As an entrepreneur you probably find yourself juggling all sorts of tasks, often with shifting priorities. You may get to the end of your working day and question whether you've made any progress, or achieved anything! This can feel frustrating and sometimes overwhelming, to say the least. Here are some tips to help beat overwhelm and achieve efficiency...
#1 Know How You Spend Your Time
Wasted time is the crux of inefficiency, and this often occurs due to procrastination, succumbing to distractions or inefficient working practices. The first step to becoming more efficient is to understand how you spend your time. This can be analyzed quite easily, by tracking the time you spend on tasks and between tasks, either by hand or with a time-tracking app such as Toggl or RescueTime. This simple exercise can also be performed by your team and will help you discover where time is wasted in your business and where improvements need to be made.
Documented processes across many areas of your business will help increase efficiency, as this saves you and your team 're-inventing the wheel' each time you complete a task. For example, ensuring customer-facing processes are in place, such as customer onboarding and after-sales care, will vastly improve efficiency as you're able to follow procedure, and use defined templates rather than spend time thinking through and implementing your actions and responses each time, so all that's necessary is to quickly customize, where necessary.
Readily available online software will massively improve the day-to-day operational efficiency of key areas of your business. There are tools that streamline many business areas, for example, customer support, project management, accounts, payments and team communication.
#4 Prioritize Your To-Dos
Focus is in, and multitasking is out! Trying to do too much will just cause you to get stressed out and feel overwhelmed and in an overall sense, lead you to achieve very little. You need to work with your priorities and focus on the most important tasks. Take a look at your to-do list and pick three main tasks to achieve each day. You're likely to get more done in this manner, as it's less overwhelming and it's then a bonus if you manage to complete more.
Another very simple yet effective habit is to plan your to-do's for the next day, as the last task you do each working day. This means you set your intention and awake with a firm plan for the day ahead.
#5 Break It Down
People often reach overwhelm and become inefficient when faced with a large task. However, breaking the task down into smaller achievable steps makes everything more manageable and helps you strategize and see your direction clearly, which can increase your motivation in a big way :)
#6 Embrace Change
If the method chosen to complete a task continues to achieve the required outcome, oftentimes people resist changing it. However, if the same outcome can be achieved with considerably less effort, in a fraction of the time, therefore making you much more efficient... change should be encouraged!
#7 Delegate to Your Virtual Assistant
Many entrepreneurs find delegation challenging because at some point they've carried out all the roles. But, you need to let go - for the sake of your business, for team retention and to allow you and your business to grow!
As a proactive resource dedicated to supporting your business with the exact level of service you require, you can be ultra-confident that your VA will take on individual tasks, projects or entire roles as necessary to improve your business operations, increase efficiency and help you grow your business.