How to work smarter, not just longer, hours

Professionals in the UK currently work longer hours than those in any other country in Western Europe. But consider this – no-one ever lay on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more hours at the office. Having spent years in the small business mentoring field working as a business coach, I have identified three main ways to tackle this problem:

One of the first things you should do is start delegating responsibility. Unless you absolutely have to undertake a task yourself, let one of your staff handle it and concentrate on what you’re good at, particularly if it’s something they can do better than you.

Second is outsourcing. If you are earning, say, £200 per hour, then paying a specialist £25 an hour to handle something you don’t have the knowledge or skills for is a very good investment.

The third element of effective time management is automation – establish systems within your business or practice so your staff can handle things without you having to micromanage them every step of the way. This will dramatically lower the amount of time you have to spend at your office.

This can be difficult if you’re the sort of person who likes to be in control of every single aspect of their business or practice, but ask yourself how well is that working out for you? Then ask yourself how well the business would function without you in the unfortunate event that you were incapacitated, or when you eventually retire? It’s unlikely that every single task is so urgent that it needs your personal input, so don’t treat them as such. If your staff really don’t have the necessary skills, consider using face-face coaching, providing mentoring in business scenarios to teach them the skills they need.

If you would like to learn more about how business performance coaching can help you to ensure your business is a success, just visit, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “A professional’s guide to maintaining your edge: 12 essential tips for staying ahead of the competition”.


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