Ever look up at the clock after a crazy busy day and immediately wonder, "Where the heck did all those hours go?"
Yeah, it happens to the best of us.
Time is a scarce resource, especially for small business owners and self-employed professionals like us.
Here's what we learned from you!
There's a reason for the saying "There's an app for that." You shared with us that, overwhelmingly, your most useful apps are the ones that make everyday tasks easier and less time consuming.
Anything you can automate = more time for you to spend on the parts of your business that you love.
Rachel Ritlop uses a handful of tools to automate her business. Here are some of her favorites:
Organize Your Time into Blocks – and Schedule Everything
Blocking your time is officially the new multitasking.
Studies continue to show that focusing on one thing for a specified period of time is better for your productivity than attempting to do several small tasks at once.
But how does that *really* work in practice?
This month, we put ourselves to the test. Based on what we learned about how other folks here are blocking their time, we tried the same using this criteria.
Holy cow, we got a lot done! At first it may seem silly to schedule creative time or even time to distract yourself on Facebook, but after a few days of following a schedule where every half hour was blocked, we actually felt freer with our time.
If you're not sure how to start blocking off your time, Rachel suggests writing down everything you do (yes, everything!) for 48 hours so that you can begin to see what's truly important and where you're bleeding minutes (or hours).
40% of us in the community post on social media whenever we feel like it, without much of a plan. But when we asked if it's paying off, 40% of you said that you aren't sure if your efforts are even working.
The bottom line: It's time to stop spending time posting willy nilly without a plan.
Don't feel like you *need* to post on Facebook or Twitter because it feels like something you *should* do. Instead, experiment with blocking out only 30 minutes a day (or less!) and focus on posts that work toward your current main goal, along with some evergreen posts that you can schedule ahead of time.
Along with that, make sure that your social posts are reaching the right eyes! There are tools out there (Rachel recommends ManageFlitter and Crowdfire) to help you target the right audiences and unfollow irrelevant folks who won't find value in what you're posting.
The #1 time waster for community members? Stressing about money. A whopping 43% of you said that worrying about your finances is the most unproductive way of spending your time.
Rachel thinks we should start with a mindset change, not a financial one.
"We worry about money when we are stuck in a 'scarcity' mindset. This type of mindset increases sadness and jealousy, which isn’t good for business. Plus, with this type of mindset, most decisions are likely fear based, which is never good for business. Instead, as business owners, we must get into the 'abundant' mindset."
So, what is an abundant mindset?
An abundant mindset begins with the idea that there are enough clients and gigs out there for everyone, and that all you need to do is work to find those people.
Here's what Rachel does to keep herself in the abundance mindset.
These little changes can help you become more efficient and effective with your time, freeing you up to focus on the parts of your business that you love.
Choose one (or all!) of these time-savers to help you bring two hours back into your day. Then, tell us below what you learned!
Bonus points if you also want to share what you're doing with all that extra time. ;-)
I LOVE the abundant mindset. One of my favorite apps is headspace. It's just ten minutes of your day to calm your mind and makes for a much more productive day.
Hey @peterjeon10 - welcome to QB Community! Love that you're taking a proactive approach to managing your calendar instead of letting it manage YOU.
What other time-saving tricks do you keep up your sleeve? I was just talking to @PracticalSandy about using OneNote for logging daily tasks and priorities. I've also heard good things about Onedrive and Wunderlist.