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35 time saving tips for business owners

Purple Accounts is committed to your success as a fellow small business owner.  We're not just bean counters reporting on history - we're expert small business advisors who want you to do better in business. So...

Here's your 35 proven practical ways to get some time back as a busy business owner:

1. Create a Plan

Daily, weekly and monthly. This sounds alot but is a massive help to manage your time to the max. Your daily list should take no more than 5 minutes and will reconcile the previous days tasks. Take 15 minutes on Monday morning to plan your weekly tasks. The first Monday of each month take 30 minutes to plan your monthly tasks Decide when and how you’ll accomplish each item on your daily list – will you need help, supplies, software etc...

2. Prioritise by urgency and Importance

One column for urgent and one column for important. Then put a number beside each so you know what order to do them in. You’ll need to get to those projects that have urgent deadlines, so leave the ones that are due next week for later - add them to your weekly/monthly plan.

3. Break Down large tasks

If your list includes some overwhelming items, break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. You can use task management software such as Asana or Monday.

4. Track your time

In order to better understand how you really spend your time, note everything you do and how long it takes. Include breaks, email, social media and everything else, so that you’ll find out what your biggest time wasters are. This in itself is a huge time saver, so be honest.

5. Set deadlines

Set a deadline for yourself on your task and if possible tell others about so they can help hold you accountable or write it in your plan.

6. Keep one eye on the clock

You don’t want to constantly obsess about time, but you also don’t want to let the day get away from you because you weren’t paying attention. Stay on track.

7. Set reminders

If you have a deadline, interview or meeting coming up, set a reminder on your platform that will go off shortly before.

8. Schedule Time for email and social media

Email and social media can be big time wasters. Don’t respond to every email as it comes in and don’t leave Facebook or Twitter open all day. Instead, schedule a short block or two throughout the day to check and reply to emails.

9. Schedule breaks

Everyone needs to take breaks throughout the day, even just a breather to refresh your brain and energy.

10. Limit meetings in person

Meetings can be a drain on your time, so limit them to essential only.

11. Use a social media management system

This is our top tip for managing your social media and you'll likely have more than one account. Using a central dashboard can help you avoid going back and forth between sites and even allows you to schedule posts. The hours saved are startling when you add them up and minimises the distractions social media can bring. We use SocialBee. This enables all of our content to be added as soon as the content plan is created for the year/quarter. Then most of it is evergreen and automatically is scheduled to go out again when you decide. 

12. Avoid distractions

There are a number of other distractions that can cause you to waste time throughout the day. If you work at home, turn off the TV until you finish work.

13. Stick to one task at a time

Multi-tasking can sound like a time saver, but it isn’t. Focus on one task, complete it to where you need it to be and then move on.

14. Batch tasks

It can be helpful to lump similar tasks into one. For example, make all your phone calls for the day back-to-back. Emails twice a day etc..

15. Focus on results

Ask yourself how each item will impact your business and focus on results, no matter how small and tick it off your list.

16. Don’t sweat the small stuff

If something doesn’t have a big impact on your business, don’t stress about it. Perfectionism can be a big time waster.

17. Use email filters and archives

Use email filters and archives so that you don’t spend hours looking for a particular message. Your email program should have easy tools to keep all your communications organised.

18. Limit unnecessary courses/webinars etc..

These can turn into time wasters if they are irrelavent, go on too long or happen too frequently. Accept and schedule only essentials that matter to you and your business.

19. Hire a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants can help you with mundane daily tasks like email, bookkeeping, scheduling and research. Consider getting yourself some help if you need it.  We use Office Genie and have done for years as they are exceptional! 

20. Automate Payroll/HR

Rather than manually tracking hours and expenses, invest in a system that will do all the work for you. We love Breathe HR and you can get a free 14 day trial here

Your hours are then easily exported to your accountant.

21. Use Technology

There are so many time saving and organisational apps and services available. Source tools that save time relevant to your business.

22. Delegate

Ask your team to take on tasks that you don’t have time for. 

23. Use accounting software

Even better - get an accountant that provides it free of charge in a monthly package, so you can access your financial information in real time 24/7.  We use Xero and are Xero Gold Champion Partners. We help to get you going with Xero without overwhelm, so you feel in control of your numbers. 

24. Keep an organised workspace

Keep a clear desk and filing tray for any stray paper. Even better go paperless and use digital folders.

25. Back up your files

Whether by external hard drive, hard copies or online backup, create backups of all your important files in case of a computer meltdown.

26. Keep templates

Don’t spend time writing the same paragraphs over and over again when you could have a general template saved. Just go in and make a few updates and personalise each time you use it instead of starting from scratch.

27. Use shortcuts and desktop folders

Use keyboard, bookmarks and browser shortcuts and keep all your commonly used programs in an easily accessible location on your desktop.

28. Automate Expenses/payments

Make use of automatic bill pay services whenever possible to avoid late payments and time spent actually paying bills each month. Send invoices automatically and get paid on the fly. Xero is perfect for this and integrates with your bank account and accountant for the ultimate time saver service.

29. Learn to say No

Don’t take on tasks just because someone asks you to or sign up a new customers if they aren't right for you.

30. Make the most of down time

Time spent in waiting rooms, on the train or waiting for the kettle to boil could be used to update your calendar, write notes or accomplish other simple tasks.

31. Clean up old files

Get in the habit of deleting old files to free up space and make it easy to navigate.

32. Use mobile apps

There are mobile productivity apps, mobile calendar apps, mobile list apps – all of which can help you accomplish tasks and save time while not in front of a computer.

33. Leave space for the unexpected

Things you didn’t plan for will come up throughout the day. Take this into account when making your to-do list.

34. Have quiet/golden hours

If you work in an office, put a “do not disturb” sign on your door while you’re working on an important project. If you work from home, silence your phone for that time and close emails. If distractions come up when you’re in the zone, you can lose your concentration and end up spending way more time than necessary. It takes longer to get back into the zone again then.

35. Outsource

Outsource essential elements such as HR, call answering and accountancy. Nobody wants to do inputting in their spare time - especially you as a professional business owner.  Besides - you're an expert in what you do and not bookkeeping! 

Spend more time growing your business and doing what you enjoy with a fixed fee monthly accountancy package that includes everything you need and nothing that you don't. You can bolt on what you need when you need it with our 'pick and mix' services. 

Purple Accounts in Warrington is a family run Chartered Management Accountants and was established in 2007. Our lovely team will help you to:

Save time

Save money

Earn more and keep more


Feel free to share this list with fellow business owners and get in touch for a chat about how we can help you and your business on 01925 979500 or email: You can find out more about our acocuntancy package for small businesses here.

Purple Accounts Warrington Google reviews

N Clarke

business owner calling Purple Accounts Warrington


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