Time Management For Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is both thrilling and hard. Every day, an entrepreneur must bite off more than he or she can chew and go to bed, knowing that the next day will be very hectic. How can successful business owners manage so many critical duties and obligations without dropping any? Before diving into time management advice, let's examine why time management is so crucial for entrepreneurs.
Why Is Time Management Critical For Entrepreneurs?
From arranging and presiding over meetings to developing and implementing fresh initiatives, from dealing with dissatisfied staff to meeting with potential new customers, an entrepreneur's day may be a recipe for complexity. Ask any successful businessperson or entrepreneur, and they will tell you that time management is the ability they value the most.
This enables them to maintain their sanity in the face of great turbulence and minimal psychological costs of business. The more an entrepreneur's time management skills, the more successful his or her firm will be.
The greatest thing is that the more time management you practice, the better you grow at it. Time management may be the key to productivity in any firm. This article describes the advantages of time management for small firms and their staff.
1. Put A Time Restriction On Yourself
A business owner cannot always foretell how the day or week will unfold. Rather than allowing unexpected requests for meetings, unscheduled teleconferences, and time thieves to disrupt your day, embrace the unpredictability by placing a premium on the time you spend on unplanned activities.
Not more than 5 minutes on a call, not more than two unscheduled meetings per day, and not more than 10 minutes on an instant messenger session with your regional colleagues – these ground rules will always guarantee that you keep on top of your daily work schedule and avoid time wasters.
This is an essential attribute for every entrepreneur, especially for demonstrating to the rest of the staff that slacking off and squandering time are unacceptable.
Meetings, for example, might quickly become the largest time sink for you and your team if you do not create clear ground rules to increase productivity. You will gradually create a culture where individuals recognize they must bring their A-game while on your time.
2. Utilize Technology For Time Savings
Did you know that fast technological advancements have made it feasible for instructors to engage students and simulate field excursions and travel without devoting a whole day by using virtual reality? Technology has become an integral component of almost every organization.
It facilitates all company parts, from communications to customer relationship management. The contemporary entrepreneur understands how to use technology to save daily minutes and hours. Here are some regular aspects of your job that you may automate to reduce your stress levels.
- Your monthly regular company and personal bill payments may be simply automated.
- Highly complex marketing campaigns may be created utilizing Marketo, Clever Hub, and Eloqua.
- Instead of scheduling a weekly meeting to prepare social media posts, you may schedule posts for a month or more in advance.
- Appointment reminder applications guarantee that you know your obligations before you begin your day and do not miss any meetings.
- I propose utilizing a time monitoring program like Time Doctor to identify time-wasting activities.
- If you are in charge of several retail stores, shops, and offices, consider a store execution automation tool such as ZipLine, which can handle store management communication, workflows, and reporting.
3. Establish Non-Negotiable Self-Appointed Times
People find it simpler to prioritize other people's needs above their own, which is perplexing. How do you intend to find time for self-reflection, learning new things, meeting up with business school buddies, and reviewing your success over the last week?
Entrepreneurs who can find time for these activities while being responsible for thousands of other tasks do so by scheduling self-appointments and treating them with the same respect as they would a meeting with a high-profile customer. Here are the activities you may engage in during your self-appointment:
- Read and stay current on the newest market developments that interest you.
- Take an excellent course on an online tutoring service or a portal like Coursera.
- Initiate networking activities by phoning your business school classmates and other entrepreneurs or by putting conversation-starting remarks on influencers' social profiles relevant to your target market.
- Create a strategy for arranging your future week's chores.
4. Anticipate Interruptions
Personal and professional interruptions should be anticipated as an extension of the recommended time management technique. Particularly for businesses with family responsibilities, having their work day interrupted by a family necessity may be devastating.
Even your coworkers are capable of causing you to resolve unneeded issues at any point. It might be anything: the unexpected need for a high-performing employee to take an extended vacation, an accident at work, your vehicle breaking down on a lonely road, or an email from your most important customer.
If your calendar is crowded with your responsibilities, it becomes difficult to modify to meet these unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, you must leave at least some white space in your daily plans so that crises do not derail your daily and weekly goals.
5. Utilize Ivy Lee's Productivity Hacking Method
In 1918, the president of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles M. Schwab, recruited productivity expert Ivy Lee, who developed what is not known as the “Ivy Lee Method.” It worked for Schwab's team. Therefore, it will likely work for you as well. Here is how it operates:
- Before you pack up for the day, take some time (your self-appointment is typically the ideal time) to list the six tasks you must do the next day.
- Arrange these six items in order of importance.
- On the next day, begin with the first job and finish it before moving on to the second.
- Continue accomplishing activities this way until it is time to create a new 6-item to-do list at the end of the day.
This seems much too simple to be helpful to you, correct? I suggest you investigate the science behind this strategy, and I'd like to thank Ivy Lee for making it seem straightforward. The iOS app for this strategy is shown below.
6. Delegate, Delegate And Delegate
There's a good chance you do many jobs each week that you might simply delegate to others by investing 10 to 30 minutes in familiarizing them with the activity. Because you don't have 30 minutes today, you don't mind spending 5 minutes on a task today and in the coming days.
Always remember that delegation is your finest weapon for releasing yourself to provide the most value to the organization. How would you devote time to updating written content for an internal program or exhibiting your company's expertise to prospective clients? Consider yourself the quarterback of a football team; concentrate on calling the appropriate plays, controlling the game, and guiding your team to victory. Here are some techniques for delegating.
7. Put On Blinders
Ever notice how racehorses are provided with blinders to ensure they remain on course and don't take excessive steps? Metaphorically speaking, you would be wise to put on blinders to complete crucial tasks, especially those needing laser-like concentration.
- Create ritualistic components that prepare your mind for the next high-intensity task, from getting yourself a cup of coffee to doing a brief round of push-ups.
- Eliminate distractions, including ambient sounds and extraneous furniture.
- Send your justifications to a galaxy far, far away!
- Make your objectives actionable, measurable, achievable, and time-bound.
- Get started; there will never be a perfect moment to begin that crucial endeavour; the finest time was yesterday, and the next best time is now.
8. Attach Results Expected To Most Activities
Sometimes, it is easier for an entrepreneur to avoid mental labour by doing mundane duties. If you adhere to this guideline, you will never spend time in any activity of this kind. Before engaging in any time-consuming activity, you should ask yourself, “What am I hoping to achieve?”
Whether it's a conference you're planning to attend, a client meeting, or an internal meeting, tie expected outcomes to it, and you'll find it much easier to keep your efforts on track and in line with your objectives. Before the meeting starts, make it a point to write the desired outcomes on a whiteboard in the meeting room and cross out everything that is not accomplished.
9. Prioritize Using The Timeless Pareto Principle
When you have too much to do and not enough time to accomplish it, it is normal to want to discover extra hours every day. Although the desire to work hard and persevere is great, it may not be the most effective strategy, especially when your time would be better spent on other value-adding tasks.
The Pareto Concept, developed by the Italian mathematician Vilfredo Pareto, is a time-tested principle that may be used here. Vilfredo Pareto observed that the wealthiest 20% of Italians owned 80% of the country's wealth. He used the same concept in his garden and discovered that just 20% of the pea plants produced 80% of the peas.
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This technique can be used to complete the most critical 20 percent of the day's work, and it can also be used to organize specific projects by prioritizing completing the most vital parts first. Check out the incredible Pareto 80/20 time management tool to combine this ancient concept's power with your smartphone's capabilities.
10. Make Use Of Just-In-Time Learning
Assume that if it worked for Toyota, Dell, and Harley-Davidson, it will also work for you. Just in time is an effective supply chain management method. You can apply it to your life and manage things as well as these industrial titans handle their inventory.
Naturally, entrepreneurs must be at the top of their game, always learning new things, monitoring market news, and reading about the newest technology influencing their markets and industry trends. However, you may often waste valuable time reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, and connecting with experts in areas that are just distantly relevant.
Here is where the concept of just-in-time learning comes into play. Particularly when you are confronted with a project that needs you to research and improve your knowledge, ensure that you only spend time on information that will assist you in completing the following few tasks.
Anything else that might be significant may be deferred. Utilize applications like Mozilla Pocket and Evernote to save digital information resources that may be useful in the future but not now.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) will make it challenging; it requires confidence, self-assurance, and self-discipline to only concentrate on collecting knowledge that will help you achieve your current objectives. However, the outcomes are worthwhile.
11. Overcome Initial Inertia
In addition to the difficulty of overcoming early lethargy, business owners might waste a great deal of time on unnecessary preparations and planning. Remember the words and begin. The United States Marine Corps adheres to the 70 percent guideline. If you have 70 percent resources, 70 percent knowledge, and 70 percent confidence, simply start.
Occasionally, kick-starting may prevent business owners from falling into the habit of worrying about every little aspect that might damage their goals. This idea is further shown by the fact that many startups rush through their soft launches and pilot testing with minimally viable products.
Dropbox is a fantastic example; the company's founders utilized a three-minute film to showcase the service's expected capabilities before the product was even available. Overnight, the number of signups increased from 5,000 to 75,000! Examine comparable instances of minimal viable products that achieved commercial success.
12. Employ A Virtual Assistant To Complete Some Of Your Work
When on a one-man mission, it is acceptable for entrepreneurs to do fundamental tasks alone. You recognize that your time is more precious than scheduling meetings, reconciling financial entries, and editing marketing material.
At this point, virtual assistants enter the scene. Instead of employing a full-time assistant (which would be prohibitively expensive), you may recruit virtual assistants via one of the several freelance work exchange platforms.
You may hire one of these virtual assistants (VAs) based on your specific requirements since they are proficient in many areas. The key to making virtual assistants an asset to your workplace is to:
- Set up communication plans
- Invest time in helping the VA through the first several days of duties.
- Utilizing effective communication platforms, such as Skype for screen sharing and ClickMeeting for scheduling rapid branded webinars for your staff.
- Equip your virtual assistants with the necessary technology and resources to effortlessly interact with you and execute the assigned tasks.
13. Rest Helps You Rejuvenate And Perform More Effectively
As contradictory as it may appear, several scheduled rest breaks may greatly boost daily productivity. Frederick Taylor's scientific and empirical demonstration that rest was a big driver of increased productivity is a timeless illustration that drives home the idea.
While employed by Midvale Steel Company, Taylor investigated the methods adopted by employees to transfer pig iron. Taylor demonstrated and showed that by applying a well-thought-out work-to-rest ratio, the typical worker could move 47 tons of pig iron daily instead of around 12.5 tons per day. A few points to remember:
- Look for sleep lengths at a multiple of 90 minutes because people complete a sleep cycle of five phases in 90 minutes.
- It's scientifically known that short naps may increase productivity; they can help you function better.
- Even a 10-minute meditation session might assist you in regaining your energy and resuming productive work.
14. Automate Repetitive Tasks
There will always be things that need your attention, cannot be delegated, and must be completed sometimes. Identify such chores and automate them using technology.
Suppose you have a team of in-house web developers. In that case, you can quickly request their assistance to automate routine processes such as report extraction by adding simple functionality to the apps you use often. This will need some upfront time and work.
However, when you consider that you may reduce up to 90 percent of the work required for a repetitive operation by automating the process's primary activities, the investment is well worth it.
For all of your fundamental digital marketing duties, for example, very affordable and straightforward automation technologies are available. For instance, you may use tools like DeBounce to validate the legitimacy of emails in a huge list.
Utilize an integrated, robust, and secure platform for developing, working on, and sharing sales papers and proposals to deliver bids and contracts. Similarly, you may simplify your life using social media post-scheduling tools, email drip marketing campaign managers, and SEO campaign management.
Entrepreneurs incur a daily cost related to the stress they manage and experience daily. To improve your situation and develop a reliable company, you must track how you spend your time.
I trust you enjoyed this article about Time Management For Entrepreneurs. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come? Take care!
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