The easiest way to ensure you’re getting as much time back to your business and actually doing what you love is to be educated on technology available to help you streamline your processes.
The tech industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and recently surpassed oil in value as a trillion dollar industry. That means new technologies are coming out all the time, including in the realm of business ownership and operations.
If you’re reading closely, that just turned on a light bulb in your head and you know that means more productivity and time back for you.
So how exactly should you stay on top of business tech available? And how do you know if a specific technology is right for you?
Here are 5 hacks for making sure you’re the first to know and can invest wisely:
1. Identify the time-sucks
Identify areas in your business where you see a time-suck. Being honest with yourself is key here, too! Identifying your gaps might take some vulnerability, but finding your blind spots will inevitably help you to improve and grow. Ask yourself what you spend the majority of your day doing, and then narrow it down by asking yourself “why.” Sometimes in tech we refer to this as the “magic wand” question: “if you could wave a magic wand and remove one thing from your day completely, what would that be?”
This conversation with yourself might look something like this: What do I stress out about most? Not having enough time. What do you spend most of your time doing then? Replying to emails. What kinds of emails? Clients asking for pricing, or availability, or wanting to change something they already committed to. This will help identify areas you need to improve, clueing you into how you can better your time management and increase productivity using technology.
2. Let the search begin!
Shopping for new shoes can be fun, but shopping for tech can be intimidating. Rather than going to Google, you may start your search on a site like https://www.capterra.com/ or https://www.getapp.com/ or https://www.g2.com/. The G2 site offers some cool visual graphs of where certain companies rank with user ratings and usability. Plus you can filter for products that are “trending” to make sure you’re the first to know about new tech.
3. Subscribe to (the right) newsletters
Consider subscribing to some tech newsletters (and create a schedule for yourself to actually read them). Let’s face it, you are BUSY, like really freaking busy, and the idea of sitting down to read some techy newsletter might actually sound like the last thing you want to be doing. Investing time in educating yourself on technology will ensure you are being as productive as possible and making your business work for you. The time, and eventual financial commitment, is always worth it if it means you can scale while still having more time back. That’s a little time management hack for you! I personally love this article by Forbes on 18 newsletters that will make you a better entrepreneur.
4. Review your research
As with all things, staying organized is key. When you hear about something, write it down and put it into a folder on your phone entitled “tech” or bookmark links for yourself. Any Evernote users in the crowd? Even the iPhone’s Notes app can do wonders. Block off one hour per week to sit down and review what you’ve compiled over the last 7 days, browse those newsletters you subscribed to, and follow up with industry friends who seem to have it “all together” and ask their secrets.
5. Ask around to industry peers
Don’t be afraid to ask around, and ask often. Talk to other business owners about tools they wish they knew about sooner. Ask tech employees (yes, even sales people *shivers*) the same thing. Consult with tech companies who offer products that seem like what you need and describe where you see gaps in your efficiency. Tell them about your magic wand, and what you’d get rid of. If they can’t solve your problem ask them to point you in the right direction. They work in tech, so they might know a thing or two about where you can look for a better solution.
Your business will always thank you for feeding it with technology to help it grow. Your clients will see an even more professional you and you’ll have more time to do what you love. Utilizing technology to be more efficient is a win, win, win, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself to some nerd time.
My Top 3 Favorite Productivity Tools for Better Time Management
My top 3 favorite tools to boost productivity and help me stay on top of tasks are:
- HoneyBook (an all in one business management solution)
- Trello (a to do list on steroids)
- Outreach (an email sequencing tool)
This powerhouse of tools is the only reason I get to stay sane and truly enjoy my work.
Don’t be afraid to invest in something that will allow you to work less and yield the same, if not better, results. Taking the leap of entrusting a part of your business to tech can feel scary for a lot of people or like you’re giving up some sense of ownership, but the right tech won’t feel that way. Did this just become a metaphor for dating?… Your perfect match is out there, I promise!
Ready to finally master time management, ditch the overwhelm, and increase your productivity in life and business? Get our Ultimate Guide to Time Management.