Donna Reade

QuickBooks Online Consulting & Bookkeeping

Are You Killing Yourself With Long Hours? Focus On Working Effectively

overworkedAre you working really long hours in your small business? Do you have a long to-do list that just keeps getting longer? Does 5pm come you find yourself thinking, “Where did the day go? What did I even accomplish today?”

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are not alone as a small business owner. It can be tough juggling everything that needs to get done in your business.

If you analyze what you are actually working on in your small business, you may find that you are working on all of the wrong things.

So instead of focusing on working as many hours as possible, try focusing on working more efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips below:

Unlimited Workload
As a small business owner, you have to get good at handling an unlimited workload. Let’s be honest; if it were humanly possible, we could all pretty much work endlessly on our small businesses. There is always something to do in a business.

Focus On Effectiveness, Not Hours
Stop measuring yourself in the number of hours you work per week. Instead, focus on what you are accomplishing. Whether you worked 6 hours or 67 hours last week really doesn’t matter; all that matters is what you got done.

Prioritize Your Day
Every day, take a look at your to-do list and re-prioritize it. If you can only get three tasks done today, what are they? Now put those tasks on your calendar and get them done.
The main reason that people don’t work effectively is because they get distracted by things that don’t matter. Turning off those distractions and focusing on your prioritized to-do list will keep you on task.

The next time someone asks you for a meeting, invites you to lunch, or tries to drag you along to any other event that is probably going to be a complete waste of time, all you have to do is ask for an agenda. This tip alone will minimize your wasted time and keep you on task for getting things done.

Measure Yourself
Much like everything else in business, measuring your results is what allows you to determine if you were successful or not. Your time should be no different; what gets measured gets done.
Try this out. Diligently track your time for the week. Then analyze it to see where you are spending your time and make the necessary adjustments so that you only focus on tasks that you should be doing. In general, focus on obligations, income-producing tasks, and those tasks that can’t be delegated or outsourced.

It’s OK To Walk Away
Don’t be afraid to walk away and stop working at some point. Sometimes, you just hit a wall after a certain number of hours and you can feel your productivity slipping. If you are tired, unfocused, or just working for the sake of working, then stop. You need to set boundaries for yourself and only work when you are actually being productive. After all, we could work endlessly, but who wants to do that?

3 Responses to Are You Killing Yourself With Long Hours? Focus On Working Effectively

  1. Joseph Ezenwa says:

    Donna,
    Yes, one needs to work smart.It is not the number of hours one works that matter but how productive he or she is.

  2. Paul Arrington says:

    Good article, Donna, with great perspective for small business owners.

  3. John says:

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!