If your schedule owns you instead of the other way around, you’ve come to the right place. One usually goes into business to follow their passion but, more often than not, managerial duties get in the way of doing the things you love.
In this article, we will dive into 3 simple techniques that will help you reclaim your time so you can focus on the aspects of running your business that bring you the most joy.
1. Learn to prioritize and delegate
A likely reason your schedule always gets the best of you is because you haven’t set boundaries. Be intentional about your work – set weekly goals in advance to prioritize tasks that must be done. Not sure how to decide what to prioritize and what to delegate? The Eisenhower matrix is a handy tool to figure this out-
Eisenhower Decision Matrix - Amilia
Once you decide what you’ll do yourself and what you’ll delegate, set boundaries with your stakeholders. You’ll never reclaim your time if staff members, clients and parents keep coming to you for assistance on every little thing. Empower them by giving them the necessary tools and solutions to make decisions without you. Once you do so, remove yourself from the equation by becoming as uninvolved as possible. If something is truly exceptional and needs your input, your stakeholders will find a way to reach you. When delegating, be sure to:
- Pick the right person for the right task
- Be specific with regards to expectations and instructions
- Define what success looks like (timelines, outcomes)
Set fixed times when you will take meetings or be available to chat with your team and clients. This will allow you to have uninterrupted alone time to focus on finding ways to grow your business long-term, improve your programming and coach your athletes - all while going home at a reasonable hour!
2. Streamline & automate repetitive tasks
Automated online registrations and payments help your admin staff to save valuable time every season. Similarly, certain habits and online tools can help you save your time week-on-week. While certain repetitive tasks may come immediately to mind, there are several that we do every day without realizing it. To make the most of automating such tasks, start by tracking your daily activities (and the time spent for each) over two weeks. Then you can analyze how your time is spent:
- Are you spending hours every month putting together staff schedules and private lesson availabilities? Consider investing in staff management software like Amilia to automate staffing, time tracking and scheduling.
- Write too many similar sounding emails over and over? Create template emails or snippets on your Outlookor Gmail.
- Use online password managers such as LastPass so that you never have to spend another second scrounging for one of the hundreds of passwords that you can’t remember.
Create templates for all business-wide reports so that you and your team can save all that structuring and formatting time on acting on the results instead.
3. Apply the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of results are derived from 20% of your effort. When your schedule owns you instead of the other way around, you are a slave to 80% of your activities that only contribute 20% of your results.
By becoming better at identifying which activities in your day-to-day fall in the high impact category, you can devote more time to the aspects of your business where you contribute the most value and feel the most fulfilled. These might include finding the right software solution to reduce time and money inefficiencies to alleviate staff stress, making sure your gym offers the best-in-class customer experience for your athletes and their parents or simply having a healthier work-life balance. Regain control of your time so that you can truly focus on the things you cherish.
You started this business because you were passionate about your sport. Use these time management techniques to go back to doing what is most meaningful to you so that your job feels less like work.