If you own or manage a business, chances are you put in long hours every day, and when you add up those hours at the end of the week, you’ve put in a lot of work time.

You may like the long hours. Many of us enjoy work more than hobbies or recreational activities, but too much work may be too much for your family members, and even for your own good health.

If you can get done what needs to be done each week in less time, your productivity increases and the number of hours you work decreases. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your work week:

Create a real schedule. Many small business owners get there early and leave late. Your employees have a work schedule – a start and end time for each work day. Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. You’re likely to be more productive if you build some occasional downtime into your schedule so you can refresh and rejuvenate.

Close the office door. Hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign. Tell the entire office staff that if your door is closed, you’re working. Routine disturbances can wait until you have the time to deal with them.

Automate it. From client relationship management (CRM) to email marketing, you can automate many of the routine processes that currently eat up your time. Visit your bank, for example, and find out how to automate payroll and use direct deposit. Employees will love it, and you don’t waste an afternoon printing out payroll checks.

Get out of the way! You hired good people. Let these professionals do their jobs without interference from you. Not only will they appreciate your trust, if you don’t have to be at every meeting, your work week will shrink.

Turn off the computer. Of course it’s a time saver, but it can also be a time waster. If you spend a few minutes of work time posting last weekend’s party photos on Facebook, the next thing you know, an hour has gone by with no work accomplished. Turn off the computer and get some real work done.

Outsource the routine stuff. Tax preparation, business filings, license and permit renewals – there’s paperwork in almost every business. Hire a virtual assistant who can handle this routine grinder work so you can focus on more important things – like growing the business.

Determine the most cost-effective clients. Some clients are easy, some not so much. Calculate how much time you spend with each company client and how much that client generates in revenue. If high-maintenance clients are using up more of your time than you can afford, either raise your rates or tell them they’ll have to find someone else.

Work with your body’s clock. Do more in less time when you schedule your work according to your body’s bio-rhythm. Morning person? Set the alarm and get to work early when you’re at your best. Night owl? Instead of wasting morning time trying to wake up, come in later and leave later. You know when you’re at your best. That’s when you do your best work – and more of it.

Prioritize. Do the most important stuff first, then work your way down the list. Make a “to-do” list every day, from most important to least important. Think about the interruptions you encounter during the work day. Do you really have to attend every meeting? If not, remove those meetings from your work schedule.

Turn it off. When you leave work, LEAVE work. Don’t obsess. The time spent away from the workplace is recreation time – the time you rebuild energy. When you punch out, turn off the work part of your brain until tomorrow. Somehow, that work will still be there.

You can shorten your work week if you want to. It just takes a little planning and a little determination on your part to enjoy life more.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC