Are you an entrepreneur? This guide is meant to help you improve time management skills effectively and set you up for success.
Time management skills are important for everyone but they are vital for entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for every aspect of your business, and thus allotting the right amount of time to different tasks is crucial if you’re to run your enterprise smoothly.
Improving your time management skills does not just involve working harder; it involves working smarter too. Here are some smart tips to help you improve time management skills and succeed in your venture.
- Adopt Just-in-Time Learning
I bet you were taught so much on time management skills in school. Well, I’m not here to disregard school but I must say that some of the things you learned do not apply in the real world; especially not in the world of business. You may have learned that to succeed in your undertakings, you’ve got to consume content in advance, way before you’re required to put it to use. That’s one of the things that don’t work in the business world.
My advice is, learn only the things that are related to the next task. For instance, if your next task is to set up your WordPress site, start reading blog posts and watching videos related to setting up a WP site.
If, on the other hand, you’re working on getting content for your site and looking to set up the WP site next month, first handle your current task (getting content). Once you’re done with that, you can now start learning how to set up a WP site. Otherwise, you will only end up with too much on your plate, get into a muddle, and end up getting nothing done.
Let’s say you come across potentially helpful content and you fear missing out on it if you don’t consume it. In that case, rather than setting aside your current project to study the new stuff, you could just save it on Evernote. It’s a perfect tool for taking notes, organizing tasks, and archiving stuff. This way, you can easily access it later when you’re done with your current project.
What are your personal and work-related priorities? Plan them in a calendar and fit everything else around them.
Consider getting a personal assistant to help you take care of some of your routine activities.
- Just Start Off
Most entrepreneurs have great ideas. But do you know why only a few of them come out winning? The answer is: because only a few of them put their ideas into action. The rest never even start implementing their ideas. They usually wait for the perfect time, which unfortunately, never comes.
Therefore, quit waiting for the perfect product; quit waiting for “someday” and just start off.
- Reframe Your Perception
To really improve time management skills, stop thinking about time management and think about attention management. If you allocate time to a certain task but end up spending that time switching between various other tasks, it’s highly unlikely that the end result will be anything like what you anticipated. Managing your attention means keeping all internal and external distractions in check, and focusing on that one task to achieve better-quality results.
- Pace Yourself
As a businessperson, you’re likely to feel worn out most of the time. If not dealt with, this problem can escalate and end up drastically affecting your productivity. Therefore, the best thing to do is to pace yourself. You’re only human; not a machine.
Consider working without getting distracted (except, of course, when taking meal breaks) for 8 to 10 hours per day and 5 days per week. Then, allocate enough time to your sleep (at least 6 hours each day) and take a break during the weekends. This way, you will be taking a good breather from your routine and get adequate time to catch up with your family and friends. That way, you will not only be happy doing what you do but you will also do it effectively and achieve your goals.
- Take Time to Think
Are you a busy entrepreneur? If so, I take it that there are times when you’ve found yourself moving rapidly from one task to the next without even pausing to breath. That’s a mistake. As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things you should consider doing from time to time is taking a little break to think.
Let’s say you’re a busy blogger and that your target is to write 2 articles per day. When you’re done with the first article after several hours of uninterrupted working, you may be tempted to move onto the second one immediately, without even taking a lunch break. That approach is wrong and it may even lower your productivity. Instead of doing that, consider taking a short break to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you’re yet to accomplish.
Also, consider taking at least 20 minutes every morning to think about how you’d like your day to be. Ask yourself questions like:
- What’s my most important goal today?
- Does my calendar reflect that priority?
- What tasks will I handle today?
Then, try setting an hourly alarm on your phone and every time it beeps, ask yourself questions like:
- Am I working on achieving my main goal for the day?
- What have I achieved so far?
At the end of your working hours, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I achieve my main aim today?
- What did I learn?
- What do I need to do differently tomorrow?
From what I have learned over the years, time is the most valuable resource any human possesses. It’s an even more important resource for business owners; it’s what makes the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful.
The fact that you’re here learning how to improve time management skills proves that you’re ready and willing to do all it takes to be a successful business owner. Remember, time management is not really about time; it’s about attention. It’s about picking a task and sticking with it till you’ve accomplished it perfectly.
How do you manage your time? Feel free to share your insights with us through the comments.
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