We understand the Energizer Bunny approach that many small business owners have to life – just keep going and going, ticking items off your to do list as fast as possible. After all, the old adage “time is money” still holds true. But are you really saving time, or just leasing it to be coughed up – with interest – later? Here are a few essential tasks that could save you a few minutes if skipped, but add up to huge undertakings – or even loss of business – down the line:
We all fall into that trap – once we’ve completed something, we just send it off without a second glance. Who has another 5 minutes to spare? It’s a tough habit to break, but it’s essential to do so. Whether it’s an email to a client, an eblast, or a social media post, all of these items can come back to bite you – either costing you time clearing up confusion and resending corrections or costing you business from less than understanding clients.
Mark Your Calendar:
Your mind isn’t quite the steel trap you think it is after a big event or long week. Mark your calendar, either in your email system, your preferred calendar app, or on an old school calendar posted in your office, with events and reminders, color coding them with a system that makes the best sense for you. Make a point of reviewing your calendar at the beginning of each week – or better yet each day! – to see what’s coming up.
Again, don’t overestimate your memory. Future you will thank present you for documenting ideas and deadlines, whether they come to you out of the blue or are brought up during a meeting. Keeping a pad and paper – or your smartphone equipped with an app like Evernote – with you at all times and putting them to use allows you to capture all your important thoughts and reminders.
Make an Agenda for Every Meeting:
There’s nothing worse than ending a meeting only to realize that an important topic of discussion was skipped completely. An agenda allows you make sure that all of the essential talking points are hit and to keep everyone on track.
Distribute a List of Action Items After Every Meeting:
Just as important as drafting a meeting agenda before your meetings is creating a list of action items after them. Don’t just assume that everyone took comprehensive notes and pulled out their responsibilities during the meeting. Include deadlines and the names of the people carrying out each task.
Follow the 2 Minute Rule:
It’s easy to see an email pop up and tell yourself that you’ll get to it later. It’s much harder to actually remember to do it later. Instead of adding to your to do list, follow the 2 minute rule – if it takes 2 minutes or less, do it on the spot!
It may take a few extra minutes in the moment to perform the above tasks, but you’ll save yourself hours and thousands down the line! What tasks do you find add up if you skip them to save time? Do you have any tips or tricks to help with them? Let us know in the comments below!