How to get back your time

How to get back your time

When you started your care business did you imagine that you’d get to make a difference doing something you enjoy, work how you wanted and have time for yourself?

In reality, are you wearing all the hats? Are you doing everything – HR, IT, marketing and finance – with no time to enjoy the tasks you do like? Do you have time to reflect on the business rather than constantly working IN the business?

Many business owners feel like they are constantly stuck on a hamster wheel with no easy way to get off. But that’s not healthy. It’s far more important to feel in control and able to deal with emergencies when they happen, rather than fire-fighting every day.

#Have you got set tasks that happen regularly?

#Do you say Yes to everything?

#Are people looking to you to make every decision?

#Are you constantly interrupted and distracted from what you need to do?

#Do you get time to spend with friends, family, or find time for a hobby or exercise?

Here at Fresh Clarity, we have processes and systems in place so we work as efficiently as possible. We encourage our clients to do the same. Obviously, there is still room for human error, but we like to feel in control. This helps us to work in a way to suit the businesses we support and our lives outside of work.

With that in mind, we would like to share with you tips to help you regain some of your valuable time:

#1. Systemisation will save you time

Do you have regular tasks such as collating employee hours? This is a process. We recommend writing/typing these up as full instructions, including pictures or screenshots. This might seem time-consuming, however, it will save a lot of time in the future when training staff and new staff join. It also ensures that everything happens when it should, as it should and helps remove the chance for mistakes to happen.

It will also show up if you do tasks twice or something is repeated. If there are regular tasks you do over and over, can this be done automatically?

Beth’s tip: Set up automated responses to external emails telling them you will respond within 48 hours however, if the issue is urgent then they should call. This way you know that the emails received are not the top priority.

#2. Prioritising your time

Are you being too nice? A classic trait in the care industry! As a business owner, it’s hard to say No. But by being honest about what you can realistically do, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by every task, big or small. This could be key to your business thriving and your health.

If something comes up that needs doing right now, that’s a high priority. Does it require your attention now, or can it wait until other issues are resolved first? Or could someone else deal with it? Which leads us to #3…….

#3. Delegate to your team

Are you the only person who can answer queries? Do you have the mindset that it’s ‘easier’ to just do the task yourself? Yes, teaching another member of the team to carry out a task can sometimes take a little longer than doing it yourself, however over a longer period you gain that time back and so much more. See #1 – Remember, setting clear processes not only helps current team members take on tasks, but is also helpful when new team members join.

There is also the option of outsourcing, especially the jobs that you don’t like! For example, how much time and worry do bookkeeping and payroll cause you? What about marketing? Could outsourcing some of these tasks save you time to drive your business and increase clients? It might appear to be a cost to your business, but how much cost do you allocate to your time?

#4. Time blocking suggestions

Are you constantly interrupted by others and unable to focus on your job and what you need do?

If you can, block out an allotted amount of time to complete work. Let everyone in the office know you are not available and put your phone to ‘do not disturb’. Having focus with no distractions will mean you will complete your tasks quickly.

Focusing on one task at a time is not always an easy thing to do and with technology trying to grab our attention all the time it’s a skill we have all fallen short of. It’s a skill that’s worth mastering, blocking out time and completing one task will ensure efficiency.

Are there regular set tasks that you must do? Could you form a routine and try to complete these on the same day/time? Creating a routine can help make completing certain tasks more efficient and make them easier to complete. For example, now your emails have automatic replies, block time in your calendar to deal with those for just 20-30 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon. Unsubscribe from random emails you never really have time to read.

Then block out another session for new enquires and information gathering – or have someone on the team who can do this for you.

#5. Value your Downtime

Giving yourself downtime can often boost and provide the energy needed to tackle the ‘to-do list’. Having time for friends, family or a hobby that helps you switch off could be more beneficial than trying to churn through a lengthy list of what needs doing. Making time to relax can give you the head space needed to see the bigger picture more clearly and prioritise your to-do list more effectively.

We can help!

Fresh Clarity is much more than an accountant; we want to support you and your business to thrive. We offer business management support. If you are still finding time management overwhelming and need support, Fill in the Form here.

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