And with that, Riff Raff, the handy man in the Rocky Horror show summed up the dilemma that faces most small businesses.
There are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. You can carry on working, when everyone else goes home or you can give up your weekends. But, lets face it, you are slaving away and burning out whilst everyone else is relaxed and going to the movies or out for dinner.
You need to step back and look at what is taking up so much time. Is it necessary? Can someone else do it and free up your time?
Is it necessary – before you say yes, ask yourself, “If I stop doing this what will happen?” If the world does not come to a screaming stop, the task is unnecessary.
Can someone do it – take your accounts, someone who does it for a living, could most probably do what seems to take you forever, very quickly.
But even after you get rid of the unnecessary work and sub contract other work, you may still find you do not have enough time. The ideal solution is to employ someone to do the extra work , if you can afford to do so.
if you can afford to employ someone, you will find that between the two of you, you can take on more work – and more work is always good.
Whether you do take on someone or not you need to plan your day, week, month and year.
You do not need some fancy and expensive tools to do this.
I use a combination of three free tools to plan. maybe these do not suit you, but using the idea, you can find what works for you. Until recently, I used a large Desk Diary to record everything and used Google Calendar as a backup. Desk Diaries still have their uses and you may find them the ideal way to plan and keep records.
I stopped using the Diary, because I now can sync my online planners with my PC, Tablet and Smartphone, making my diary superfluous.
For planning ahead for the year, I use Google Calendar, it is free and I can open it on my PC, Tablet and Phone. In fact, you can do everything on Google Calendar from. planning your day, week, month, tasks.
I gotten used to planning my Month using a spreadsheet that I have divided into weeks and days. i could do this using Google Calendar and really the only reason I do it, is out of habit. There is also an added advantage that I can work on it offline.
I use Workflowy, an online simple organiser. I prefer using this because it allows me to hight headings and subdivide tasks using indents and bullets.
These are my preferences, you need to experiment with what suits you. Don’t overthink it – a list is only an aid, you need to follow it. You can get by with a scrap of paper that you have written down your schedule on.
A more formal way is the Pomodoro Technique, breaking your day down into timed tasks. Even if you don’t us, you will find it useful in teaching you to control your better.
Remember, time is valuable and wasted time can never be recovered, but there is always a point at which you must take time for yourself – you can learn from experts, but only you can find what works for you!