Our world is increasingly interconnected, and this is making more demands on our time than ever before. These days, we’re never ‘off’ – we’re juggling ever-busier lives, and work-life balance is becoming impossible to achieve. This has been highlighted even further by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen small business owners trying to run their enterprises from home.
Does this sound like you? Do you feel as if you never have any time for yourself, simply to relax and reconnect with the things that ground you? If so, you’re not alone. Time-poor people always have a number of things in common. Here are five signs you’re time-poor, and some helpful suggestions for redressing the balance.
1. You’ve lost your creative spark
All the most successful small business owners are innovators. But to innovate, you have to maintain the passion that drove you into your field in the first place. Unfortunately, these days, the reality for many small businesses is that there simply isn’t enough time. You’re spending so long responding to requests and problems that you don’t have the time or energy to forge creative solutions.
One way to rectify this is to try breaking down large tasks into small pieces, then concentrating on each small piece for a short amount of time. Known as the Pomodoro technique, this can help seemingly insurmountable tasks become more manageable and can free up more time for creative thinking.
2. You’re always on
Do you answer the phone every single time it rings? Are you so busy replying to messages all day that you don’t have time for the rest of your work? This sets expectations for how others will treat you. If they become accustomed to you always being available for them, they will happily take advantage of this.
In order to get some time back for yourself, set designated times each day for answering messages. If you’re in the middle of a task, ignore the phone. If someone needs to speak to you that badly, they’ll be prepared to wait.
3. You take on too much responsibility
When you’re running a small business, you can think you need to take responsibility for every aspect of it yourself. But you are only one person. You employ people to take care of the other elements so you can concentrate on what you do best. Don’t be afraid to delegate to them – if you didn’t trust them, you wouldn’t have employed them in the first place.
Your staff will thank you for it, too, as they will feel more valued if they’re given more responsibility. You gain the benefit of a motivated, energised workforce, as well as freeing up time for yourself.
4. You’re afraid to say no
Small business owners are always chasing the next client, so it’s understandable that you have a full diary. But all those meetings, lunches and networking events take up a significant amount of time. If you’re saying yes to everything, you can very quickly end up working extremely long hours.
One of the ways you can rectify this is to allot particular times in your diary each week for meetings and events, and don’t accept any invitations that fall outside of these times. You’ll end up creating more of a buzz around your business because, through not being permanently available, you’ll look busier.
5. You’re not using the right technology
If you’re not using the right technology, you could be making yourself more time-poor. We understand this is a huge problem for small businesses – every cent counts, and many business packages are beyond your financial means. This is where the true unfairness comes in: people who are financially less wealthy are usually time-poorer, too, as they can’t afford the right solutions and have to work longer hours to make ends meet.
A business like Feedsy can help – it is inexpensive, and you can cancel your subscription at any time. We help you automate many of the time consuming client engagement tasks and turns this down time into opportunities that will add hours of productive hours per week, and we all know what that is worth. Your time is valuable, the time saving enables you to concentrate on the advice side of your business, and that’s what really matters when it comes to growing your business and enriching your client’s lives.
You may be time-poor now, but you don’t have to feel this way forever. By putting the right solutions in place, you can achieve a better balance and start to feel more like yourself again, you can then experience greater levels of business and personal success.
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