5 time management tips for entrepreneurs

Mar 31, 2017 by
5 time management tips for entrepreneurs

Most entrepreneurs, particularly in the early stages of starting a business, struggle with time management. Without the schedule and routine of a traditional job, work days can get progressively longer, eating into your personal time.

Even if you put in significant additional hours every day, there is no guarantee that your extra efforts will actually help to grow your business.

By incorporating time management techniques into your working days, this will enable you to work harder, but also, smarter. Here are some of the most important time management tips for busy entrepreneurs.

1 – Lists are your friend

If you start your work day with a specific list of things to do, you’re much less likely to get distracted. Plus, you will have a tangible goal that when completed, will leave you with a feeling of fulfilment and motivation at the end of the day. Ideally, prioritise the things on your list according to how much they will actually help to grow your business – in raw, economical terms.

Oftentimes, we have a tendency to procrastinate regarding the most unenjoyable tasks, yet these are often the ones which ultimately take our business forward. By putting these tasks down in writing, you’re more likely to complete them.

Blogger and social media influencer, Kim Garst, is a big advocate of lists for time management purposes:

Personally, I make a to do list every morning and then I prioritize that list based on what has to be done first. Anything that doesn’t get accomplished that day, gets moved to the next day and I start all over with the prioritization. I also love to check boxes! This gives me a huge sense of accomplishment when I get to check things off the list!

2 – Discover your peak working time

One of the unfortunate facets of a traditional 9-5 job is that everyone has to work during the same time period. In reality, many people are at their most productive outside the time of 9am to 5pm. Some people find immense clarity early in the morning while everyone else is asleep, while others prefer to work in the evening because they feel more creative.

Take some time to discover which time period in the day is your most productive, and don’t worry if it doesn’t align with the rest of society. Prioritise this 3-4 hour slot during your working days for your most challenging tasks and if possible, cancel all other distractions.

3 – Set deadlines and keep them

Having a tangible deadline on the horizon greatly helps when you’re battling with procrastination. In a traditional job, deadlines are typically assigned to you, but as an entrepreneur, you should take the initiative and assign deadlines to yourself. Whenever you hit a deadline, don’t be afraid to give yourself a little reward. This conditions your brain to work harder and stick to deadlines for the long-term.

Organise time4 – Set one day a week for no work

Particularly if you work from home, your personal and work life can quickly merge into one as an entrepreneur. This is why it’s so important to switch off once a week. Entrepreneurial burnout is very real, and can have significant physical and mental consequences. Entrepreneur and author, Chris Ducker, described having to be hospitalised for exhaustion due to spending so many hours at his computer chair!

Although it feels like you’re missing out on progress when you take a day off. The consequences of not doing so might be far more dire if you burn yourself out by working too hard!

5 – Utilise outsourcing

Perhaps the most powerful time management hack for entrepreneurs is outsourcing. Too often, entrepreneurs want to take on as much work as they can themselves, because the more busy they are, the more productive they feel. However, it often makes more sense from a business perspective to outsource smaller tasks to remote workers. This allows the entrepreneur to work on the business, rather than in the business, which is highly recommended for both business growth and mental stability!

Popular tasks for outsourcing include: content generation and editing, graphic design, market research and social media management. Have a browse through Upwork and see what tasks you can delegate to remote, online workers.

Conclusion

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It’s common to feel compelled to work crazy hours and take no time off. However, if you don’t prioritise your work days and make time to recuperate, you’ll end up spinning your wheels without actually driving your business forward. Time management is an essential part of entrepreneurship and should be taken seriously if you value your business.

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