Feel like you can’t pack one more thing into your busy schedule? If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed with your to-do list, or if that feeling is nothing new, it’s time to start shifting some of your responsibilities and tasks in ways that will make them:
- Easier to accomplish
- Less time-consuming
- Able to be completed by someone else
- No longer necessary to do
If you want to free up more time, you have to do at least one of these four things. In some of the ideas you’ll see below, you’ll be determining that some tasks just aren’t worth the attention or energy you’re devoting to them. One of the best ways to free up more time is to stop spending time on things that aren’t growing you or your business in some way. With that in mind, here are 12 ways to free up more time today. Pick a few to try and enjoy your freedom!
12 Ways To Free Up More Time Today
1. Delegate one task you hate. Can’t stand handling the accounting? Not sure how to market your business? If your budget can support it, delegate something you hate or are just no good at and see how much free time it buys you. By allowing a qualified person to handle a task that doesn’t require you specifically to do it, you enable yourself to spend your time on what actually needs your personal attention. Hiring full-time is expensive, so many companies choose to work with third party providers or freelancers.
2. Reschedule one commitment that’s overwhelming you this week. It doesn’t have to be the least important thing on your list, either. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a busy schedule this week, think of a commitment that’s happening at a bad time and call to reschedule it if possible. If you’ve decided the commitment is just not possible for you to take on at this time, be upfront about it to the person you’ve made the commitment to. Be apologetic but confident and firm when you cancel.
3. Start tomorrow’s prep tonight. Lay out your clothes and breakfast/lunch ingredients the night before to save time in the morning. You could start a smoothie the night before by chopping fruit and adding ingredients to the blender, then refrigerate it overnight so it’s ready to make in the morning. Laying out a granola bar and piece of fruit can be just as helpful and will help make sure you don’t skip breakfast due to being in a rush.
4. Get a virtual receptionist. If your business has a phone line, you can save a lot of time by delegating all your calls to a virtual receptionist provider like us. We’ll screen your calls, answer your callers’ inquiries, supply information about your business to callers, and relay every message directly to you so you can respond when you have time. We do all call answering live and your callers will never be automatically directed to a machine. Small business owners can save around 2 hours per business day by using a virtual receptionist provider like Conversational. Want to see how much time you save? Try our virtual receptionist service free for 30 days and see for yourself!
5. Do it when you most feel like it. Concentrate most of your work during your peak productivity hours. You’ll be more likely to “get in the zone” and finish the work you’re doing than during your less productive hours. Everyone has peak productivity times throughout the day – if you’re not sure of yours, track your tasks and completions for a few days to see the trend. By concentrating most of your work during peak productivity hours, you get more done in less time.
6. Hire a virtual assistant. We shared information about our time-saving virtual receptionist service above, but if calls aren’t your only administrative headache, a virtual assistant is for you. Our virtual assistants do a little of everything, much like a personal assistant. From making reservations for you to handling online purchases with your consent, a virtual assistant can make it easier to run your business and save time for your higher priorities. Starting at just $300.00 per month, a Conversational virtual assistant may be the most cost-effective assistant you’ll find.
7. Eat lunch at your desk. Going out for lunch means you’ll spend extra time away from the office and it will make it harder to get back into the flow of productivity when you return. It also costs a lot more to buy lunch out, so you’ll be saving time and money!
8. Try make-ahead freezer meals. Racing to leave work, going to the grocery store to buy ingredients, then home to prepare dinner after a hard day’s work is exhausting. Eating out gets expensive. So on a lazy Sunday afternoon, take advantage of the lull and get in the kitchen. You can prep easy slow cooker meals by dumping raw meat, seasoning, vegetables, and sauce in a gallon zipper sealed freezer bag that can simply be frozen and then added to a slow cooker for an easy crock-pot meal that requires no effort from you when you get home from work. That’s a time saver!
9. Ask a friend or family member for help. It can be difficult to ask for help when you need it the most, but if you’re in need of some free time, ask a friend or family member to step in and help out. They’ll be happy to be able to help and you’ll feel better knowing your duties or errands are in the hands of someone you trust. You could even take a brief trip away and have a friend or family member look after your home and/or pets while you’re away.
10. Limit social media use during working hours. Social media can quickly become a time waster if there are no limits on how often you’ll use it. Avoid social media apps and sites while you’re working to ensure you spend your time on-task instead of on Twitter. You’ll finish your work faster, freeing up more of your time.
11. Schedule calls and meetings for certain days of the week or times of the day. You’ll be able to give a defined time frame during which you’re available to anyone who wants to meet with you or have a call, making it easier to settle on a mutually agreeable time. When you clear that block of time on your schedule ahead of time, you can ensure you won’t be tied up in meetings and calls on your busiest days.
12. Try productivity or time tracking software. Sometimes, you just don’t realize how much time you’re wasting during work hours. By using a time tracking or productivity program, you can see exactly how much time you’re spending on different tasks on your computer and free up time that’s not being spent efficiently. A clear snapshot of the way you spend your time will help you get a better sense of where your focus currently is and more importantly, where it should be. Check out Time Doctor to see how you could be more productive.
To free up more time, you need to make sure that you’re making tasks on your to-do list easier to accomplish, less time-consuming, able to be completed by someone else, or no longer necessary to do. Leaving things as they are will only lead to you feeling more stressed and overwhelmed.
Don’t stretch yourself too thin – find what matters most, focus your priorities there, and get some help taking care of things that don’t require your specific input. By increasing your productivity, you will free up more time and decrease the amount of stress you’re under as a business owner. That’s worth making a few changes!