You’ve probably heard the maxim that it’s better to work smarter than harder. By working smarter, you are allocating energy, time, and money, so that vital tasks get done efficiently, and you’re freeing up your personal time.
Business owners overthink that they must keep working harder—taking on more responsibilities and working longer hours—to succeed. However, with you being responsible for your business, it makes sense, this route will lead you to burnout. If you keep pushing yourself harder, eventually, your business will become unsustainable.
Here are three tips for working smarter.
Commit to deep work
How often have you got five minutes into a project just to be distracted by your text messages or email notifications? It’s difficult to focus on tasks while being distracted cognitively. Your mind continually has to bounce back and forth between different activities, and it takes time to switch every time a new notification comes in.
Set aside time each day where your mobile phone is silent, you can’t check your social media, and your email notifications are turned off. Use that time to focus on your most cognitively demanding tasks. By eliminating distractions, you are freeing up your brain to focus on the activities you actually need to do, which is then enabling you to get your work done quicker and more efficiently.
Deep work was developed by Cal Newport, who has written a book on the subject.
Find the right business management tools
There are multiple amazing platforms and software-as-a-service tools to help you run your business and work smarter, but not all of them will be the right fit for you. It’s easy to get tempted by the newest apps that claim to make your life easier; but before you sign up for another subscription service, make sure it actually benefits you.
Don’t sign up for something just because you like the way it is marketed; make sure the program will actually provide what it says. Otherwise, if the program ends up being pushed to the side and unused, you then have to justify the expense. Having multiple of the same type of apps means you aren’t becoming any more productive if you’ve already got your team logged into three other apps. You need to remove, delete and unsubscribe from platforms that are unnecessary or don’t meet your needs. Don’t just use the platforms because you can— do your research into them, make sure they will solve a problem for your business or make a process more efficient.
With that said, when finding a tool that makes your life easier and more efficient, buy it and use it. Purchase software that can make invoicing easier, simplify project management, and even manage your time.
Increase your rates
If you haven’t increased your rates in a while, now is a great time to consider doing so. By doing this, it means you can focus on higher-paying clients, earning you more money in less time. You don’t have to raise your rates a considerable amount, either. Make sure that if you increase them enough that you lose only a few clients, your business won’t financially suffer. Put your focus then on finding new clients who are willing to pay you at a higher rate.
To become a successful business owner, you need to work hard. However, it doesn’t mean you have to keep working harder. Always find new ways to work smarter—by increasing your rates, investigating management tools, and committing to deep work— these will all help you in the long run.
If you have any questions, feel free to Join the conversation…