31 Aug 12 time management tips for entrepreneurs
“Time is money” we all have heard this phrase before, but as entrepreneurs, its meaning gets stronger. Time is everything!
Haven’t you wish your days could be longer? 24 hours a day is not enough! How can you manage time to socialize, to run your business, to exercise or even pamper yourself? And guess what? It gets worst if you have a partner/husband or especially if you are a mom!!!
If you work from home, people think you have plenty of time, but little they know it is more time consuming than working at an office.
This sounds like you? Then keep reading to learn tips, strategies, and ideas that will help you better manage your time, both as a businessperson and in your personal life.
In life, everything is about mastering and now, it is time to MASTER your Time
1. Carry an agenda with you
An agenda is the simplest way to keep track of your time. Whether to record your thoughts, conversations, activities, appointments, to do’s etc. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious time is going, whether you are spending productive time or spending time in unproductive tasks. Remember to schedule everything! There are many apps available for free to help you keep all your activities organized or just go the old-fashioned way and buy a cute paper agenda that can fit in your everyday bag. BONUS TIP: Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don't start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time!
2. Set priorities
3 things to take in consideration: 1) prioritize, 2) prioritize and… you guessed it! 3) prioritize. Setting priorities is everything! Make a checklist, and give yourself enough time to complete them. This will help you get a huge sense of accomplishment as you check things off the list. Do tasks according to its urgency and deadlines.
3. Block out distractions
Distractions are everywhere! But no matter how tempting they are, try to stay focused. Log off facebook and any other social media platforms, silence your phone phone, (unless used for job purposes). Practice not answering the phone just because it's ringing and emails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don't instantly give people your attention unless it's absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
4. Develop long and short term goals
Another way to make your life easier is to develop long and short term goals. What is it that you can accomplish in a day? In a week? At the end of the month? This year? Sorting your goals is a great way to maintain your focus and keep motivated to work on one task at a time, as well as setting goals gives you a sense of purpose. Make sure all your goals are addressed in a timely manner.
5. Just start
Stop waiting for the perfect time, for the perfect day, for the perfect whatever as it might never come. Overthinking is a big unnecessary obstacle you don’t want on your path. Just Do it! It is like when you want to start on a diet, and you are telling to yourself “I’ll just start on Monday” by the time Monday comes, you already eat every calorie for the day during breakfast!! And you get so unmotivated and decide to start the next monday and so forth for a whole year. Stop thinking and start doing! It is true you can’t go back in time, however, you can start fresh with proper time management from where you are today.
6. Stay focused
The more focused you can be in your work, the more successful you’ll become. Building focus into your time management habits ensures you’re working on the right things. Don’t let yourself invest in the wrong things just to get more items crossed off your to-do list. It never works!
7. Take time to pause and think
Who said being an entrepreneur was an easy job? No one! The key to success is to have a positive approach. Don’t precipitate, and try to do more than you can handle. Take a minute to relax or meditate to clear your mind. Just believe in yourself, see the big picture, plan, take a deep breath and keep going.
8. Learn to say “no”
Thumb of rule “The busier you are, the more people will demand your time.” For example, if you are invited to a meeting, ask for an agenda. If you learn that the meeting is about something that you are not suited for or is not in line with your business goals, then politely decline and suggest a person or company that may better suit their needs. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs. If you are not prepared for what will be addressed in the meeting, ask for a later date. When time is limited, you need to prioritize how to best use those valuable hours.
Don’t start a ‘file pile.’ File everything as soon as it is completed. This will save you from wasting time looking for documents later.
10. Wake up early
As the saying says “The early bird gets the worm” Starting off your day early allows you to become more productive. Assign tasks to every session of the day and get things done whiting the specified time.
11. Apply the 80/20 rule
Probably you are asking what is the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule is 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Now you are probably wondering, How do I apply this rule? Quite simply, first you have to do an audit of your time by tracking time spent on productive tasks that are helping you accomplish your goals , and on the other hand how much time are you wasting. This way, pick 20% of your tasks that yield 80% of the results and eliminate the least productive tasks, and enjoy the remaining time.
12. Get out off your head
It can get pretty overwhelming when the workload piles up, and things don’t go your way. No matter how hard you try or work, not everything on your to-do list is going to get done. Why? Because there’s always something to do for an entrepreneur. Don’t let your negative thoughts take over you and keep a positive mindset.
Remember: There won’t be any extra time for you. Therefore, make the most of 24 hours by doing relevant activities and what really matters and makes you happy. We get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done.
This should never be the point. Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing? Enjoyment should always be the goal. Work can be play.