We’ve all heard the term ‘time is money.‘ When it comes to being a small business owner, the phrase couldn’t be truer. No matter how efficient you pride yourself on being, you know the stress of daunting to-do lists, unexpected delays and days with too few hours.
If you ever find yourself running out of time to finish your weekly tasks, take a look at our list of the Four Ds of Productivity. Easy to implement with any to-do list, these key points will help you understand how simple it is to manage your time better and work smarter – instead of harder.
- Do It. Whether the task is sorting through resumes for a new hire, ordering a new supply of products or scheduling your social media calendar, anything that’s seen as a priority and you can do yourself should be completed immediately. When you figure out what your most significant tasks are, it’s important to do them right away so you don’t set them on the back burner and possibly forget to finish them altogether. While the biggest tasks might require the most effort, you’ll feel a great sense of relief when you simply do it.
- Delegate It. If someone other than you can complete a task, don’t be afraid to pass it along and leave the responsibility with him or her. After all, this is why you hired employees in the first place! When you figure out which tasks can be delegated to others, you’ll be surprised how much more time you’ll have for more important tasks.
- Delay It. There will always be those certain tasks that you can only do yourself but which don’t hold high priority. While it can be tempting to ‘get them out of the way,’ don’t feel bad about putting them off. If they don’t require your immediate attention, simply bump them down on your to-do list and schedule a time to go back to them. It’s far better to delay a non-urgent task than it is to complete it at the expense of a more urgent one.
- Dump It. Believe it or not, some of the things taking up your valuable time are probably unnecessary. For example, checking your email every time you get a notification is far more time-consuming than checking it once or twice a day. Start each day or week by making a to-do list. Then go through it item by item and ask yourself what the consequences would be if you did not complete them. If the consequences are minimal or non-existent, the tasks are probably an inefficient use of time. If you spend your time working on something that isn’t going to add value to your business, you’ll end up wasting time that could have been spent on something truly beneficial.