How to use your time better

How to use your time better

Squeezing more out your day will help your business grow faster, says Lucinda Bray, a business mentor and founder of Future Simple, an online software business which helps business owners manage their time better.

Here are her suggestions of how to do it right:

1. Find your focus

Lucinda says: “Identity six key priorities for your business and focus all your efforts on them over a 90-day period. By focusing on the key points that are going to make a difference to your business, you can grow a lot quicker.”

2. Do the thing that you least want to do first

Lucinda says: “The things that you avoid doing can make you feel drained because every day you look at your to do list and you have still not done them. It is usually something quite important that you keep putting off, such as ringing HMRC because you know you are going to have to spend a long time on hold and then talking to them about something you don’t want to. But the longer you leave it, the worse the feeling of dread gets. If you can get that one thing done and out of the way first, you will have so much more energy and attention to give to all the other things you need to do, because you are not constantly thinking about it in the back of your mind.”

3. Discover your optimum way of working and own it

Lucinda says: “Not all of us are early birds and not all of us are night owls. The key is to work out which works for you and then stick to it. Some people find that they can get loads of admin done in the morning but if they schedule a meeting in the morning that is the rest of the day wasted because it puts them in a different headspace. Think over the days when you felt like you didn’t get anything done - you will probably be able to identify what triggered that. If someone wants to schedule a meeting with you in the morning when you know that is your best time for getting through your ‘to do’ list, just say I’m sorry, I’m only available in the afternoons. You need to set that in place and say this is how I am going to work.”

4. Be ruthless with your ‘To do’ list

Lucinda says: “Decide what is going to make a real difference to your business because there are always millions of things you could be doing. People think they need to be on social media all the time, for example, but no-one is going to miss you for a day or two. If you need to make a sale this month, what is really going to make that sale? Ask yourself – is this a priority, does this align to your objectives this month and it is going to make a difference, or is it something that you can do another time.”

5. Avoid getting distracted

Lucinda says: “Most entrepreneurs have ‘shiny object’ syndrome - they see new opportunities and want to immediately explore them. But if you are constantly breaking off to chase new ideas it can derail your original plan, or just give you extra work. If you want to explore a new idea, write it down rather than doing it straight away. Then you can come back to it later and assess if it is something you still want to do.”

6. Consider designating different days for different things

Lucinda says: “Entrepreneurs have got all of these different hats on, so consider doing different kinds of tasks on different days – maybe marketing on a Monday and meetings with prospective buyers on a Tuesday. Then you can be in the right headspace to do those things without getting derailed.”

7. Take regular short breaks

Lucinda says: “Be kind to yourself and let yourself breathe. For me the best one is to go for a walk and get fresh air. If you start to feel like you don’t have got enough time in the day, taking time out to go for a walk feels like the last thing you should be doing, but even if it is just a 5-10 min walk it gives you so much more energy and leaves you refreshed to actually get on with your tasks instead of feeling bogged down by it all.”

Three things that you can do right now

1. Do the thing that you least want to do first

2. Understand your optimum way of working and own it

3. Be ruthless with your to do list

Lucinda Bray is the founder of Future Simple (, an online software business which helps business owners manage their time better.

Related content