When starting a new business, lack of time and overwhelm are the key struggles of every new business owner. And they are often the reason many new businesses fail in the first few months. To overcome these struggles and build a profitable business, you need to have systems that enable time efficiency and productivity.
So, if you are a new business owner and you are saying to yourself:
There aren’t enough hours in the day.
I feel busy but I don’t feel like I’m doing anything.
My business isn’t growing.
These are red flags that indicate that what you are doing isn’t working.
Your goal is to design a business around the lifestyle you are seeking, and to focus your time and energy on tasks that move your business forward.
Often, when new business owners don’t see any movement in their business they think it’s their marketing, content or strategy that’s failing. What they overlook is time management and how productive they are actually being.
Every single task should be productive and helping you grow your business.
So, if you feel busy but your business isn’t growing, let’s start by reviewing how you use your time.
Once you have effective time management that supports you achieving more in a day, you can then look at marketing, and other areas of your business that require improvement.
Always start with how you are using your time.
This will be the difference between a business that grows and a business that remains stagnant. This is especially true for side hustlers.
When it comes to time management:
The earlier you start forming the right habits, the more likely they will become fundamental business practices.
Before we begin, I want you to ask yourself two questions:
This will help you observe whether what you have been doing over the past 6 months has helped your business grow. The second question will get you on track moving forward.
Today, we focus on time management and creating positive habits that will help see your business grow.
These simple measures will have a transformational impact on your business.
Audit your existing practices and activities. Doing this will help you determine what is, and isn’t, working.
ACTION: Take out a pen and paper and audit your typical day from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, for a week. For convenience, start on a Monday.
Record every task accurately. At the end of the week, you want to have an accurate record of how you spend your time.
Now it’s time to review your past week and categorise each activity. Let’s see what you’ve been doing, how productive you have been, and where you can create more time in your day.
Start by simply reviewing how you spent your time. Then categorise each activity. This will help you find pockets of time where you can be more productive.
ACTION: So, grab your audit and different colour highlighters –
ONE. Group tasks into:
TWO. You’ve grouped your tasks, now allocate a realistic amount of time that it should take to complete each one, eg. 1 hour, 2 hours etc.
THREE. Prioritise each task.
FOUR. Ask yourself how much time you want to work per day and the number of hours do you want to work per week. This will help you allocate your tasks into your week.
So, now you can see how you spend your time, how productive you have been, and where you could create more time in your week.
The next step is time blocking. Time blocking means batching your tasks and completing them in one go. For example, instead of checking your email three to four times per day, allocate a certain time each day to emails.
Batching is a very effective time saver.
So, let’s see how to time block.
We are going to build out your weekly calendar by batching tasks.
ACTION: Grab out a weekly calendar. For everyday of the week, plot the grouped tasks and the time it will take to complete them, starting with priorities, into each day.
For example, let’s say you would normally check your email 3 times per day. After your audit, you decided to block out an hour to respond to all emails everyday. This means that you won’t look at your emails at any other time of day, and then you will focus solely on that job for the time you have allocated.
Another example. Let’s say you write your social media captions everyday and it takes about 1 hour to complete that task. Instead, put time aside to prepare your content for the whole of the next week. That is batching.
Be realistic about the amount of time it will take to complete a task and how much you can do in a day.
By this stage, we have audited, reviewed, and time blocked. Now it’s time to test.
You have batched your tasks per day, taking into consideration how much time you want to be working, and how you want to feel at the end of the day.
Now, it’s time to test!
For one week, start doing the tasks you set out in the time block step and keep a record of the tasks that took more or less time than you expected.
Here you want to test your schedule to see how much you can get done in a day.
Once you have tested you can tweak your calendar as needed and identify if there are any areas that you could outsource or improve.
>> It’s taking too long to write captions for your socials, source images and schedule the posts. Instead, you decide to hire a VA to source the images and schedule the posts, so all you need to do it write captions.
>> Responding to emails is taking too long and it’s not a task you enjoy, so you hire an assistant for two hours per week to respond to emails.
>> You understand engagement is key to building your know, like and trust factor, but by doing this daily task, it is taking time away from growth tasks. So, you decide to hire a VA for 30 minutes per day to engage and connect with your target audience.
This time management process is designed to help you find more time in the day to be productive and focus on your business. You will find that over time you will tweak and adapt your schedule as you get to know how you work, the days and times you will have to work on your business, and how long tasks take to complete.
Let’s grow your hustle!
Check out my free guide – How to grow a side hustle in 5 hours per week.
Hi, I’m Simran! I’m a marketing and business coach with over 9 years’ marketing experience. Prior to that, I worked as a lawyer.
I thought the experience and knowledge I gained in corporate would help me when starting my business. It didn’t. I didn’t know where and how to begin!
I don’t want that for you.
That is why, today, my mission is to help side hustlers start and grow their business with intention and alignment with their 9-5 and other life priorities. I help you to expand your visibility, community and authority while building solid foundations that will set your business up for long term success.
P.S. Are we friends on Instagram?