As a business owner, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by an ever-growing to-do list. And while it’s good to be busy, setting unrealistic goals can have the opposite effect on your productivity, paralysing you and making it harder for you to get anything done. Try these handy hints to help manage your growing task list.

1. Learn to delegate

Are you a bit of a control freak? It’s time to loosen those reigns a little. By delegating more of your work to your staff or willing family members, not only will you be able to get through more, you’ll also be helping them develop new professional skills. But there is another benefit to delegation; a joint study by the Australian National University and University of Sydney found employees were more trusting of management in workplaces where work was delegated to them.

2. Have the right amount of help at hand

Your staff are the best asset your small business has when the workload goes through the roof. You can better prepare them to be ready for anything by cross-training them in different roles so that they can confidently handle new challenges. Cross-training can also help you prepare for times when you’ll experience multiple absenteeism’s, such as flu season or holidays.

It is also imperative to have a multi-layered skillset when you are running a small business solo and you need to be able to cover every eventuality yourself. Trades people or hairdressers are great examples of this and tend to suffer when they are drowning in a heavy workload and have no staff to delegate to.

3. Have a plan B

When work hits meltdown proportions try revising your business plan and strategic timeline to help you zone in on what matters most. Focus on priorities and streamline the processes that are vital to the immediate success of the business. It might be worthwhile keeping any major projects, expansion or investment plans on hold until things settle down.

4. Break your work down into bite-sized bits

Are you a termite or a lion? While the latter sounds more appealing, it may well be that termites do better long-term in the business world. Termites essentially gnaw away at their food source over time turning a solid mass into a pile of dust. By breaking larger goals and projects down into manageable ‘bites’ you will be better able to cope with your workload and take genuine steps towards success.

5. Think smarter not harder

Can you automate your finance and accounting to free up labour, time and money? Will outsourcing delivery of goods or services enable you to focus more on the strategic side of the business? We offer an automated bookkeeping service called InterSync, which also has a specialised product tailored for Uber Drivers.

By thinking laterally, you could find a solution to your dilemma that is more cost effective and beneficial to the long-term success of your business. To take advantage of a more left-brained approach to your problem, surround yourself with experts (we have plenty here) and contacts that can offer different perspectives. Together you have a better chance of success.

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