In today's fast-paced world, it's more important than ever to know how to manage your time well. That's especially true if you're an entrepreneur. As a busy business owner, you have to wear a lot of hats and juggle a lot of balls. If you don't know how to manage your time wisely, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down in work.
1. Long-term time management
As an entrepreneur, you're always trying to balance a million different things. You're thinking about the long-term vision for your company while also dealing with the day-to-day tasks that need to be done in order to keep things running smoothly.
It can be tough to stay on top of everything, but it's important to remember that time management is a key component of success. If you can't manage your time well, it will be difficult to achieve your goals.
Take a long-term approach to time management. You might not be productive as you expect to be on short time frames, but in the long run, you'll be amazed by the amount you can accomplish! “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” — Bill Gates
2. Find a good time management system.
One of the tips for managing your time is to find the right system to actually do it. The quadrant time-management system is probably the most effective. It splits your activities into four quadrants based on urgency and importance. Things are either urgent or important, both, or neither. Neither (quadrant 4) are the activities that you want to stay away from, but it's the not-urgent-but-important quadrant (2) that you want to focus on.
Once you've found a good time management system, it's important to set your priorities. What are the most important things that you need to accomplish? Make a list of your goals and then rank them in order of importance. This will help you determine where to focus your attention.
3. Audit your time for seven days straight.
Spend seven days straight assessing how you spend the time you do have right now. What are you doing? Record it in a journal or on your phone. Split this up into blocks of 30 minutes or an hour. What did you get done? Was it time wasted? Was it well spent? If you use the quadrant system, circle or log the quadrant that the activity was associated with. At the end of the seven days, tally up all the numbers. Where did you spend the most time? Which quadrants? The results might shock you.
4. Follow the 80-20 rule.
Another great time management tip is to use the 80-20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. This rule states that 80% of the efforts comes from 20 percent of the results. In sales, it also means that 80 percent of the sales come from 20 percent of the customers. The trick? Identify the 20 percent of the efforts that are producing 80 percent of the results and scale that out. You can do this with meticulous tracking and analysis.
5. Schedule email response times.
Turn off your email throughout the day. When your email is pouring in, it's easy to get distracted. Schedule time to read and respond to emails. If there's something urgent, someone will call or text you. But when you have your email open, those distractions interrupt your thought flow and it's harder to get back on track.
6. Sleep on Time
As a kid, you might have hated bedtime. As an adult, you might find yourself delaying sleep by having frequent late nights out. But if you're an entrepreneur, this simply won't do.
For better or worse, you have to scale back on pointless fun and prioritize your meaningful success. And one of the crucial factors behind the success that you might be overlooking is good sleep. Getting insufficient and poor-quality sleep are significant factors that decrease your productivity levels during the day.
7. Set a Time Limit for Everything
Keeping a proper check and balance on schedules is extremely important to utilize your time effectively. Consider calendar blocking to manage your time effectively.
This means you sit down and pre-plan your entire workday or workweek. Carve your time into slots, and allot those slots to specific tasks. This will give you clarity and control over your schedule like never before.
Set a specific time for all your meetings and try your best to get them done on time. Outline all your tasks and determine the time you will dedicate to them. Then try your best to stick to your planned schedule.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, uses a relatively simple yet effective technique to maximize time and evaluate meetings.
He calls it the “Two Pizza Rule.”
He will not go to any meeting if two pizzas are not enough for the members of that meeting.
8. Use Laziness to Your Advantage
Lazy people are generally called out for being unproductive. They consume a lot of time in getting tasks done and level up, even with just-productive people.
On the flip side, they tend to be more efficient as well.
Let's hear it from the Chief Experience Officer of Microsoft. In her interview with Fast Company, Julia Larson-Green said:
“I'm a huge procrastinator and a fairly lazy person. Being lazy makes me more efficient because I try to find ways that I can do the best work in the most minimal amount of time. I also know that I need the pressure to perform, and procrastination is one of the levers for creating that pressure.”
If being an unproductive and lazy person can't stop you from getting a C-Level job at the world's largest tech firm, then there is no way it can stop you from being a successful and time-efficient entrepreneur.
9. Deal With Stress Wisely
Stress often occurs when we accept more work than we are capable of accomplishing. The result is that our body starts feeling tired, which can affect our productivity.
Stress comes in various forms for different people, but some productive ways to deal with stress can include:
- Getting outside
- Practicing meditation
- Calling up a friend
- Participating in your favorite hobby
- Listening to music or a podcast
The key is to find what works for you when it comes to lowering your stress response. If you don't have time for anything else, try a couple of breathing techniques. These can be done in minutes and have been proven to lower stress-inducing hormones.
10. Delegate Tasks
It is common for all of us to take on more tasks than we are capable of completing. This can often result in stress and burnout.
Delegation does not mean you are running away from your responsibilities but are instead learning proper management of your tasks. Learn the art of delegating work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities and get more done. This will not only free up time for you but will help your team members feel like an integral piece of the work puzzle.
In conclusion, entrepreneurs need to be good at managing their time in order to be successful. They need to set priorities, make a schedule, and stick to it. They also need to delegate tasks, take breaks, and say no to distractions. By following these steps, entrepreneurs can manage their time well and be successful.