Stress and the value of time

As I write this, the holiday season is in full swing. Anyone with a product or service to sell is marketing like crazy. Just take a look at your postal mailbox and your email for proof. It takes extra effort just to sort through all that for what you need. Along with the day-to-day activity of running your business there are the year-end things to think about; estimated tax payments, retirement account contributions, health insurance, getting your books up to date, etc. Add to that holiday preparations; travel, decorating, shopping, baking, etc. Overwhelmed? The more overwhelmed we are, the less productive we are because we lose focus. The less productive we are, the more stressed we become.

One of the biggest mistakes I see many business owners make is not valuing their own time. You are the CEO. Not only is your time worth something, it’s worth a heck of a lot more than minimum wage. If you don’t value your time, don’t expect anyone else to.

As business owners, we have the skills to perform most of the tasks required to run our business. However, the reality is we can only effectively accomplish so much in a day. Notice I said effectively? Working long hours doesn’t mean you completed the right tasks correctly and on time. Many bloggers, business coaches, authors, etc. have written articles supporting the outsourcing non-revenue generating tasks. But outsourcing doesn’t always mean hiring a person. Sometimes strategically investing in software to automate specific functions of your business can be just as effective. Of course, hiring a virtual assistant, accountant, or marketing expert may be the better course of action. Specialized experts can accomplish tasks you struggle with in much less time with greater efficiency.

It’s time to stop the cycle of stress and overwhelm. Take a few minutes and write down five tasks that take up the majority of your time. At the same time, write down five tasks you least like doing. What can you outsource? Also think of personal tasks you can outsource like shopping, cleaning, running errands, etc.

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