I am surrounded by the best time-saving, multi-tasking experts in the business. They make it their priority, every single day, to deliver brilliant work with maximum efficiency.
Who better then, than a team of Virtual Personal Assistants to open the hatch on the best time saving techniques in the business?
From our finest assistants, here are the Mi PA top 5 time-busting business hacks!
1. Unless you have a VPA, check emails twice a day
Famously touted by Tim Ferris, this technique is too often overlooked by busy professionals. Rarely will the world end if you don’t reply to an email immediately. If it was that urgent, they’d call you. So shut it down! Check your emails once in the morning and once around 4:30, before the day ends.
How to hack it: You might like to set up an auto-responder letting people know you’ll be checking your emails twice a day and if it’s urgent, to call you. You’ll find people quickly get used to not having an immediate response and often solve problems independently before you’ve responded.
2. Manage meetings
If you’ve got a meeting in one part of town, how can you maximise your time there? Who else can you see? What else can you do? There is nothing more frustrating than travelling for an hour, for an hour long meeting that delivers few outcomes, takes you away from you desk and costs time and money. Instead, look for opportunities to merge meetings with other activities, such as networking.
How to hack it: Shift your mindset from reacting to meeting invitations, to proactively booking them around what works for you. Switch from running all over town, to suggesting opportunities that benefit you and whoever you’re meeting. Networking is a great way to do this, along with meetings in or around stations and airports. You might prefer to dedicate one day a week to meetings, or two afternoons.
3. Batch jobs together to save time
Take an afternoon to do invoicing, an hour do to expenses, a 15 minute break to attend to the shredding and recycling. Batching jobs together saves time and avoids the exhaustion of flitting from one topic to another in endlessly busy spirals.
How to hack it: Officially designate time to an activity in your diary – this psychologically gives you permission to focus on it, guilt-free.
4. Ready, headset, go!
A quality headset with microphone can revolutionise your life. We all use them here at Mi PA. Using them means our hands are free to type notes while on calls, to access information quickly and multi-task with ease. Headsets also mean you avoid the awkward neck ache that comes from trying to hold a phone between your head and shoulder. Sound and voice quality are also much improved.
How to hack it: Get yourself a headset! You might also like to consider VoIP services and take phone calls using your internet connection. This can often deliver cost savings to small businesses.
5. Take a break!
Studies show that productivity increases when you give yourself a break once in a while. Companies in America (notoriously mean in the holiday stakes) have increased and incentivised vacation time in a bid to increase productivity and retain staff. Research suggests productivity can increase by up to 80% after a holiday.
How to hack it: Block out at least a long weekend at least every 6 weeks. Prepare for it in advance and make sure it happens! This article, How to Take a Holiday When You Run Your Own Business, will help you manage the process.
Have you discovered any time-busting business hacks? What do you do to cut time but not quality? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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