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Why is it important to find time to work on your business?  Well, time and resources are scarce in every business. The primary focus is on customer satisfaction in most businesses, delivering products and services to the highest standard.  But to stay competitive and evolve, businesses need to continuously develop and improve their offering.

Work on Your Business

Coming up with new ideas to innovate is rarely a problem for most business owners. But where can you find the time to do the work? How can you prioritise a business development idea within the cut and thrust of a busy day? How can you juggle urgent requests from important stakeholders?

We know that if we don’t develop the business, it can stagnate. And this can lead to stress, a constant nagging feeling, that we should be focusing on other things.

Work Smarter Not Harder

The way to include longer-term development activities into your schedule is to start working smarter not harder, so you can free up some time each week. But how?

Here are 3 simple steps to help you win back time to focus on those bigger projects that ultimately can move the dial for your business. Tips on how to find time to work on your business.

Step 1: Think

Think about what needs to be done to develop the business. Do you need a strategy? Do you need to improve your products? How can you innovate into new areas?

Start capturing those great ideas that swirl around your head. Then review the list to prioritise and make a plan to deliver.

Step 2. Understand

Before you can win back time for these great ideas, first understand where the time goes now. It sounds crazy but do you really know how you spend your time each day? Do you frequently get to the end of the day and think, ‘where did that day go’? Do you know how much time you spend on lower value activities? Or tasks that could be delegated or outsourced to someone else?

By using a simple Timelog template or any Task Tracker app you can gain insights you’re your time usage. Popular apps include, or You can download a Timelog Tracker from the Resource page.

This exercise can reveal patterns and trends that allow you adjust your focus and activities to win back time. And that time can be redirected into higher value activities to move your business forward.

Step 3: Identify

Winning back time each week may require some hard decisions. You may need to challenge yourself. Consider the following:

  • What is the best use of your skill, knowledge and experience?
  • Do you spend too much time on tasks that you might enjoy but that others could also do?
  • Do you focus on the operational work because the more strategic projects are harder to think about or work on?
  • Are you reluctant to delegate, to let things go, in case they are not done as well?

These are all common challenges when a business wants to grow and develop. You may decide to let go of tasks or relationships you enjoy working on. You may have to trust others within the team to step up and do the job. Be prepared to do some initial training to achieve the long-term gain that benefits the business. Delegation also helps others in the team to develop new skills and feel empowered and engaged.

Practical Ideas to Win Back Time

The solutions will vary from business to business. I recently ran a workshop for a group of small business owners and we identified some really practical solutions. Take a look at this list and consider what you could apply to your working week to help you work smarter, not harder.

  1. Review your current activities and analyse ‘effort’ versus ‘reward’.
  2. Complete High Value Tasks early in the week – this gives you momentum and motivation, and minimises the odds of getting pulled off track
  3. Spend less time on Low Value Tasks by batching them to complete at set times in the day. A productivity tip is to leave the low focus tasks until your low focus time of day.
  4. Consider your week as 10 Time Blocks – five morning and five afternoon slots. Then ask yourself, what is the best way to allocate these blocks?
  5. Give yourself permission to Say No sometimes or at least Say When (as in when it suits you to do things for others rather than immediately).
  6. Protect time for High Value work by establishing routines such as a ‘No Meetings’ Day.
  7. Delegate or outsource what you can. Include regular review and feedback to ensure success.
  8. Use a Master List or a ‘September Box’ to capture new ideas on an ongoing basis. Then at set periods of time review, prioritise and select the key ideas to progress

Working On Your Business

So in summary, stop worrying about all the great things you should be doing and start making a plan to do them.

To motivate yourself, list out the value to be gained by working on your business.

Then follow these three steps: 1) Think, 2) Understand and 3) Identify so you can release some time to work on these ideas.

You can download the Timelog and Master List templates from the Resource page.

Best of luck!

Working Smart

With any of my tips I recommend that you take these ideas and tweak them to find what works best for your business.

You can access lots of productivity articles on our website on a range of topics including Tips for Hybrid Working, Managing Email, Reducing Stress, Wellbeing and Saying No.

We help people develop productive working routines and enhance their personal effectiveness through our individual Coaching programme, our group Productivity Workshops and Seminars.

Should you wish to develop new skills and habits in your own time try my signature programme ‘Turn Busy into Productive‘. To discuss any of these options, contact Moira here.

Written by Productivity Consultant Moira Dunne, founder and director of

Moira Dunne