April 29th, 2012

How To Work Effectively While Working Less

Happy Labor Day to all Entreps!

Your small business is either labor intensive or brain racking. Either way, it all sums up to “work.”

I define “work” as “exerting mental or physical effort within an allowable timeframe.” Meaning, it needs to be completed within a specific period allotted to it. Otherwise, it’s inefficient. Therefore, “working effectively” could mean “working less.”

The line between work and life blurs gradually when you become an entrepreneur. Your work becomes your life, and your life becomes your work. Being an entrep means you’ve committed to a never-ending balancing act. And it goes without saying that any imbalance can lead to unexpected results.

More often than not, failure to structure or limit the working hours causes a work-life imbalance that most entreps experience. No one really complains for having more me-time or family time, so it’s managing your workload that really requires attention.

The point of this short writing is not to answer if you should choose life over work (because you should), but rather, to help you gain a better perspective on how you can work less so you can enjoy both. It’s a misconception that you have to choose. But the balancing act requires a lot of practice.

To work effectively while working less, there are four things you have to remember:

1. Experts
2. Delegation
3. Hypertasking
4. Tools

How it works:

1. If the work is specialized but someone else can do it, then choose an expert to get the job done quickly and beautifully. If you settle for anyone less, you might end up waiting longer for a result that won’t impress you. You’ll get what you pay for.

2. If the work is common but someone else can do it, then learn to delegate. If someone else can do it, then why should you? But be sensible enough NOT to delegate work that’s unmistakably meant to be done by you.

3. If the work is specialized and no one can do it but you, then master the art of hypertasking to finish with less time. Work intensely to complete one task as quickly as possible, and then move to the next. Focus ONLY on the task at hand. The key is to avoid multi-tasking. The act of switching back-and-forth is already time-consuming to begin with. It also disrupts your focus and flow, so you really don’t gain enough momentum when you’re multi-tasking.

4. If the work is common but no one is available to do it, chances are, there are available tools that can make it easier for you. Make the most of what technology has to offer. Most of them are free or affordable. It’s also wise to invest on tools that perform specialized tasks, especially if they cost lower than outsourcing or hiring a person. My secretary, project coordinator, and sales manager all came from iTunes.

Eat The Big Fish

by Ryan Jay Crisostomo
Brand Commando of Thrive Tactics

How to Work Effectively While Working Less