The entrepreneurs reading this will know that businesses are built on leverage; just as you may take on a loan to buy equipment that will generate more profit, you can also leverage the most precious resource of all to do the same: your time.
They say time is money (and it’s true!), but the most striking thing between the two is that time is finite. There are only so many hours in the day, and – forgive me for being macabre – your life. While you can always make more money, you can never make more time. You can only use the hours you have more efficiently, to make the biggest impact possible.
This article will teach you how to leverage your time to create maximum impact in your business.
How To Leverage Your Time
When building a business there is never enough time to ‘finish the job’. That’s because, by definition, the job is never done. (This assumes your goal is to build a growing business rather than simply buying yourself a job.) Read that last sentence carefully; there is a difference between working in a business and building one. And with so much to do, and so little time to do it in, it is all too easy to get caught up in low-impact, repetitive tasks instead of focusing on what matters: growing your business.
Easier said than done I hear you say. Well, yes. That’s why I’ve written this article outlining exactly how to free up your time to focus on what matters – impact.
Create A List
Even in the most basic businesses or job roles you will have tens of tasks. Maybe hundreds if you think carefully about it and break your larger responsibilities down into their individual components or sub-tasks.
The first step is to start being aware of every task you’re doing throughout the day. Make a list of all your tasks & goals, and start thinking about them in terms of their impact; are they low-impact, or high-impact. It may be helpful to use a free tool like Google Keep or Trello to rank them from lowest to highest.
As the name suggests, low-impact tasks don’t make much of a difference to your business goals; they don’t ‘move the dial’. They tend to be repetitive and mundane.
Examples of low-impact task are:
- Sifting through your emails
- Inputting data into a system
High-impact tasks are those that really ‘move the dial’. They have a direct impact on your goals. They generate value into the future, long after you complete the task.
Examples of high-impact tasks are:
- Opening up a new sales channel
- Introducing a new product
- Implementing a system that improves efficiency
- Developing your team
Automate & Outsource
The second step is to figure out how to automate and/or outsource your low-impact tasks to free up your time to focus on the highest-impact tasks.
My strategy is to automate/optimise a task as much as possible, and only then outsource it if a human touch is still needed.
How To Automate Tasks
Technology has made it easier than ever to automate tasks. There are a plethora of tools at your fingertips to make everything from managing eCommerce returns to project management a cinch.
Search online for tools to help free up time spent on repetitive and mundane data-entry-type tasks, or hire a developer to build a tool if there is nothing already out there.
Here are a couple of examples of how you can automate low-impact tasks:
|Example||How to automate/optimise|
|Sifting through emails||– Be ruthless with that unsubscribe button|
– Create rules to filter your email; you only want emails that require action in your inbox
|Inputting data into a system||– Search for existing software that automates the process|
– Use a low-code tool such as App Sheet or Zoho Creator to build such a tool yourself
– Hire a developer to build such a tool for you
How To Outsource Tasks
Once you have automated the task as much as possible, if it still requires a human touch, it’s time to think about outsourcing it. The person you are outsourcing a task to should ideally be better than you at it (although oftentimes 80% is good enough if it frees up your time to create greater impact.)
Remember that even after outsourcing a task, you have an ongoing responsibility to develop, empower and support that person in their role. Outsourcing a task frees up some of your time, but not all of it.
In conclusion, there is only so much time in the day, so it is important to find ways to free up your time to focus on what matters most – impact. The way to do this is to create a list of your tasks & goals ranked from lowest-impact to highest. Automate then outsource the lowest impact items, but don’t forget to continue to empower your team. This strategy will allow you to leverage your time to supercharge your goals.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or reach out to me if you want to collaborate.