Having a full workload is usually the sign of a strong business. When you’re an entrepreneur, you want to have plenty of activity to keep you busy each day, and plenty of customers and clients in the pipeline.
With that said, there’s such a thing as having an overwhelming workload. This can result in burnout, fatigue, sloppy mistakes, or little work-life balance. If you’re an overworked entrepreneur, it’s important to find solutions to remove unneeded tasks from your to-do list.
If you’re a solo entrepreneur then this doesn’t apply, but for everyone else, the importance of delegation can’t be stressed enough.
Remember, you hired your employees for a reason, hopefully, because you trust them to perform their job well. Trust them to take some simple, repeatable tasks from your plate, whether that’s sending invoices, updating the company’s social media, or handling customer service issues.
Through effective delegation, you should be able to free at least a few more hours each week. And if you don’t feel comfortable delegating to your team, that speaks to a hiring problem. That’s a topic for another time!
Simple, repeatable tasks can be handed off to employees, but they can also be taken care of via software solutions. Automation is all about setting certain tasks to run on their own, which means you spend less time micromanaging.
So what can you automate?
Set your computers to automatically back up data and keep critical software programs up to date.
Rather than manually paying every invoice or bill, you may set up certain recurring payments to be processed automatically.
There’s no reason why you should have to log into Twitter every day to post an update. Schedule a week’s worth of updates in advance, and set them to post automatically.
Consider using a calendar app to stay on top of your busy agenda, and use appointment-setting tools to allow colleagues, vendors, or clients to schedule meetings with you. This can cut down on a lot of back-end administrative work.
Selecting the right legal structure for your business can ultimately reduce a lot of worries. This can create more time and mental bandwidth for you to focus on other important tasks.
For example, if you work in the Lone Star State, the decision to start an LLC in Texas can help shield your personal assets from potential legal challenges.
In other words, it can decrease the risk of you getting sued or needing to invest time and resources into a legal defense.
For certain one-off projects, it may be good to find a freelancer or a contractor, as opposed to doing the work yourself.
Say you need to design a new website for your business. Even with the best templates and DIY programs, this can be a time-consuming process, and may still leave you with a fairly generic-looking site. Finding a web designer for this one-time need can reduce your workload while ensuring a better result.
Platforms like Guru and Upwork are invaluable as you seek freelancers or contractors.
Nothing lowers your energy and drains your time quite like the constant stream of emails and texts. If you stop to answer each message as it comes in, you’ll be less productive yet feel more stressed.
A simple solution is to schedule a couple of blocks of time each day simply for communication. For example, maybe you devote 30 minutes each morning and then another 15 minutes at the end of the day just to follow up on correspondence. For the rest of the day, turn off your notifications so that you can focus on getting things done.
It may sound odd, but you’ll actually manage your workload far easier if you make time for breaks. That means stopping, stepping away from your work, and eating lunch each day. It also means ensuring that you make it to the gym at least three or four days out of the week, and even taking mental health and vacation days periodically.
The only way these things will happen is if you schedule them, slotting them into your calendar and your to-do list as if they were client meetings. Make sure your schedule breaks into your daily routine, and vacations into the fabric of your year.
Finally, be disciplined about the amount of time you spend on each task, even setting a timer to limit the investment you make in certain activities.
The law of diminishing returns is very real, and with many tasks, you’ll reach a point where the time you’re putting into it is no longer giving results.
One of the best ways to keep your workload balanced is to impose time limits on yourself.
Amanda E. Clark is a contributing writer to LLC University. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She became a professional writer in 2008 and has led marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies. She has appeared as a subject matter expert on panels about content and social media marketing. She regularly leads seminars and training sessions on trends and tactics in professional writing.
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