The Successful Entrepreneur’s Guide
Entrepreneurship is beyond engaging in the activities that characterize your business. Behind the to and fro, the back and forth, the strategizing, transactions, networking and communication, there is a mind-set. Just as victory begins with an attitude, entrepreneurship begins with a frame of mind, and this mind frame accompanies the successful entrepreneur every step of the way. With the nature of the work demanding that you jump between tasks, attend one event or the other, hop on calls, and make decisions that are critical to the rise or fall of your empire – big or small – time management becomes a very instrumental skill to possess in order to balance activities, and also to have a relatively stress-free experience.
Nobody’s getting more than 24 hours in a day. How do you respond to this fact as an entrepreneur? Do you focus and carry on purposefully, or do you fret? Well, fret no more, if the latter is your response. You can work competently and efficiently, once you know some time management tips.
Time Management Tip #1: Set Your Goals
You should identify and set goals, both long term and short term. Once you identify your goals, break down the activities leading to the accomplishment of these goals into smaller operations that are easy to grasp and measure. Then, come up with a to-do list of your daily tasks. Ensure that these “daily tasks” revolve around achieving your set goals. Anything else is a staller and would be better off delegated to another person. That’s yet another technique we’ll see.
Time Management Tip #2: Plan Ahead
Not knowing what needs to be done is a major time-waster. People who know what needs to be done are less stressed up compared to those who jump into the workday not knowing exactly what to do. This is why it is important to set out time to plan ahead of the workday. Make planning, working on your to-do list, a part of your nighttime routine, and save yourself time and worries in the morning. You’ll be calmer and better prepared mentally to face the challenge of the new day.
Related: Pick up an idea from this book and start!
Time Management Tip #3: Work in Order of Priority
Now, you have a to-do list with several tasks outlined for each day. It’s time to prioritize. Identify what two to three tasks are most important for the day and begin with those. There is a positive energy with mental strength that come with accomplishing tasks and checking them off your list. If you can get these most important tasks done in the day, you could then decide which of tomorrow’s minute task to bring into today and get it done with, or simply use the extra time to relax the body that does the work.
Time Management Tip #4: Outsource or Delegate
You don’t have to be the one to do everything! You don’t have to directly be involved in the day-to-day operations. Outsource some of those tasks that don’t necessarily need you to be the one to do them. If you have a dedicated team, make use of them and delegate these tasks so they handle, while you concentrate on what needs your direct implication. This is a great way to multiply our efforts.
Time Management Tip #5: Get Rid of Distractions
A study from the University of California Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a particular task after getting distracted. Track how often someone interrupts you in the midst of an important task. Also track interruptions by your email or social media notifications on your phone. You will need to take practical steps to eliminate distractions, even if it means locking yourself up and pasting a huge “DO NOT DISTURB ” sign on the door.
Here are a few hacks to get rid of distractions:
- If your task doesn’t require internet connectivity, turn off your Wi-Fi.
- Turn off notifications on your phone, computer, or tablet. You can catch up on these later.
- Don’t browse social media while carrying out your task. One thing always leads to the other in social media browsing. If the nature of your work and the task at hand requires social media browsing, be disciplined to stick to the path and not get carried away.
- If you find interesting articles in the course of browsing, save it to read it later, like during the commute home.
- If you have an office, work with the door shut.
- You can set aside time in the day to catch up on email, call people back, talk with staff, etc. Just don’t do these when you’d rather be working.
Time Management Tip #6: Learn to Say No!
As much as having several responsibilities can teach us how to manage various activities and also manage time, it can be disadvantageous. Don’t fill up your lists of goals and things to do with engagements that would have been better for you to decline. Sometimes, it is wiser to turn down certain opportunities and go in only for those commitments that you know you will have time for and will put in your best.
Related: Create Your Brand!
Time Management Tip #7: Make Use of Weekend…a little
Don’t get carried away with #TGIF and party yourself throughout the weekend, or simply lie around idling. Dedicate at least two to four hours of work per day over the weekend to cover some tasks, and you’ll still have enough time to unwind.
Start off with these time management tips, and let us know how it goes. Don’t forget to enjoy what you do. Your daily activities are a part of your life. Embrace them because they make who you are – they make the successful entrepreneur.