How many times have you said, “I should (fill in blank), but I just don’t have the time”? If a lack of time is keeping you from doing things critical to your success, something has to change. So, where can you “find” time you didn’t seem to have?
Eliminate unnecessary work. If you are doing stuff that doesn’t need to be done, stop. Maybe it’s something you’ve “always” done. That doesn’t mean you should continue.
Get expert help. You could write that sales letter yourself. It would take all day, and might not be as good as one written by a pro. Or, you could spend a little money on an expert, and use your time more effectively. If you have lots of time and no money, you might be able to justify doing it yourself. But not if it is costing you time you could use to get paid more than the cost of the expert.
Delegate. Lots of stuff can be done by anyone–it doesn’t have to be you. Hire someone to help with filing, billing and bill paying, follow up phone calls, updating data records, etc. A family member, temp, or student could be very helpful and not cost a fortune.
Out source. Instead of doing that mailing yourself, hiring a mailing service. Don’t run 5000 copies of a flier off your printer or desk top photocopier, send it to a copy shop. In both cases, you’ll not only save time, it will probably be cheaper than the cost of doing yourself (in actual cash outlay, even without figuring in the value of your time). Often, getting something done by a specialist is cheaper, faster and better than doing it yourself.
Set up systems. If every time I wanted to send a press release I had to send each release individually, it would take forever. Instead, I have data bases I can send releases to with just a few keystrokes. Can you automate something, or set a manual system, to streamline the process?
Get organized. If you spend an hour every day looking for stuff that’s “here somewhere” you need to get organized. Spending a little time now to get things in order will save you lots of time every day.
Don’t procrastinate. Putting things off can make them take more time as they get more complex and pressure increases.
Procrastinate. OK, this runs counter to what I just said; however, there are times when putting things off is a good idea. You shouldn’t blindly jump into doing everything you think of. I have lots more ideas than time. Take the time to evaluate whether starting a new project is worthwhile, and you won’t spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t profitable.
Schedule an appointment with yourself. Someone once said to me that we make time for what is important, and excuses for the rest. How true! If something really needs doing, do it. Schedule a time and keep to it. Whether it is setting aside a day to finish a project, or an hour a week to contact customers, make time for what is important to you.