How to optimise your time as a business owner
Your time is a non-renewable resource. Once it’s spent, it’s gone.
You love the work you do, that’s one of the reasons you started your business. So, you probably enjoy spending time on it. And you have a life that doesn’t include working. That also requires time. You may have heard about Bronnie Ware and her work around the top five regrets of the dying. They are all relevant to business owners, especially the second one: “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
I’m not saying that running a business is easy or that it doesn’t require work. It isn’t and it does. But the busy as a badge of honour doesn’t work for me. I work hard, but I also take time to rest and recharge. And creating space will actually support you and your business.
“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on” ~ Leo Christopher
Seven ways to optimise your time
You can optimise the time you spend working on your business and also create the amount of profit you want at the same time. It’s possible if you examine several aspects of your business and take conscious action to create a structure that supports you and your work. Here are seven ways to do this:
1) Get clear on what matters the most
You may not think about death on a regular basis - after all, you’re busy running your business! But life is fragile and there are no guarantees about how long you get. So, take some time and get clear about what is most important to you and check to see if the amount of time you are devoting to those things matches what your priorities are.
This may be a no-brainer and if there is complete alignment, congratulations. It might also be difficult to discover that things are off and you need to make some changes. However, this is exciting too because awareness is the first step to making a change.
2) Re-imagine your business model
When I talk about your business model, I mean how your business makes money. What are the various revenue streams, who are they for, and how much do you earn with each one. Maybe you’re spending time and energy on offers that are not as profitable as others and you also don’t enjoy as much.
You might be able to combine or eliminate aspects of your offers that will improve their value and make your life easier at the same time. Stretch yourself and the possibilities about how you can deliver the most remarkable experiences for your clients.
3) Focus on meaningful work and outsource the rest
Make sure you’re spending the majority of your time doing work that is meaningful to you. Do work that allows you to be in your zone of genius using your superpowers and outsource the rest.
4) Know your number
Figure out how much profit you want to earn and take into account what will be required to make that happen. Remember, it’s about the profit (how much you keep) not the revenue (how much you make). Know that number and create a business that will allow you to reach it.
It is not a requirement as a business owner to always desire growth and want more. More isn’t always better. This is one of the myths Lynne Twist talks about in her book, The Soul of Money.
“What you appreciate, appreciates” ~ Lynne Twist
If you want to make more, that’s fabulous too. Just be clear about what that will require.
5) Leverage your content
Leverage is the key to reclaiming more time for business owners. Make sure that you are repurposing and sharing the content you create in as many ways as possible.
6) Focus your marketing
It’s easy to get distracted and mesmerised by all of the marketing ideas floating around.
“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it” ~ Stephen R. Covey
If you proactively choose to focus your marketing and go deeper instead of wider, you will save time and have better results.
7) Say no
This is a tough one for many people. Saying no. If you want more time for yourself and you want your business to be more profitable, it’s a skill you need to master and the more you do it the easier it gets. Start small and be consistent. It’s up to you to set boundaries around your time and what you do with it.
Keep these words from Seth Godin in mind: “You can’t save up time. You can’t refuse to spend it. You can’t set it aside. Either you’re spending your time. Or your time is spending you.”
Feeling inspired to take a closer look at how you are investing your time? Conscious decisions about who and what get your time and attention will have a positive impact on your business.
Which one of these ideas resonates with you? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.