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Most startup entrepreneurs feel extremely restricted when it comes to time. And it’s no wonder. They have more responsibilities and tasks than they can reasonably handle in an eight-hour workday. If you want to push productively toward the next stage of your business’s development and stay sane while you’re doing it, you need to employ strategies to save time.
How to Save Time in the Early Stages of a Startup
Beginning entrepreneurs often feel overwhelmed in the early stages of a business, when they’re learning the ropes, their resources are limited, and they’re constantly being pulled in different directions.
Below are some of the best strategies for saving time as the entrepreneur of a new startup:
Save Time with a Registered Agent
First, enlist the help of registered agent services. A registered agent is a person or organization who can accept legal documents and notifications for your business on your behalf. When you’re managing loads of paperwork in the early stages of startup development, this can save you a ton of time.
Keep Meetings Brief (and Eliminate What You Can)
One of the biggest sources of time waste, as well as one of the most unnoticeable ones, is meetings. Often, entrepreneurs err on the side of having more meetings. They meet constantly with their partners, their employees, and their investors. And while good meetings can be a great way to get people up to speed and encourage collaboration, bad meetings can drain hours of productivity from your team.
Therefore, save time by eliminating whatever regular meetings you have. Reserve meetings for when you really need them. While you’re at it, try to keep those meetings brief. In most cases, you can cover the topic in 15 minutes or less. In short, don’t schedule the full hour if you don’t need it. You’ll find it amazing how much ground you can cover when you give your team a tight time slot.
Use Productivity Apps Wisely
Productivity apps promise you the ability to help you get more done every day, but be careful. Certain apps will help you stay organized, provide you with automatic notifications, or otherwise maximize the number of tasks you can complete each day.
However, if you use many of these apps simultaneously, all of those notifications can be confusing or overwhelming. Save time by selecting one or two apps to help you, but don’t go on a downloading spree.
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Disable Notifications Strategically
Notifications on our phones and tablets help to keep us abreast of important events, but they’ve more recently become more of a distraction than anything else. Disabling notifications, including email notifications on your computer, will save you time and help you to be more focused and productive.
That said, there are times when notifications are helpful, so make sure you’re disabling them strategically. For example, you might schedule open periods for communication, followed by “heads-down” periods where you’re exclusively focused on work.
Delegate to Your Best Contacts and Save Time
It may be tempting to handle as many tasks and responsibilities as possible. However, this isn’t generally the best approach for being productive. Instead, it’s often better to delegate to the people in your network most likely to handle the task well.
Much of your success here will depend on your ability to hire and build relationships with people who are great at what they do. So make sure to fill your roster with trustworthy, skilled teammates, and always be on the lookout for freelancers or agencies who could help you in the future.
Learn to Say No
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by responsibilities when your task list continuously grows longer indefinitely. One of the best ways to counter this is to learn how to say no.
Save time by declining to volunteer for new projects and responsibilities that you can’t feasibly handle. In other words, don’t feel compelled to comply with every request. Instead, focus on what’s most important for you and your business.
Get Plenty of Sleep, Breaks, and Vacations
Too many entrepreneurs stay up late at night and work through weekends in a mad attempt to get more done for the business. However, you don’t really save time when you do this. In fact, it ends up being counterproductive.
Instead, you’ll work more efficiently (and sidestep the possibility of burnout) by taking frequent breaks, prioritizing your sleep hygiene, and taking periodic vacations. Self-care has to be a priority.
Refining Your Approach Will Save You Time
As your business matures and you learn more about the operations of your business, you’ll eventually find that your initial strategies are no longer as effective as they once were. You may, in a sense, grow out of them. Alternatively, more pressing demands may rise to warrant your attention.
Either way, it’s still going to be important to save time and spend it wisely. The burden will be on you to discover new strategies, modify your existing strategies, and experiment to keep improving your efficiency.
To find more inspiration for beginning entrepreneurs, check out our blog.