It’s hard work running a business, working with clients, keeping fit, socialising, looking after family, etc. I often hear people complain about their lack of time to do things. In my opinion the problem is not the lack of time, it’s the lack of discipline and the poor systems people have in place to make them more efficient. I’m going to discuss four example of batching to save time.
1/ Emails – whoever invented email must have thought it would be a massive time saver, no more letters or paper. However, a recent survey reveals the average time a person spends on emails is 28% of your work week. That’s a high percentage of the working week which I’m sure could be better spent. In the Tim Ferris book he explains simple tips for reducing time on email, my advice is to check your emails twice a day, early morning and late afternoon. If it’s someone really needs to contact you they will ring you.
2/ Social media – facebook, twitter, instagram, the list is endless. If you wanted to you could just spend your whole day on social media looking up great articles and products for your business, but you are in business and you need to get clients through the door. A simple way to manage social media is to set aside 1-2 hours a week to scedule social media posts for the week or month ahead. The benefit of this you are fully focused and in the zone for posting on social media. You can set up autoresponders on facebook for business pages so people can use your online booking or send you an email directly. Your reply could be as follow ” Thanks for your message, if you need an appointment click here, if you need to speak to me directly please email me at email@example.com Kind regards Colin”. With this in place you don’t really have to check social media again.
3/ Paying bills – Nobody likes paying bills, however people make this task more painful by paying one at a time. Most bills can be paid online now, if you are late you will be sent a reminder. Similar to the social media approach set up some time once a month (general cycle of bills) and pay them all at once. You can schedule the payment to go out on a specific date so you don’t take a massive hit on one day. Better still delegate this task to an admin person or a virtual assistant. A simple task of paying your staff fortnightly rather than weekly can make a massive time saving.
4/ Invoicing/banking – How often do you send invoices or do your banking? Not many people are dealing in cash anymore and if you can survive without the cash in the bank this will save you the weekly trip to lodge $500. Also if you can get your clients who pay on credit to pay via direct deposit rather than cheque it saves you time. It takes at least an hour to do the banking regardless of who does it. Also if you’re not on a paperless system and still faxing or posting your invoices to clients set aside an hour each week to do it. This means you can follow up on unpaid invoices from the previous week at the same time.
So that’s my advice with regards to batching rather than b*tching for more time. You can apply this principle to most things in your business. To find out how PracticeNav can help improve your batching skills please email firstname.lastname@example.org or take our Free business audit. Feel free to share your experience of how batching helped your business.