Dear Entrepreneur, Work SMARTER – Not Harder. Here’s How:

Burn out. Stress. Overwhelm.

As an Entrepreneur, there’s no doubt that at some point in your journey you will feel one, if not all of these. With the responsibility of a thriving – or failing business weighted on your shoulders, working hard might be considered an understatement.

Working too hard, however – can have major consequences, not only on your business – but on your body too.

The message to Entrepreneurs seems to heavily favor this working hard attitude with quotes like:

“If you can’t outsmart them, outwork them.” Bill Veeck

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take something away from you.” Mark Cuban

“Hustle is the most important word, ever!” Gary Vaynerchuk

While working hard and hustle are key components to success – there’s one key factor missing in the message. And that’s – work SMARTER, not harder.

Here’s How:

Learn the art of deciding what’s a “Have To Do” versus “Nice To Do”

to do list

You’ll have to be crystal clear on your goals and objections for the day, week, month or year. Knowing your goals is really a crucial step because you can work backwards in tackling what needs to happen every day in order to reach your goals.

For example, if your goal is to generate 15 new clients in a month, it would be more beneficial to your goal if your “Have To Do” list had client generating tasks like call 15 potential clients each day, reach out to 10 referral  partners per week, or send 5 follow up emails a day to interested parties.

Whereas cleaning out that old desk drawer or unsubscribing to unwanted emails in your inbox would land themselves a spot on your “Nice To Do” list.

See the difference?

Both need to get one, some more than others to hit your business goals.

Use the Tools

When it comes to working smarter, the tools can do just that. Tools can do a variety of tasks for you – allowing you the time to focus on the tasks that matter.

For Social Media automation, utilize tools like IFTTT (If This, Then That), Buffer & HootSuite to preschedule your content and post to all your networks with one click.

You can even invest in programs that create all of your monthly social media content for you. No creating graphics, coming up with a schedule or promotion campaigns, it’s completely done for you.

Programs like Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, & SalesForce can provide CRM services and help with automation and tasks necessary to communicate with your database on your behalf.

Revive Social  is a WordPress plugin that can automatically share website articles to social media on any schedule you choose. This ensures your  articles are always shared to social media and they are recycled as often as you’d like.

If you need financial management assistance, Mint is a great solution to save you time and effort making it easy to stay on top of your finances.

Whatever you find yourself spending too much time on, search around for a time saving solution. You might be surprised at how many options are out there to make your work and life a little bit easier.

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Outsource & Delegate

If you’re committed to working smarter, you have to develop a team that can assist with work load. Entrepreneur icons, Steve Jobs & Richard Branson, enthusiastically spread the message that the team was one of the key factors in their success.

If you think you can do everything on your own – you can’t. This is a fast path to burn out and this is a path you want to try and avoid.

Start by investing in a team that can take things off your plate while moving you further towards your goals.

Related: 6 Marketing Tasks You Have to Do Every Month

If you have a team but are still feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to delegate. Be sure to pass your team the tasks that you need them to take over.  Trust them. This is a key to a successful transition which is going to help them grow…and you grow.

If your hesitant to hire a team member or find yourself under budget constraints, look to outsource tasks that you need done. Use freelancers or sites like Upwork, where you can hire affordable assistance as you need. This is a budget friendly way to grow your team until you’re ready to bring on permanent help.

Let your team take care of the tasks that you don’t enjoy. There’s no need to waste time doing something you don’t love – it’s worth the cost to have someone take that responsibility off your plate so you can focus on what you do love about your business.

Time Management

Your time is the most valuable asset you have. As Stedman Graham always says, “Everyone has 24 hours in a day. It’s how you use yours that makes you different.”

Take control of your time and develop structure in your  business – and your life.

Think about: 

  • What time of the day are you getting started on you business?
  • What tasks take up a majority of your time?
  • What can you eliminate or delegate to free up time?
  • Do you have time to focus on yourself?

Analyze where you’re spending too much time or not spending enough time. Create a schedule and try to stick to it.

If you find yourself spending too much time scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, remember, nobody has ever struck it rich scrolling through social media.

Create discipline around how you spend your time. YOU are valuable and the only way your business will succeed is if you are focused on what you are doing.

Use an app like 30/30 where you set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. It provides a visual and a deadline to get things done. Imaging how many things you can get done if you set limits for yourself?

Remember to take time for yourself as well. Get a good amount of sleep, eat well every day, and take breaks when you need them. Your business won’t reach its full potential without you!

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