How to free up your time to work on your business without outsourcing

You want to level up but you’re swamped with the day to day of your business and haven’t got the time to invest in it. You also (and this is the crucial part) aren’t ready to outsource.

I was in the same boat a while ago. I still don’t want to outsource yet. Mostly because I really enjoy all that I do. I also got really fed up of people telling me to outsource and what was worse? I was a virtual assistant at the time, someone who relied heavily on other people wanting to outsource. How hypocritical did I feel?!

Often we overload and over complicate our small businesses because as they evolve (particularly when they are starting to make a little money) we carry on doing everything that we were doing and simply add in more. 

Imagine that in your home. Everytime you changed your sofa you kept the old one. It wouldn’t take long for the volume to creep up and the space to reduce. It’s the same with your business. 

You should make it a habit of re-evaluating your essential task lists on a regular basis. You should also consider your whole life tasks, family/social/personal as well as business. 

Feeling overwhelmed like I was? Grab a cuppa and lets do an exercise to see what you’re actually doing with your time.

  1. List everything and I mean everything that you currently do on a day to day, week to week basis both personally and professionally. Make 3 copies.
  2. Label copy 1 – ONLY I AM ABLE TO DO THESE THINGS. Label copy 2 – I HATE DOING THESE THINGS/THINGS THAT I LOVE TO DO. Label copy 3 -.THINGS THAT ARE NOT EXACTLY NECESSARY
  3. Grab a highlighter (you’ll need 2 for copy 2) and on each copy look at every item and then ask yourself the title in the form of a question. I.e. housework – am I the only one able to do these things? If the answer is yes, then highlight it. 
  4. Now you take each copy 1 by one.
    • Copy 1. You have highlighted everything that only you can do. So these are the absolute essentials of your time requirements. This means that everything else can be altered/negotiated/stopped or shared. A good example for me was hosting dinner once a month for friends. We now take it in turns which means I only have to prep and do it once every 4 months! Alternatively I also had researching tech and updating, renewing, or upgrading my hardware for the business. I have a very competent IT guy in my pocket so why do those things myself?
    • Copy 2. The things you love to do are highlighted in one colour, the things you hate in another. It’s clear to see where your energy lies, which tasks revitalise it and which drain it. It’s time to compare to list 1 to figure out which ones are essential for you to do. Out of those how many do you love/hate accordingly. This will help no end with your diary/work load schedule. (Bonus tip – if possible simply stop doing the things that drain you – if you can’t stop or share the load with these then I would consider eating the frog and schedule the completion of these as the first jobs of the day so that your energy is boosted simply because they’re not on your list anymore!)
    • Copy 3. This one is key. If you can drop these tasks, drop them – no shame, no judgement. Some things we do because we feel we *should* or because they’ve become a habit. Things change though. When I started out as a VA I was going to multiple in person networking events per month and there were very few that actually felt beneficial – they weren’t my ideal clients and so I dropped most of the events completely – the freedom was fantastic.

There are so many easy ways to manage your time better both personally and professionally that I made a quick snapshot of things you can do in your business to find more time. Want to grab a copy? It’s here and it’s completely FREE!

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