A key benefit of owning your own business is choosing your working hours. That was probably a drawcard when you started out. Chances are, you planned to spend less time in your business and more time with your friends and family. Then reality kicked in and you found yourself coming in earlier, staying later, and taking work home with you on the weekend. This probably wasn’t the life you’d imagined.

So, how do you start reducing your hours to get the life you want?

1. Identify the biggest time wasters in your day.

We live in a time-pressured world where urgency and distraction impede our achievements. How often do you have to stop what you’re doing to respond to a crisis or pressing problem? Do you feel like you need to respond to emails and phone calls immediately?

Sometimes things can feel important because they’re urgent, but really the urgency stems from a lack of planning and preparation. The Achiever Matrix breaks your tasks into four quadrants and helps you identify which tasks you can delegate, which tasks you can stop doing, and which tasks you need to prioritise.

By spending more time on tasks in the ‘quadrant of quality’, you’ll achieve more each day and minimise the risk of tasks becoming urgent.

2. Identify how you can better utilise your team and resources.

Ineffective delegation, or no delegation at all, could be monopolising your time. It’s important that you trust your team, and that they have enough training and resources so that you can empower them with new tasks.

We can help you develop your Organisation Structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities so you can gain time for yourself to concentrate on key activities, such as revenue generation, more family time, or hobbies. We’ll also help you identify delegation opportunities.

Don’t employ a team? What tasks could you outsource to free up your time? Consider things you don’t enjoy or that aren’t your strength. The most commonly outsourced departments are marketing, administration, HR and finance.

3. Plan for your desired lifestyle.

Setting clear SMART goals, along with monitoring relevant KPIs, can help you to prioritise your most important tasks and get time freedom. If something’s not helping you achieve one of your goals, consider whether it’s really necessary, and if it is, whether someone else can do it. If not, schedule time to get it done before it becomes urgent.

If you struggle to hold yourself accountable to achieving your goals, we can be that accountability backstop to ensure you act to free up your time. You don’t need to be spending 80+ hours in your business (unless that’s really how you want to spend your time!). We can advise on the latest apps and help you put better systems in place to reduce the amount of time you need to spend at work. Get in touch!

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey