If you're an entrepreneur, you know how difficult it can be to keep up with everything going on around you and your business. Business meetings, client meetings, company meetings, sales meetings, employee issues... The list goes on and on. Add to that hundreds of emails to sort through and phone calls to tackle. Sound familiar?
As an entrepreneur and CEO of a marketing agency, I know what it's like to be drowning in emails, voicemails and a full calendar with not enough hours in the day. To keep me from getting completely overwhelmed, I have adopted a variety of tools and systems over the years. I can't say that I no longer battle with my inbox, but I can certainly breathe easier thanks to these sanity-saving hacks:
Email Management Tools
What does your inbox look like? If it looks anything like mine, I'm guessing it's a mess. Every day, my inbox hits 200-plus emails. Even when I think I have finally gotten control over my inbox, an additional email volley about a meeting or call sends me back to where I started. The problem is that my inbox is a mix of important emails, urgent emails, solicitation emails, newsletter subscription emails, personal emails and more. With so many emails coming in, how do you sort through and focus your attention on what's important?
For me, that's where SaneBox comes in. SaneBox's algorithm allows me to take control over my inbox by automatically filtering my email, so I can focus on the important stuff. It can save unimportant emails for later, filter out spam and even keep track of emails that I have sent to ensure that I get replies for those emails.
If you're not using a tool to help you manage your inbox yet, start using one now. I've learned that email can be a huge time drain and if you can take control over your inbox, you'll be much more productive and efficient with your time.
If you're a young entrepreneur just starting out, you probably don't have a ton of support staff around you yet. You may be one of the few people -- or even the only one -- in your company. Oftentimes, you'll find yourself doing routine tasks that you wish someone else would just do for you. For tasks that are repetitive or require little knowledge about your company or a specific subject matter, a virtual assistant can be heaven sent.
I always reach out to my VA to help out with researching new tools and software. When I have to travel to a conference or event, they can even help me research flights and hotels. Having my VA take care of these tasks makes me more efficient and allows me to focus on the work that only I can do.
You can find a virtual assistant and hire them for a block of hours, however long you need, to help with anything from performing online research, cleaning up spreadsheets, organizing presentations, doing data entry and more. By freeing up the time that you would have spent on these tasks, you can focus more on what you need to get done.
Online Scheduling Systems
As an entrepreneur running your own business, you're pulled in many directions. Everyone wants to meet with you - even if it's just for ten minutes. Trying to schedule everyone into your calendar can be a nightmare. I hate the back and forth required to get something on the calendar. Not to mention, that can mean multiple emails or phone calls just to confirm.
Online scheduling systems like YouCanBook.me or X.AI allow you to let everyone see your availability and book you without you being involved, saving you precious time. And because you control what openings are shown on your calendar, no one can book you for a time when you're not available.
For me, meetings can take upwards of three-quarters of my day. Scheduling them by hand seems silly now that I've found these useful online scheduling systems.
Time is scarce for every entrepreneur. These timesaving hacks have not only helped me save time, but also allow me to be more productive with my time. Once I started taking advantage of these tools, I haven't looked back once.
As the founder and CEO of OneIMS and Clickx, Solomon Thimothy has built his career around his passion for helping other businesses grow an online presence and thrive in the digital world. Solomon works with clients big and small to develop uniquely customized and highly-effective marketing strategies that meet every company's individual goals.