timeWhy does it seem like you never have enough time in the day to get the things done that you want? It could be that you’re spending precious minutes on tasks that don’t absolutely require you to work on them in “normal” business hours. One of the biggest culprits we see for sucking up time are proposals – if your format for a proposal on a job takes even 15 minutes, you may think, “Hey, no big deal.” But does it have to be done during the day? Could it be done at 9pm tonight and then emailed off either in the evening or first thing tomorrow so you aren’t wasting any time on it? Kick it to the “after” hours and get those 15 minutes (or more) back into your workday.

What else doesn’t have to be done between 9am-5pm? Networking. It’s great to get your name out there by attending community events, but think about the time you’re taking up in your day if you attend a networking lunch. You have to travel to the event, attend it for at least an hour and return. That’s probably 2 hours out of your day at a minimum. What would having those 2 hours back in your day mean? More time actually working. Prospecting is not necessarily something that has to be done in the daylight. Consider an evening event after 5pm, which brings a different kind of crowd that’s a bit more casual that you might enjoy interacting with. It’s OK to make an exception now and then if you believe a lunch is worth attending, but understand what you may be sacrificing in the amount of time because as the adage goes, time really is worth money.

Let’s take one more example of something that doesn’t have to be done when the sun is shining – marketing. That’s right. You’re researching where to buy your business cards from? Don’t do it during the day. You need a hand on getting up a simple website or refreshing an existing one? No reason for you to be heading online at 2pm to investigate your options. Even if you are sending out a monthly eNewsletter through a service like Constant Contact or MailChimp, the actual work on that can be done later than 5pm.

What else can you think of that could be pushed until after 5pm? Conversely, besides the work on site at the customer location, what tasks in your day absolutely can’t be moved out of the 9am – 5pm timeframe? Fill your day with these essentials that can’t be pushed under any circumstances and move out everything else where business won’t be hurt if it gets done later in the evening.

This is what working smarter is all about for your business. Give it a try for a while. You’ll hopefully be amazed by your newly found efficiency.