Self-Employed and Running Yourself Ragged? Here Are 7 of the Best Time-Saving Hacks

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It may be freeing to be your own boss, but this doesn’t mean you’d less busy than if you were working as a corporate slave.

How do you manage your time and still succeed?

1. Plan your week ahead

This is one of the best ways to save more time and allow you to create your schedule in a holistic way. Being able to see what you need to accomplish on a daily or weekly basis keeps you organized and on track.

At the start of the day, quickly glance at your calendar. At the end of the day, tick out what you’ve accomplished and tweak your calendar when needed.

Make sure to set a schedule when to plan weekly. Friday afternoon, Sunday evening, or times when you’re not distracted by emails will do.

2. Know and strictly follow your work hours

The weekly plan is a failure if you don’t follow it and stick to the hours you set.

It is a fact that self-employed tend to work beyond the usual 9 to 5 schedule, which has its share pros and cons. You may be able to do more in a day, but you could be sacrificing your health in the process.

So make sure that you know your hours of work and stick to them. Doing so is the best way to stay super-efficient at what you do.

3. Be flexible with your work hours

The purpose of planning ahead is to keep you organized and on track. But because interruptions can happen, leave room for flexibility.

This is especially true if you need to take care of your family while you work. After all, this is one of the perks of being self-employed.

Therefore, when creating your weekly schedule, be realistic about your working pattern.

4. Keep important things handy

Self-employed must take care of a lot of things all by themselves. You could be your own personal accountant, shopper, and other roles that you need to play.

Be ready for any eventualities. Keep a copy of important documents ready, a list of emergency contacts, and cash for contingency.

5. Divide and conquer

Delegate when and where possible.

If there’s someone who can do a specific job quicker and better, hand the task over to them so you can free up your time for something more important.

To be good at delegation, it is important to list down tasks only you can do and tasks that someone else can do. Connect with people whom you can trust to help you reach your goals and share your visions.

6. Avoid multitasking

As much as you’d like to think that you can finish multiple tasks at once, the reality is that you can’t. The brain is not wired to focus on two things simultaneously.

And when you try to multitask, it takes even longer to finish each task.

The best course of action is to focus on one single task at a time, finish it, and then move on to the next.

Another idea would be to delegate, especially those tasks that are not part of your workflow but are vital to your survival.

Grocery shopping, for example, isn’t exactly part of your daily or weekly schedule but something that needs to be done once a week.

With so many technological advances in e-commerce and shopping, you should free up more of your time by doing your shopping online. A good option is to have your groceries delivered to your doorstep.

It is the most convenient way to get the best foods delivered because Mercato will connect you to the best artisans, merchants, and purveyors in your community. What is even better is that you will save time and money that you could end up spending with in-store compulsive shopping.

7. Take advantage of productivity apps

  • Crucial Results is a system where big quarterly or yearly goals are broken down into weekly and daily tasks. This helps you spend time working high-leverage activities while allowing you to keep track of your bigger goals.
  • The Daily Docket is a notepad that does more than just your usual to-do list. It separates tasks, notes, appointments, and errands.
  • Trello is a task management software that makes it easier to track progress of essential tasks. Share it with other people in your team, so that everyone is on the same page.
  • ZenDesk is a support ticketing system and customer service software to help keep track of inbound and unscheduled requests. You can log different requests/tasks and make it easy to schedule them within your workflow.

Armed with these tips, you are sure to save time and not stress yourself out.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.