Entry By Jason Brick
We get it -- you're busy. Among entrepreneurs, time is the scarcest and most valuable resource. It often feels like you have to make a choice between serving the manifold needs of your business or attending to your family or yourself.
If you're one of the countless small business owners suffering from what Four Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss calls "Time Famine", consider using one of these simple fixes to add more useful hours to your day.
- Take Personal Time in the Morning
Schedule time for your pet projects and personal enrichment before the work day starts. If something goes wrong during working hours, you'll be tempted to skip your "you time" and catch up.
- Close Your Office Door
Interruptions from well-intentioned and loyal employees ruin your productivity. Statistics suggest it takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to get back on track. A closed door presents a physical reminder that you're hard at work, too. Better yet, it makes your team more self-sufficient as they work to answer questions on their own.
- Schedule Email Time
Don't answer email as a constant, incoming stream. Instead, schedule a few time a day to go through whatever has hit your inbox. Otherwise, you risk having 10 exchanges over the day when just two would have done the trick.
- Get Enough Sleep (and Exercise)
These both take time out of your workday, but make up for it with better productivity. The improved focus and energy you get from 7 to 8 hours sleep and 20 to 30 minutes of cardio pay off at two-to-three times the time you invested. You'd jump at a financial investment with that kind of return.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
If somebody else can do something, have them do it. If nobody else can, teach somebody how. This frees your time and energy for the tasks you enjoy, and those that truly grow your business.
- Know When to Say "No"
Whether it's an employee asking for help, a community group looking for a volunteer, or a new potential project, extra hands on your time can mean skimping on the tasks and events that matter most. Get in the practice of saying "no" to requests that don't serve you and your business directly. Steve Jobs -- a successful entrepreneur who you might have heard of -- said "Focus is about saying no." It means saying "yes" to the important things, because your schedule has room to make them happen.