Nearly 4 billion hours a year are spent by small business owners doing routine tasks, finds a survey by OfficeMax. Half of those owners said these tasks left them drained of any motivation to focus on company growth.

Get rid of those every day tasks by delegating, outsourcing or streamlining your business. Don’t waste time by getting wrapped up in the operations. There are people and tools that can get those tasks done to give you more energy high focus.

–Determining What To Delegate

Customers, and your vision, are what make your small business. Garda World suggests using a simple rule: any task that takes your focus away from customers should be delegated, or eliminated completely.

There are probably numerous tasks that fall into that category. Make a list and start delegating so you can get back to the important work of customer management.

-Outsource employee management, if you can!

One of the most delegated roles in small business is human resources, writes the Guardian. Recruiting and hiring, dealing with labor laws, employment contracts, policies and procedures are all tasks that should come off of your plate and given to someone else.

If you’re a startup, outsource this work to a professional HR management firm. You’ll still have input into all processes, so you’ll hire the best people. But you won’t need to be involved with the details of making it happen.

–Give all of the technology responsibilities to someone else.

Let them know your preferences, but let the tech professional deal with all of the setup, configuration, and support issues. Get regular status reports so you know where the money is going, but leave the details to them.

–Streamline Those Business Functions

Make use of the technology that automates standard business processes so you’re not dealing with spreadsheets and other manual tasks. Sophisticated cloud-based applications are great for small businesses and startups.

CRM applications manage customer information for you and can feed that into your sales and marketing systems for use in campaigns. Point of sales systems, like those from NetSuite, let you easily keep track of real-time sales and inventory data.

Not only do these applications free up your time, but they give you important information quickly to make critical business decisions.

–Accounting and Bookkeeping

The Huffington Post says that this is one of the top areas that startups struggle with. From day one, give the bookkeeping work to someone else. You need the data from the accounting efforts to make decisions, but don’t need to reconcile the payables and receivables yourself.

Hire a part-time person or contract the work out to a bookkeeper when starting up. Don’t start out by throwing receipts in a shoe box and making notes in a ledger. Suddenly you’ll be faced with filing quarterly taxes, and you’ll have a mess on your hands.

Engage someone to do the bookkeeping early and get your financials organized. It will be important when you start to approach investors who will want to see just how organized your business really is.

–Other Tasks to Delegate

Some of the other typical tasks you should delegate, writes Entrepreneur include:

1. Email management

2. Travel and scheduling

3. Online research

4. Presentation creation

You could hire an assistant to help with these tasks, or better still, get a virtual assistant. These are people who work remotely, sometimes specializing in a niche area, but are often able to perform multiple tasks for you.

You could engage a virtual assistant to do research and prepare presentations for investors, one to manage your email and phone calls, and another to do the social media posts.

What tasks in your business have you delegated recently?