Stop being busy. Start feeling productive.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Every day is filled with to-dos that keep you feeling quite busy all the time. But our recent study has found that this isn’t necessarily a complaint. In fact, most small business owners enjoy feeling busy. But being busy does come at a cost not only on the professional side but on the personal side as well.

What’s keeping small business owners so busy

Most small business owners reported spending more time on administrative and project management than on marketing, product development or design and other tasks that are essential to growing their businesses.

Nearly 72% of those surveyed said administrative tasks are keeping them the busiest, followed by customer service (70%) and project management (62%). The majority (63%) are spending less than five hours a week on marketing their business. Approximately 75% of small and micro-businesses are going it alone, not using outside resources to save time on business related activities.

The impact of being so busy

Aside from not being able to spend enough time growing their business, small business owners also revealed ways in which their busy schedule is affecting their personal life. Nearly half of our respondents said that being busy affects their sleep and one third stated it was affecting their health and fitness routine. Additionally, nearly 70% of small business owners are skipping meals due to their schedules.

Ways to feel less busy

Despite small business owners enjoying the feeling of being busy, there are ways to help mitigate the impacts it’s having on their lives. Our small business owners offered the following tips:

  1. More downtime
    Sometimes just a few days, hours or even minutes can go a long way. Giving yourself that stress-free break can make the difference in your feeling of being too busy. Dedicate some time to yourself to take a walk, grab lunch or spend a weekend away. You deserve it!
  2. Better prioritization Having insight into what tasks are going to have the most significant impact on your business is an effective way to start defining where to put your time and energy first. Prioritizing is key to understanding where to start. You may be spending a lot of time on something that will have less impact on your bottom line.
  3. Stop saying yes! Yes, sometimes yes is not always the right answer. If it means risking other essential activities in running your business, you might have to start saying no to certain time-consuming activities. And saying no doesn’t always have to be no. It could be “I will do that later” or “I need someone to help me with that.”