Time is a precious thing. It’s something we always want more of — and something we wish we could speed up and slow down at certain times.
But in the business world, things always move fast. Time is a resource, just like money. You probably want more of both of those things (...I know I do.)
If you’re not sure how to approach freeing up more time, look through the six ways I’ve outlined that can help you save an hour each week.
Turn Off Push Notifications
Push notifications are the feature within your smartphone that allow it to buzz, ding, or pop up on your screen any time you get a notification from an app, email, or phone call. And while they’re great for helping to stay aware of real-time action, they can wreck your productivity.
Don’t believe it? One screen lock app found that the average user checks his or her phone as many as 150 times per day. With text messages, Twitter notifications, and emails constantly coming through — it’s no big surprise that most people have a constant source of distraction.
Go into your phone’s settings and turn off push notifications — and get control of your phone again. You’ll save more than an hour each week when you can focus on the task at hand without an interruption.
Batch Process Your Email
If you have a chaotic email inbox, then it can easily keep you playing defense throughout the day. When you’re constantly answering emails, you’re never able to get ahead — it’s an ongoing struggle to get caught up.
Instead, try batch processing your emails. Set three to four blocks of 10-15 minutes each day when you’ll process a set amount of messages (like 10 at a time.) This way, you’re still able to get important messages responded to, but you’re not letting your inbox dictate your daily schedule.
Hire Some Help
There’s probably a tedious task you deal with on a daily or weekly basis that takes up an unnecessary amount of your time. Maybe it’s sending out invoices. Maybe it’s writing blog content. It stresses you out and keeps you from thinking big picture about your business. The good news is: You can hire freelance help for that.
With the growing freelance workforce, it’s not hard to find a Virtual Assistant or some other type of freelance help that not only can take care of a time-consuming task for you — but can give these things the expertise and focus they need.
Use Scheduling Tools
Especially when it comes to social media, daily content creation can be a time suck. You’re logging into multiple accounts, finding content to share, and always feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Guess what? That’s not necessary.
With scheduling tools like Buffer, Hubspot, or even Facebook’s built-in scheduling tool, you can schedule content to automatically publish at a later date. All that’s left for you to do is to monitor and interact with your audience there — the content part is done.
Not sure where to start? Create a content calendar and work from your ideas there.
Stop Taking In-Person Meetings
You might be used to traveling to meet with potential customers in-person, but that travel time is likely hurting you more than helping. And with tools like Skype and Google Hangouts, there are plenty of easy ways for you to leverage technology and cut out the commute.
Are all of your customers going to be crazy about this idea? Probably not, but if you have a quick how-to guide and make the process simple while explaining the value and time this saves both parties, sometimes, you’ll be able to save an hour (or more) each time a meeting is scheduled.
Multitask When Learning
If you have a 15+ minute commute to and from work, you can use that time to educate yourself rather than feeling like you have to make time for it when the work day is done. Instead of staying up late trying to finish that business book you started, try switching to an audio format.
With podcasts and audiobooks, you can more wisely spend your time listening — while you’re doing something else. While walking your dog, exercising — you name it. Multitask this way, and you’ll add hours to your free time each week (and you’ll feel better about the time you spend doing those tasks, too.)
Save an Hour Each Week, Feel More Sane
With more free time on your hands, you can think about the future of your business, rather than being stuck down in the daily details. It's time to make your time work for you--not the other way around.