Time Management as an Entrepreneur
One of the hardest things to master is time management. Either you control the day or the day controls you. Getting the most out of you day is a constant battle and those that can develop this as a skill put themselves in a very advantageous position over other entrepreneurs who cannot. So, what does it take to get the most out of your day? Here are some things you need to keep in mind as well as implement to help you.
Learn Time Management
Properly managing your time will help you not only to be more productive, it will also help ensure that you remain focused. Every successful entrepreneur has to have good time management skills because, without them, chaos ensues.
Traditional time management was designed to help you manage your ‘clock time’, or actual minutes on the clock. However, this is not really how you spend your day. You may want to even consider forgetting about ‘clock time’ and focus on real time. Real time is how much of your day you spend on each activity, both in work and at home. Real time is relative and basically shows how you allocate your time.
Allocate Time Efficiently
Since real time is relevant, you have the power to choose how you allocate and how much of your time you spend on specific activities. As an entrepreneur, you probably will not be able to stop interruptions or problems, but you can choose how much time you want to spend dealing with them. Decide how much time you want to spend thinking about things, conversing about things and acting on things. Then match your available time appropriately to give yourself structure.
Work Productively or Don’t Work at All
Part of learning better time management means learning to organize your efforts so that you are working when you are likely to be the most productive. This process helps to eliminate wasted time, or when you are working but not being particularly productive. Remember, working hard and working smart are two completely different ways to approach a situation. Be efficient, your day demands you to work smart over working hard.
Be Accountable to Yourself
You have to learn when and how to work on what is going to be the most productive. If you are not sure about this statement, start by creating a schedule with all of your tasks and actions for a period of one week. This will give you a clear understanding how much time you spend on each activity, which will allow you to determine which activities are productive and which are less than productive.
Once you understand which activities are productive and which are wasting your time, you can go about ensuring that you only schedule your time around the productive activities. Create and allocate blocks of time for activities that are high-priority and make sure that you determine how much time is appropriate to spend on each.
Find out where and when you are spending your time, on both productive and unproductive activities. Then, have enough discipline to appropriately schedule your time to get the most production in the most efficient way.
Plan Your Day
Take time at the beginning of each day to make detailed plans of what you plan to do and what you plan to accomplish. Make sure to plan out at least 50% of your daily time towards your most productive activities. Also plan for interruptions, or times when you will be pulled away and then decide what you want to accomplish before every action or task to make each block of time more productive.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Communication Loop
Your cell phone, social media services and e-mail services, etc., are all great ways to stay in touch but they are also extremely distracting. Plan some time to answer your e-mails, texts and calls but avoid having those tasks take up too much or too many blocks of time. Falling into a constant and never-ending cycle of the communication loop is a drain of your valuable time which is very costly. Understand when a text or call is critical and when it is not so important and react accordingly.
Come to the Realization that Not Everything Will Get Done
It is impossible to get everything you want done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You are never going to get it all done and you will drive yourself crazy if you attempt to do so. Also remember that about 80% of the results you produce are generally done with about 20% of your time. By learning how to work when you are most productive and by making the most of that time you will be able to get what really needs to be done completed. Everything else is secondary.
Time management is a constant battle and there will be good days and there will be bad days. There will be productive days and then there will be unproductive days. If you can identify how you spend your time as well as what is most important in your day and then get organized and approach the day with a structured plan for maximum productivity all while holding yourself to that plan, you will start to see a clearer vision of time and how to manage more effectively.