Richard Branson said it best when he boldly declared that time is the new money. For many years, management has declared that those who work long hours are deemed more productive. But today, it just isn’t so: time is the new standard with which people are judged and the more hours of it spent on working, the worst it is for a person’s well-being and reputation.

For entrepreneurs, even more so. As the captain of their respective ships, they should be the ones at the forefront of espousing work life balance and showing the right way by being out the door by 5pm. Of course, this is easier said than done. With responsibilities ranging from business development to marketing to operations, what is a consummate business owner to do?

Here are some ways to help you fight the workaholism plague and get back your hours:

1. Hire people correctly.
No aspect of a business is affected by the concept of opportunity cost than human resources. As a prized commodity, people in a business can derail or fast track its progress. For the business owner, hiring correctly makes the big difference from sleeping eight hours a day to literally being hospitalized every two months due to exhaustion. It is not just about choosing the right people, but more so, hiring the people and putting them in the right places in the company where they can be most productive and effective. Also, the number of people to hire counts a lot.
In the end, the bucket stops at the top and if the owner cannot hire right, he or she will end up doing all the tasks needed to keep the business going. The best way to mitigate this problem is by opting for outsourcing. This does not place a big strain on the company budget but at the same time, it quickly fills the spots needed. Hiring a virtual assistant allows business owners to focus on conceptualizing strategies and other tasks that require high level decision-making.

2. Stop multitasking and know one’s strengths.
For one, it is not effective, and two, studies have shown that multitasking can successfully do just one thing: shrink one’s brain.
Instead, set a timeline for each task and delegate. This frees up the hands of the entrepreneur to focus on the things they do best. As much as control is the name of the game, it does not do anyone any good.

3. Rest.
It’s easy for people to run on adrenaline, but what good does it make a person? Exhaustion simply leads to bad decisions, which then lead to more wasted time rectifying mistakes whether big or small.
Instead, rest. Sleep the right amount of hours and wake up refreshed and ready to go. Have time for leisure and other pursuits as these will help fuel creativity. The time it took to take a nap or to go for a quick swim may save you from signing a wrong contract.

4. Know what matters and tackle them during peak performance hours.
As Robin Sharma, a leading motivational speaker and consultant for many CEO’s, says: what gets written down gets done. A list that’s filled to the brim is not a good list. Priorities are few or else, they’re not really what it’s supposed to be.

The best way to solve problems is by first knowing what time one is at the most optimum level of productivity. Then, begin with the hardest tasks. Eat thy frogs first and the rest shall be peanuts—with a few minutes to spare after.

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