Clearing your to-do list efficiently

Time, ability and enjoyment are three factors to consider when you want to get rid of some of those essential business tasks from your to-do list.

As featured in the Feb/March 2018 Wiltshire Business Magazine

There comes a time in every business that you need to get in a little extra help, whether it helps directly with the business or with elements of your personal life, so you can get on with what you enjoy, are able to do, or where your time should be spent.

Many business owners don’t necessarily want to commit to an employee, as well as the complications of payroll, tax, NI and now pensions, it can seem like a harder task to get some help on board, so ‘you might as well do it yourself’ right? Wrong. As your business expands you don’t need to worry about employing people to help and then finding stuff to keep them busy. A freelancer can support you when your business needs it.

This year I outsourced my household cleaning, it was impossible to work from home, build my business and walk past a carpet that needed hoovering, or a side that needed polishing. It wasn’t where my time was best spent, so off my to-do list it went and now I don’t have to spend weekend’s cleaning or worrying about it.

Before you start thinking about what you might outsource, use a free time recorder (I recommend Toggl) or a pen and paper and note every task you do and how long it takes, for a week. Yes, a week!

You’ll have a clear view of where your time is spent and what you can ‘get rid of’. Don’t forget those cyclical tasks, like bookkeeping or researching the best insurers, etc.

Going back to the title of this piece, there are many reasons why you might want to outsource or ‘share the load’, but the three I come across most are; time, ability or enjoyment.

Reasons to outsource; time.

If you have tasks that are zapping your earning time, it’s probably going to be cheaper to outsource them. What’s your hourly rate? And what’s the freelancer’s hourly rate? I bet it’s less than yours.

Scaling your business is hard when you’ve no free time in your day. You can either work longer hours and have no time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, or get someone to help, thus giving you back some time.

Reasons to outsource; ability.

If you struggle with any element of your business, you’ve not failed by asking someone else to do it for you. It’s a sensible next step to allow you to focus on what you’re good at.

You may not have the skills to do every task on your to-do list efficiently. Pick someone who’s up to speed on what you need doing and save yourself stress and ultimately, money.

Reasons to outsource; enjoyment.

We all have tasks we don’t enjoy, which is why I try my damn hardest to outsource the cooking to the other half.

As an example; bookkeeping is a drag for so many people isn’t it. Come April it’s a mad panic to find those receipts you were going to deal with months ago. If we don’t enjoy something we often put it off again and again and again until it’s a huge task and creates an enormous amount of stress and anxiety. I don’t need to tell you to just get on with it, why should you if you don’t enjoy it? Get someone else to do it.

 

Not quite ready to outsource any of your business? That’s okay, neither am I. But, I know who will be helping me when the time comes. Decide who you might select before you need them, so there’s no pressure for you when you desire that extra support.

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Catherine F Gladwyn

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