We all have 24 hours in our day. But why is it that some people can get much more done at that same time than others? The answer is simple. It is not about how much time you have but about how effectively you manage your time.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time you spend on specific activities to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. How effectively are you managing your time?
Being an entrepreneur is exciting and brings with itself a host of responsibilities. Good time management skills will also help in increasing productivity and help you stay motivated and focused on what really needs to be done.
So as an entrepreneur, how do you manage your time efficiently?
For a start, take a close look at your day to assess what you have been doing with your time. What did you get done? Was it time well spent or wasted? Find out where you are wasting time?
Prioritize The Important
It is advisable to tackle your biggest and most important tasks of the day first. Completing them successfully will give you the momentum to help you sail through the rest of the day.
One should also look out for the “Return on Investment” on the various activities and prioritize those tasks that provide the best returns. It makes sense to follow the well-known Pareto Principle where 80% of results come from 20% of activities. The way to succeed is to identify the top 20% of efforts that are producing 80% of results and scale that as much as possible.
Knowing and understanding when and how you are most productive also helps. Try to make the most of that time by focusing on more difficult/ important tasks rather than trying to do too many things together.
Plan Ahead of Time
It is a great habit to make to-do lists as it effectively sets goals for the day. Daily goals are easier to achieve while helping us move towards the bigger goal.
Try to establish a routine and stick to it as closely as possible. Prepare a time management plan to focus on the tasks that add value to the business and manage your time more effectively by eliminating unnecessary things.
Keep a calendar and schedule as much of your time as possible, and follow through. Get the most out of each hour of work that you are putting in.
Avoid Distractions and Quit Bad Habits
You have to be able to avoid distractions and quit bad habits in order to achieve your goals. Most of us have a habit of checking/answering emails frequently. This distraction is unnecessary and can even be unproductive. Reading/responding to emails should be scheduled at particular times of the day.
Everyday habits like social media surfing and playing games also take away substantial amounts of our time. Turning off social media app alerts is also a good idea as it allows you to focus better on the task at hand. Time is a precious resource and needs to be used wisely to achieve your goals in life.
Setting the Right Goals and Working Towards Them
Desires and dreams can sometimes make us set somewhat unrealistic goals. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to set the right goals and have a deep desire for achieving those goals. One of the ways is by using the SMART goal setting method. (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based goals). Using SMART goals along with the strong desire to achieve results will help you see things through.
Find a Good Time Management System
There are many Time Management Tools available in the market today that can come in handy for you and your enterprise. Finding the right program that suits your needs is key. One of the more effective ones is The Quadrant Time Management system that splits all activities into four quadrants based on Urgency and Importance. The advice is to stay away from activities that are neither Urgent nor Important. Instead, focus on the items on the Non Urgent but Important quadrant.
Balance Is the Key
As an entrepreneur looking for success, increasing productivity is surely one of your primary goals. While pressures are high and challenge many, life is not only about achieving your monetary goals! It is extremely important to be able to maintain some balance in your life as stress and overwork can only burn you out.
This is where efficient time management skills come in handy. They help you prioritize not only your commercial goals and getting things done, but also your family and personal time –ensuring balance.
Making These Changes Can Help Increase Productivity
As we learn the ropes of how to best manage our time, we need to unlearn many of our old ways…. The focus on time management is actually on changing your behaviors and instill good habits into your life.
- Use your time wisely and develop good habits that will help in the achievement of your goals and the fulfillment of your dreams.
- Getting a mentor who can guide you can be very helpful and the experience also helps you to stay on track with your time.
- Studies have shown that the clutter in our environment helps us to lose focus. And whenever we lose focus, we lose time. Hence declutter and organize to succeed.
- There is no need for you to carry all the load. It’s best to learn to delegate and outsource some tasks.
- Entrepreneurship is tough and in order to keep your mental, emotional and physical states at peak levels take frequent breaks while working.
- A regular regime of exercise and meditation can help release stress and give you balance. It also helps enhance your energy levels, stamina, and mental focus.
Your time belongs to you, however, it is a finite resource and needs to be used optimally. It is up to you to stay cool, collected and make the most of what you have in order to accomplish whatever you want to.
Entrepreneurship is exciting, but along with the power of being your own boss comes many uncertainties and responsibilities. Being able to manage your time well will equip you with a valuable skill that will help you to face up to the challenges in your journey to success. Without managing your time well, you will struggle to reach your professional and personal goals. So use your time effectively and make the most of those 24 hours that have been given to you.