Where will you get the time?

by Norma

Time is on everyone’s mind during the holidays. Last minute shopping stops and last minute scrambles to top-off seasonal sales increase awareness of our ticking time bombs. Here are five ways to save time–if you have time to read them.

  1. Control the flood of email. It’s hard to remember doing business before email. I wouldn’t like to depend on snail mail today, still email can decrease productivity. Combined with a good spam filter, we took control of our email by setting hours of the day to check email. First, turn off all notices that urge you to check incoming messages. Next set aside three or four times a day to spend a specific amount of time reading, responding and sending emails. First thing in the morning, at lunch, just before quitting and possibly a few minutes at home to answer personal email. Yes, you have already thought of times when this won’t work for you. Me too, but holding to the general concept will get you through the pile of messages with more time to spare for Oh, sipping a cup of tea maybe.
  2. When we are on a tight deadline, we turn off the telephone ringers, and apply the same idea to phone calls as we do to email.
  3. Draw up list of priorities. Schedule your time based on what is important for you in a particular day, week or month. When we first started our graphic design business, we would work our tails off making calls, networking and marketing to find new clients. Then an avalance of work hit and we had no time to find more new work. So, a no-work cycle followed, with no money going into the coffers. These up and down cycles can be broken when you set aside time every day, week or month finding prospects and meeting with them. As web designers we climb a constant up-hill learning curve. Figuring out how to find new clients, get the work done wasn’t leaving us much time to keep up on the latest softwares, techniques and technologies. To plan time for that, we determined that late spring and early summer were our slowest time of the year. We made continuing education a top priority then.
  4. Just Say No. Decide what contributes to your bottom line, then do only those things that do. You don’t need to forgo every non-revenue activities. Just looking at your activities in that way will you make smarter choices for your time. Next time someone asks you to volunteer for an important committee when you are feeling pressured and up-tight, you may want to decline rather than resenting the time it will take up.
  5. Hire someone to wash windows. In other words, do what you went into business to do. Outsource everything else. Many small business owners try to do it all – CEO, bookkeeper, IT manager, marketing maven and window washer. Then they wonder why they have no time to take care of business. If you refer back to #4 above, you may see some of these activities don’t add to your bottom line. While you are doing what you do best at $80 an hour, it makes sense to hire a window washer for $40 an hour, and keep the change. Around here, we outsource everything that costs less than our charges.
  6. Let the folks who have the expertise, equipment and practice to get the job done.  In
    “Seven Reasons to Outsource”, Steve Hartkopf, Managing Partner at Aligned Marketing, LLC, puts it this way, “Few companies can afford the money to purchase or the time it takes to learn the latest technologies available in every function – sales, marketing, IT, logistics, etc. Outsourcing allows you to rent the best technology available from the best providers.”

Instead of bogging down in routine administrative work, look into a virtual assistant to handle some tasks. A local or bookkeeper can get your books back in order, and renting cutting-edge technology will complete a project while your competitor is taking classes or still interviewing potential new employees.


In a recent article about self-promotion, on SCORE’s website, Nicole Amsler stated,”Before I even had one client, I made sure to have an attractive website, a professional logo and accompanying marketing collateral and a separate phone line. I have taken my business seriously from the beginning and made sure I gave off a professional image.”
These are exactly the graphic design projects we excell in. A custom designed web presence could save you time and money. See if we can help you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob December 22, 2009 at 8:47 am

A Virtual Personal Assistant is a very in demand business today. It helps a lot in online business services and it’s cheaper.


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