times a day
To help educate your team and clients about how you work, you can add a note to your email signature like mine; I only check emails three times a day so if it’s urgent, please call me.
3. Schedule phone calls
Work out what times during the day you will return phone calls. For example, you might advise staff or have on your mobile’s message bank: Unless I’m in meetings or presenting, I usually return phone calls between 11 am and 12 pm, and 2 pm and 3 pm each day.
This is a great way to educate your team and clients about how you work as well as determining what’s important versus what’s urgent.
4. Take a full day out every quarter
Every quarter (i.e. four times a year) take at least one day out of your small business, preferably in a different location and with an independent facilitator. Use this time to strategically review your numbers and key priorities against your annual business plan. You can determine any adjustments which need to be made, and then reset the focus for the next 90 days.
5. Compile FAQ’s
Develop your frequently asked questions (FAQs), place them on your website and give them to new clients and staff. You’ll be amazed at how this can reduce the number of phone calls and emails you receive. Because once again, you’re educating clients and staff about how your business operates.
6. Develop a What Happens Now document
This document will help clients understand all the stages throughout a project or what happens when they start working with you. This is particularly beneficial for businesses in the construction industry, and something I’ve developed with several building designer businesses to reduce customer questions throughout each state of the build.
So what might be your ‘What Happens Now’ document? Maybe if you’re a graphic designer, there are different stages the project goes through, and a one page document outlining these stages can be extremely helpful for your clients as well as you and your team. Again, it not only reduces questions, but it also reduces the time you take answering the same thing, over and over again.
7. Spend 15 minutes a day developing procedures for every position within your small business
It might sound like much, but I believe there’s a system and everything, you just have to find it.
And if you spent 15 minutes a day working on your systems (procedures), that’s a 1 ¼ hour you weren’t doing last week.
And this is all about getting the knowledge out of your head, and that of your team, into simple documented procedures which everyone can follow.
8. Declutter your files, both electronic and physical
9. Store your reminders
Use a Bring-Up Folder (1-31 Expanding File) or something similar to store all reminders for that particular day. This can include details of meetings, client files and bills to pay.
I know these have all been very simple techniques, but when implemented consistently, they can help you gain back sometime in your day. And isn’t that what everyone craves in their small business… more time?
So what strategies will you embrace to regain the Power of an Hour?
By embracing the power of an hour, you will continue to build a simple, profitable business you actually love…. one brick (aka 15-minute chunk) at a time.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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