How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

We all have the same amount of time in every day, yet we all want to save time, too. Isn’t that the universal problem? Maybe the question is what do we do with the time we save?

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

When you know what you have to do, doing those chores goes a lot faster. Then checking everything off your list is satisfying, and almost like a game that you can play. Like the Gamification of Social Media, the gamification of your to-do list can move things in the right direction.

So spending 10 minutes to plan doesn’t have to be a big deal. For those times that your iPhone timer isn’t enough, here are some other timers you might like. I love that there are specific ones for coffee and grilling (that’s what you can do with all the time you save!).

Sharpen the Ax

Sharpen the Ax

Sharpen the Ax

As Abraham Lincoln didn’t say, “If you have six hours to chop down a tree, spend four hours sharpening the axe.” But it’s still a great statement anyway. What whomever said this probably meant was to prepare for whatever task you’re going to do and have all the right tools. Don’t have a tiny, dull knife and try to cut up a tree. Have a seriously sharp axe!

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Tell the Truth About Limitations

This one seems so simple. Keep your commitments. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This includes not overcommitting to be on a task force, or committee. Know how much energy you have to commit to new tasks. Here’s an article I enjoyed from The Wall Street Journal: Are You Too Busy? How to Know Your Limits. The takeaway? Don’t wait until you have a stomachache, or worse, to realize you’re doing too much!

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Eat the Frog

This is one I don’t necessarily agree with. Eating the frog means doing the hardest thing first. But why? Why not do the easiest thing first so you have a sense of momentum? Forget about eating that frog first! Drink your coffee, finish something easy, then eat the frog! And why does it even have to be a frog? How about if we reframe it as something just a little more appetizing?

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Work at Your Strength

Even without Strengthfinders (the book and concept), doesn’t it make sense to focus on what you’re good at every day? And if you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it!

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Delegate Everything That’s Not Your Strength

As a business owner, this one is the hardest for me. I have to realize that others aren’t as interested in my business as I am. They won’t do as good a job (maybe), so I have to settle for maybe 80% getting done and forget about the rest.

Shut the Door at 5:00

If you work for yourself, this is a tough one. Client meetings often leak over into the evening hours, and that’s not always a good thing for your work-life balance. By the way, here’s why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World.

Learn to Make Decisions Quickly

This one has come about naturally for me. One of my friends who owns his own business can hang up on a caller within two seconds. “Not interested!” he barks, and hangs up. Are you turning into that person, too?

Stop Multitasking

We all know by now that there is no multitasking. We can’t drive and text any more than we can listen to YouTube and pay attention during a meeting! Tell me you’re not doing that right now!

Take Breaks and Get Outside

Getting outside into nature is what is going to make your brain work the best, after all. That may seem counterintuitive, but it does work.

 

 

Five Ways Moving is Like Working for a Startup

5 Ways Moving is Like Working for a Startup

5 Ways Moving is Like Working for a Startup

Recently, I moved. My boxes were carefully labeled, my days were carefully scheduled, and everything came unglued within half an hour. The movers didn’t speak English, none of my labeling meant anything to them, and there were lots of mini-emergencies and things that had to happen “right now.” So it got me to thinking about how moving is like working for a startup–chaotic and fast-paced.

The Tools Are Woefully Inadequate

For instance, making coffee that first day with nothing but a glass, a filter, and a knife. At a startup, you might have only a partial description of the app you need to build, and the tools you need to use are pre-pre-pre beta, but that’s all you’ve got, so you “get ‘er done.” Although some of the coffee grounds might slop over into the glass, you have to use the tools you have.

You’re Short on Time

The Tools Are Inadequate!

The Tools Are Inadequate!

Everything in a move has to happen by a certain date and time. At a startup, you have to get your product to beta, your social media launched, and everything needs to happen whether you’re ready or not. So you make do and focus on the most critical items. Speed is of the essence.

Creativity is Essential

Although I want to punch people who say “think outside the box,” having a creative mindset is a requirement, both in moving and in working for a startup. If you don’t have the right size box when you’re moving, you have to make one. The same thinking applies at a startup. There’s lots of scurrying around at the last minute, eating a sandwich with one hand, while writing on a white board with the other, and people pointing at their watches saying to hurry up!

Getting it Done Versus Making it Perfect

When the truck pulls out of the driveway, all your stuff better be on it! And when your new website launches, you’d better have most of what you need there. And if you wait until it’s perfect, it’ll never happen!

Delegate and Let it Go

When you give your life over to movers, you have to let go of control for a few hours or days. The same is true when you delegate what you can’t do yourself. Other people might only do 80% of what you’d do yourself. You have to be comfortable with chaos. Forbes has an excellent article on delegation, by the way.

Have You or Your Startup Moved Lately?

What helped you get through it with the least amount of stress possible? And by the way, have you seen my tea kettle?

 

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