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!

business meeting photo

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!

business meeting photo

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?

business meeting photo

Work at Your Strength

Even without the CliftonStrengths assessment (formerly Strengthfinders), 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!

office meeting photo

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.




  1. Hi Carol,
    Your “Sharpen The Ax” statement makes me think of “Measure twice, cut once” when doing projects. Wise advice.

    I have reorganized my schedules regularly for better time management. It’s an ongoing task but has continued to make me more efficient and spend that saved time doing more design/photography work.

    I like your thoughts on “Eat the Frog” too. I’ll nurse my first cup of coffee and read a bit first. ;-)

    Since listening to Zen music in the background while writing new blog posts isn’t multitasking we’re good there. hahaha

    As always, thanks for the wise words.

    • Hi Patricia,

      Some of us need one (or two!) cups of coffee before we go anywhere near that frog!

      I hear what you’re saying about reorganizing your schedule. Usually I list things in the order I’m going to do them, without a thought to how long tasks take to do. But I may start to put start times on tasks, too, to ensure I’m not spending too much time doing little things.

      Zen music is so soothing, isn’t it?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I do appreciate your thoughts and friendship!


  2. When I first was introduced to the idea of hard tasks first it was called the Gumption Factor. I like hat. I don’t like frogs.

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