Entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people you may ever meet. They do it all themselves and often don’t have time for anything that isn’t related to their business. While this sounds impressive, it could mean burnout for the entrepreneur pulling 16 hour days with no downtime.
A big problem many entrepreneurs face is knowing when to make their first hire and then knowing how to delegate tasks to them. Hiring an employee is something most entrepreneurs will put off for a long while so as to save on costs and because choosing the right person to join your company is difficult.
If you’ve ever dabbled in the entrepreneurial game you’ll know that you’re expected to run your operation in a bootstrapped fashion. You need to spend as little money as possible until your profit margins are thick.
An employee is a major cost. But an employee is also a major asset if you choose the right person for the job.
More often than not entrepreneurs find themselves overly stressed and on the verge of burnout or a nervous breakdown, before realising they need to employ someone and ask for help. Does this sound familiar to you?
If you’re a self-starter and thinking of launching your entrepreneurial career or if you’re already in the start-up game, you should consider ways to mitigate the overwhelming stress you’re bound to feel. You can do this by applying admin and efficiency hacks to your busy work life.
You need to consider various types of hacks that will assist you in your day-to-day business activities. Ultimately you need to choose ways to improve long-term productivity.
This means putting in place better processes that’ll improve your daily admin tasks and help you understand your business better.
You will also want to increase your ability to communicate effectively with your clients, suppliers and target market. And don’t only make sure others are happy, check your own mental and emotional health too.
Here are five quick hacks that will improve the life of any entrepreneur.
1Learn to say no
When you’re running your own business you will want to say yes to everyone and everything. But this is not wise. This is a one-way ticket to burnout. You might become popular, indispensable even but you won’t be doing yourself any favours. Know what you can and can’t handle and say no when your plate is too full.
2Take frequent breaks
Take breaks during your work day and during the year. Stepping away from your desk and the computer is pivotal to your success. You can’t keep pushing yourself as you’ll eventually start making mistakes and even becoming ill from the stress and pressure.
Make sure you have allocated vacation time throughout the year where you can switch off completely. And during a busy work day, you can always step out for a coffee, a walk around the block or a lunchtime gym session. All of these activities will help you get the mental and physical break you need.
3Establish a list of priorities
Not everything is urgent but many busy entrepreneurs tend to behave like everything needs to be done right now. Every day you should create a list of priorities. Establish what requires attention and work right now and what can wait.
Make sure you tick off the tasks you identified as urgent so you can note your progress and then tackle those less pressing.
4Turn off all devices at various times throughout the work day
When you’re an entrepreneur there’s no one helping you tackle miscellaneous tasks and no one screening your calls. So when you’re busy with a big project or an important matter you’re also inundated with other stuff that shouldn’t be taking up your time in that moment.
This means you’re taking too much time to get things done. So rather, sit down, turn off all your devices and focus only on the job at hand. Unless you’re waiting on a crucial document or phone call you should allow yourself the opportunity to work in peace so as to complete the job you’ve set out to do.
5Keep snacks and water on your desk
This seems obvious but snacks and water at your desk mean you won’t need to hunt for food when the hunger pangs start destroying your ability to concentrate. After all, you shouldn’t be allowing yourself to reach the point of starving. Rather eat healthily and frequently, consume a lot of water so you’re hydrated. By doing this you’ll keep yourself healthy, alert and productive.
If you’re an African entrepreneur requiring more insights into streamlining your business activities and managing your time, then join up with like-minded individuals and the various entrepreneurial conferences around South Africa.
Mingling with those of your ilk will give you ample opportunity to learn how they manage, what systems they employ and how they find ways to fit in everything with very little time. Your network you create could end up being the ultimate hack for the busy entrepreneur.