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One man band? 5 Tips to get stuff done

The delegation, passing responsibilities, and resource planning are luxuries that many an entrepreneur, sole trader or member of a small team can only fanaticize about. When there are too many things to do and too few hands to do it, one needs every trick of the trade just to get by. Here are 5 tips to help.

Tip 1: Be selective about what tasks you do

There will always be more work than you can do. Dispense the idea that the work can be wrapped up just before an extended lunch break followed by a quick 9 holes of golf. It is necessary to select which work will be chosen from the backlog you have on your table. There are many ways to select which task to do from a long list, but for a small or even single-person team, the over-riding one is which will bring the greatest benefit in progressing your business. It’s always a good idea to dedicate certain days of the week to the financial aspects of the business. Whilst that can be one of the most time-consuming tasks, it is vital to complete that to ensure you know how your business is getting on. If your schedule is too busy to find time for this, it might be worth looking at small business bookkeeping accountants that could complete the financial side of things for you, giving you more time to spend on other jobs and work.

Tip 2: Get organised

Get a task management system. You need a single system where you can dump all of the things you need to do. In clearing out your brain you will then be able to select the task that needs to be done and get it done quickly and effectively. One of the most popular is “Getting Things Done“, by David Allen. Here a simple flow chart enables you to get all of the tasks occupying your mind into a single system. It is a good start and definitely worth reading.

Tip 3: Chunk your tasks

What this means is to break the tasks down into small pieces. Often procrastination comes when we are faced with a large task and we have no idea how to deal with it and we put it off. Breaking it down enables to progress the overall task one step at a time. Moreover, this brings additional benefits – see Tip 5.

Tip 4: Have multiple actionable tasks

Inevitable for some tasks you will hit a roadblock. This is something that prevents further progress in executing that task. Examples could be waiting on someone to get back to you on something, waiting on product to arrive etc. In any such cases you need to be able to readily switch to another task and progress that pending activities on the other task.

Tip 5: Take your tasks on the road

I don’t mean this literally so please no office work while driving. If you have executed Tips 2 and 3 and have it placed in the cloud it enables you to progress chunks of your work anytime, anywhere. Many multi-platform online task management tools exist to enable you to access your todo list anywhere. Some examples include Wunderlist, Google Keep, Any.do, HiTask, Trello to name but a few. So, if you find yourself on the bus, whip out your todo list, identify a sub-task for the duration of your trip and execute it. That’s one less task to do the next day! You could also get a mobile invoice printer so it’s possible to print invoices whilst you’re out and about. This means no going back to the office to print an invoice and then having to return to the customer again to give it to them.

Note: The same principle applies to the lucky individuals who find themselves lying on a tropical beach sipping a cocktail. With an umbrella in it.

So, there you have it. Even a one man band can be efficient if well organised! If you are a sole trader or contractor and you want some further help with running your business then it might be a good idea to visit a consultant – you can visit the sgi website to learn more about how they could help. You may also need help to keep on top of your accounting. Luckily there are accounting services available for sole traders that may help you keep track of your finances. If you want to learn more, you can search online or visit somewhere similar to Wizz Accounting, where you can find more information about what you need to ensure that your bookkeeping is up to date. Remember, wizzaccounting.co.uk is a sole trader accountant.

Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers! Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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1 Response

  1. September 18, 2015

    […] When there are too many things to do and too few hands to do it, one needs every trick of the trade just to get by. Here are 5 tips to help.  […]

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