W

hat if you could save an hour a day starting tomorrow? That’s 5 hours per week, or more than a half-day off. Imagine closing up shop at 11am every Friday without worrying about all the stuff that didn’t get done.

You can do that, when you put these 4 solutions in place, and you can do it right now.

Proper project management. If you’re still managing your team with email and Skype messages, stop it. Things get lost, messages are forgotten (or never received) and balls are dropped. Not to mention all the time you spend sifting through your endless list of emails for that one piece of information you need.

Sign up for Asana, Basecamp, Freedcamp or research Google today for a project management tool that fits your personality, and start putting all your projects there instead. You’ll have one place to look for tasks that are still outstanding, and be able to tell at a glance what needs your immediate attention.

Proper documentation. Do you find yourself reinventing the wheel every time you have to record a podcast or upload a video to your blog? Take 5 minutes and document the steps, then next time you have to do it (or better yet, when you hand it off to a VA) you’ll be able to quickly work out what needs to happen. There will be fewer mistakes, and the work will get done faster.

Create a business organization chart. If you have multiple people on your team, this is critical. Rather than everyone coming to you for questions—or worse, asking the wrong person and getting the wrong answer—take the time to create an organization chart. Add it to your operations manual and make sure your team knows where it is and what it’s for. Now, rather than your Skype chat blowing up with questions all day long, you’ll have time for the more important tasks.

Use time blocking. Get out your calendar and start making appointments with yourself. Decide when you’ll check email and when you’ll work on client projects, then stick to the schedule. These self-imposed deadlines will not only force you to get the work done, but they’ll help keep you focused, so rather than wasting time on Facebook, you’ll be working on your business.

All of these systems can be set up in an afternoon—at least initially. But the time they save you when you use them consistently is phenomenal. An hour a day is just the beginning, but you have to take action. You have to put in the work first, before you can earn the rewards, but the benefits are sweet. In the end, you’ll wonder how you ever managed before you did these four things to improve your business.