Jeff Haden
Business Journalist

Jeff Haden is a bestselling ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, and LinkedIn Influencer

Jeff Haden
Business Journalist

Jeff Haden is a bestselling ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, and LinkedIn Influencer

Multi-tasking seems like a foregone conclusion for many business owners, and technology and proper process can help bridge the gap.

Business owners these days need to be a jack-of-all-trades: part marketer, part line manager, a dash of CFO and a healthy dose of salesperson. With all the responsibilities you have, the ability to multi-task has never been more important.

So that’s what you do. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, combine all that with the pressure of every buck stopping with you, needing to balance budgets, carving out time to plan for the future, and making sure your staff are happy, and the day fills up really quickly. And trying to multi-task doesn’t do anyone any favours, with research from Stanford University showing there’s no real benefit to trying to do everything at once.

So in an age where the idea of a business owner with one set of specialised skills is increasingly less prevalent, what enables entrepreneurs to have it all (or as much of it as possible)?

Here are some great ways to do just that.

A large amount of multi-coloured post-it notes lying in a large pile on a white floor.

Productivity apps

Many apps are downloaded, tried and then deleted. But some productivity apps are extremely useful.

Since I write for a number of clients I use Box for online collaboration. I use DocuSign for signing agreements and contracts. I use GeoOp for scheduling and tracking long-term projects.

The key is to find tools that work for you and automate or streamline all of the things you’re trying to do at once. A productivity app should make it easier for you to work the way you like to work while managing competing priorities.

If you find yourself de-optimising your processes in order to accommodate a particular app, find another one. The goal is to save time so you can fit everything in.

A focus on what matters

We all have things that make the biggest difference to our bottom lines; for me that means sitting down and writing. Pick the two or three things that contribute most to your success and generate the most revenue and then eliminate as many of the “extra” tasks as you can.

So if you’re a great closer, find ways to get in front of more clients because that’s where you really earn your keep. If you’re a great motivator, find ways to interact more with your team because that’s where you really earn your keep.

Remember, just because you can perform a task doesn’t mean you’re the right person to actually perform that task. Maximise your results by maximising the time you spend doing the things that matter most.

Saying no

Successful people are “can do” people; they get more done because they take on more.

Start saying no more often than you say yes. Be polite, but protect your time. Time is the one asset you can never afford to waste.

Single-tasking

Plenty of studies show that multi-tasking is extremely inefficient. So is a loss of attention and focus. Eliminate distractions and temptations when you’re working on something important by turning off your phone and email and chat window alerts.

Then, on your schedule, take a few minutes to check on what you might have missed. In all likelihood nothing important will have happened and in the meantime, you’ll have gotten a lot more done.

As a business owner, your role is to guide the business. Yes, that means you’re likely to have an eye across everything in the business, but there are plenty of ways to keep on top of what your business is doing without micro-managing or trying to do everything at once. So work hard to find tools and processes that work for you. In the end you only have so much time in a day – and you need to have a life outside of work to boot.

Business apps can help manage time and tasks – helping you do your thing.

Here’s six apps that can help reduce admin and keep you on top of things.

Find Out More

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