You’ve worked hard to develop your entrepreneurial spirit and, as a result, your business is taking off. Now you’re the CEO, CFO and even CMO of a thriving company – and you are really overwhelmed. There’s so much to do and no matter how hard you try, you’re having a hard time getting everything done. What can you do to improve your productivity without going crazy?
1. Learn to Delegate
In some cases this is going to mean hiring people to help you. Hiring people to manage your companies finances, its human resources, etc is one of the best things that you can do to help yourself. Yes, it will be difficult – especially if you have a hard time letting go of even a tiny amount of control. Still, you’ll be amazed at how much time you have to focus on what you do best when you’re not trying to do everything at once. Yes, you got this far on your own. Now imagine how much further you can go when you have help!
2. Figure Out What to Outsource
There is no shame in outsourcing some of the “busy” work to a freelancer or independent contractor. There’s even less shame in hiring another company to manage various aspects of your business for you. Some companies specialize in software and financials. For instance you might hire a company to manage your payroll duties. Others take over the details of marketing campaigns. For instance, you might consider using demand generation services to help supplement marketing efforts allowing you to focus on the “meat” of your marketing campaign while feeling confident that you won’t be overlooking the details that will make it successful.
3. Automate Everything You Can
The number of tasks that can be automated these days is staggering. On Sept. 12, Forbes published an article called “Ten Apps to Help You Sell Better This Year and Beyond” that highlights everything from the Meeting Mapper app to the Power Dialing app -all things that seem like no big deal but that, when added together, eat up large swaths of your time. Business2Community.com insists that Marketing Automation has to be part of your budget for 2014.
Obviously you don’t want to automate everything. For example, all of your website and marketing content should be created by a human for other humans to consume. You can, however, automate the publishing and distribution of that content.
There are some people who insist that multi-tasking is a bad idea and actually hurts your focusing ability. Others, though, say that you’re fine as long as you don’t try to do too many high-pressured or high-focus tasks at the same time. The best way to multi-task is to pair smaller tasks with larger ones. For instance, you can sort emails while you wait for a meeting to start, or take care of your filing while you’re on a conference call. This way the mundane things are squared away while leaving your brain to focus on the important things.
Remember: there’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, admitting a weakness is the first step to overcoming it. So ask yourself: what am I best at? Focus on those tasks and delegate or automate everything else.