If you’re your own boss, then you need to know this number.
Evaluating Your Needs
Do you own your own business? Are you a chronic time-waster, or do you feel like your talents are better spent building your business instead of managing payroll, figuring out how to drive website traffic or paying bills?
While those with the entrepreneurial spirit enjoy the responsibilities of owning a business — and appreciate its undeniable advantages — to really maximize your time you must understand what you’re sacrificing when you undertake these tasks yourself instead of delegating them out to professionals specializing in the field.
You Should Be Jealous of Your Time
Calculate what your time is worth on an hourly basis by dividing your annual income by 2000 hours. If your time is worth $75 per hour but you’re completing tasks better outsourced for $30, then you’re wasting time as well as money.
Isn’t a better use of your time to outsource the areas that fall outside your business expertise? For example, why struggle for hours writing website content and muddling through analytics programs, trying to determine what content turns visitors into customers?
You’re better off hiring an Internet marketing company that provides SEO services such as keyword-optimized copywriting and back-end analytics.
The same goes for other tasks from administration to accounting. While many business owners detest giving up control, to really grow your business you must make the leap and trust others. In this way, you can earn more money but work fewer hours at the same time.
Of course, not every task can be outsourced. Go through your day with a fine-tooth comb and keep a time log if you need to. What are the differences between how you think you spend your day and what you actually do? Taking periodic 20-minute web surfing breaks and talking on the phone for 10 minutes when a 2-minute email will suffice are your clues.
That’s why you must develop a distraction-free, focus-only schedule. If keeping your email open causes your eyes to wander, only open it during specific hours of the day (from 3 to 4 pm, for example). Don’t worry — if it’s urgent, they will call.
Same goes for the telephone. Plan to return calls between certain hours and stick to it. And if you need to make appointments, plan them for the early afternoon so you have a long period of time to prepare and work in the early morning.