As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into the Do-It-All-Yourself trap. You want everything in your business to be perfect, so you keep it close to the vest.
I was the same way.
I used to spend hours trying to do everything myself from scratch: migrate and optimize my website, run Google ads, develop a Facebook advertising strategy, create a marketing funnel, build landing pages, design a logo, manage my finances, etc.
Not only was I drowning in work… I wasn’t being efficient. I was so paralyzed by everything on my plate that I ended up doing nothing at all. Thankfully, I eventually recognized that in order to be successful, I had to start finding ways to better with my time and resources.
Here are a few efficiency hacks that helped me escape death by DIY. Have some of your own? Let me know in the comments!
1. Focus on what you’re good at — outsource the rest.
I’m a writer, so I can write copy all day long and not break a sweat. Not only do I enjoy doing it… I’m good at it. I can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time because writing comes naturally to me.
You know what I’m not good at? Graphic design.
I tried to design my own logo once, which amounted to nothing but hours of wasted time and frustration. Why focus on my weakness when it’s someone else’s strength?
There are tons of platforms out there to help you find freelancers who can take on those one-time tasks you aren’t so great at and shouldn’t be spending your time doing. A few of my favorites are Fiverr, Upwork, and peopleperhour.
Outsource the tasks you find more difficult in order to create time for those you do really, really well.
2. Embrace templates.
There are templates for pretty much everything you possibly need for your business. Website templates, editorial calendar templates, ad templates, email templates, pitch templates… the list goes on and on!
Don’t reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to. Templates can be a great source of inspiration, or even a starting point for whatever you need to create.
Using templates can help you save hours that are better spent executing your work. Just make sure to use them wisely. Customization is key to making these assets unique to your brand!
3. List it out.
Even if you outsource a great deal of your work, you’ll most likely still have a ton to do. That’s the joy of entrepreneurship!
It may sound elementary, but organizing your to-dos is crucial to staying on top of your workload. A good friend of mine turned me on to Trello, which helps you organize all of your tasks on a per-project level.
Keep in mind that having a to-do list for the sake of having a to-do list isn’t going to help you be more efficient. You want to make sure you have a quality list filled with attainable goals for the day. For more info on how to create an efficient to-do list, see here.
4. Add some structure.
Entrepreneurs are constantly working in unchartered territory. How many times have you woken up and not known exactly what your day is going to look like?
There’s a certain amount of flexibility that being an entrepreneur affords… but in order to be efficient, you need some structure to your days. A standard routine will put you in control of your calendar instead of your schedule ruling you.
Organizing your day can be a simple as using your phone’s calendar to segment your time. If you want to start small, try scheduling the time you’ll eat lunch every day and see if you can stick to it.
Google Calendar not cutting it? Check out these calendar app recommendations from Zapier.
5. Take a break.
It sounds counterintuitive, but think about it: how productive are you when you’re absolutely wiped?
Taking downtime to recharge is crucial to being an efficient entrepreneur — and a functioning member of society. You need time to rest, clear your mind, and be ready to dedicate yourself 100% the following day.
If you have trouble making time for yourself, trying adding it to your schedule. Since I love what I do, I can get so engrossed in work that I lose track of time. I started adding downtime/fun activities to my calendar to remind myself to unplug.
Not convinced? Check out this Lifehack article on the importance of rest.
How do you find ways to be efficient? Let me know in the comments!