Entrepreneurship is a skill that everyone can absolutely develop, but the process demands some real sense of determination and persistence. Included in the long process is the feared topic called time management.
We have all been taught that without it, life and all its negotiations could fall into chaos and instead end up nothing but a wreck.
Time management is very important. It makes you do more within a lesser amount of time. It makes you think which or who is a priority, and it sets you an amount of time for yourself and your loved ones back at home.
Time management is what will make you ahead of your chores, your tasks, and your meetings. With time management, you can rise early in the morning and end the day without feeling burned down to ashes.
Below are some key tips that you’d surely love to (re)consider as you go along your life as an entrepreneur. Coming with the list are some distractions that you might be guilty entertaining, and some following advice as to how you can better them for your own good.
1. Use Peak Time for Initiatives
Being an entrepreneur, you are entitled to a lot of responsibilities, and hence, you must know your strengths and limits.
Included in the list of considerations is your self-awareness as to which part or time frame of the day are you most productive, or what makes you get more productive in a given amount of time.
Most entrepreneurs I know claim that the best part for them to be productive is morning, and I truly believe this because that is the part of the day when we are mostly alert, refreshed, and oriented. If you put these hours into your hours where you can better perform out your initiatives like take initial actions, starting or planning out new projects, or setting up your schedule, the high chances are you can surely get your day right and healthy.
2. Use your Planner or Calendar
This may already be an old-ish tradition, but how it works stay the same all millennium long. Using a planner or calendar to guide you with monthly activities is like putting your one-month life into a box and looking at it from the outside.
By going from a further view rather than always looking at the hours, you will get the chance to pay attention to weekends and holidays, not to mention other days like occasions that your attendance is expected.
By allowing this to surface to your attention, you will get the chance to give time for yourself and allow some refreshing ideas like going to movies or picnics into your tight schedule.
3. Use Checks to your To-Do Lists
Having a to-do list is a very good way of letting yourself aware of what’s coming. Unlike simply setting schedules, this type of list gets you into the agenda directly without looking at the hours or the days per se.
Moreover, use the list is a way better than pinning notes to your bulletin board. Bulletin boards can get crowded and confusing and can even disturb your concentration, but lists don’t.
However, there’s one trick to using these lists: use checkmarks. Using checkmarks or any of its equivalents (such as slashing out items without totally erasing the finished tasks) has actually its own psychological effect, giving you a sense of affirmation and satisfaction on each and every checks or slashes.
For those already done, you may want to at least keep them in your lists for a while, so that you will be reminded that your list is not anymore new; some items have already been checked so you better keep checking.
Thankfully, with the help of technology, using these lists are a way lot easier than going for bookstores for a small note pad to write on. Smart devices like smartphones all come with built-in notepads and to-do lists.
Some other apps are also very helpful and can even come with extravagant features like the ability to sort and organize notes into folders or categories, and so on.
No need for the same old way of telling that you are the jack of all trades. You don’t need to mention that everything is under your control, and you don’t need to brag that you can do and have answers to everything.
Chances are, you end up doing so much but not any one of them is efficient and well-worked out.
The key is that, it’s not how many things you have done in a day; it’s about how you did them. If you think that some tasks which may overload you can be delegated to or can be answered by somebody else like to your secretary, then feel free.
Some tasks also require specific people like plumbing in need of plumbers. If you think there are some tasks that you are safe to delegate unto others, then you might want to do so.
In a lot of cases, what I am referring to is that, people might have always been looking for you, wanting for a short conversation, a consultation, a visit, or a meeting.
If the agenda can be arranged, or if the action can be done by somebody else, feel free to throw the bone.
5. Use Resources
A while ago, I delved into delegation as a way of outsourcing for your work. But more with resources, you might want to check what else can help you out ease the job.
First thing you must consider is technology, especially computers. Computers have a special way of automating tasks for you, that’s why they are designed. Learn what apps or software you need to have installed on your system and know what you must learn to ‘leave’ them doing the job for you.
Taking e-mails for example, there are some plug-ins or software that help you sort them out so you can only focus on what’s really important for you. E-mails from magazine subscriptions, social networks, and your online purchases are in no way worthy of your business errands.
Get the right equipment as well. Using your old copier can be very wise and thrifty, but wouldn’t it be wiser if it comes with a better copying speed, an automatic document feeder, a queuing and memory feature, and even wireless technologies to speed things up?
Other forms of resources may come in forms of transportation, communication, methods of payment, and design.
Check out what may be there on the market that you can use for your further productivity.
6. Clean Up. Organize.
No better way for keeping your attention and concentration clean and ready than making your desk and your bulletin board clear of clutter.
According to some studies, the way you arrange your desk, for example, can really affect how you concentrate on work. Having a lot of clutter demands a part of your brain to work for them, so if you keep them away, you keep your brain together.
Starting with your computer, you may want to separate a system solely for work purposes only, and another for photos, games, and other matters.
It is not necessary that you buy another computer in this case; just use profiles and even other apps like parental controls to help you control your activities. Blocking social networking sites from your firewall, for example, is a good way of keeping yourself focused on what you are supposed to do.
The same rule also works on your home interior or your bedroom, and even on your calendar. If you have objects or appointments that are temporary or contingent, be sure to make them really temporary, i.e., easily replaced or removed.
You might not want to use permanent markers on your whiteboard as well, as it will take a real time erasing them. Eliminate also files or documents that are safe to be destroyed.
In this way, accessing your files won’t be as messy as looking for them from a pile of garbage.
Put your folders and files in a special sorting way. Filter your files also according to importance. Receipts and other important files should be kept more secure than leaving them on your desk.
No matter how you arrange those objects of yours, the important thing is that, you know where to find them.
7. Limits and Assertions
As much as the skill of entrepreneurship is demanding of learning, so is being assertive and tactful. Learning how to properly put the word ‘No’ can be really helpful in keeping your schedule proper and going.
People time by time may come and ask you for your instructions, opinions, or advice, and they can come in forms of a phone call, an e-mail, a knock on your door, or a visit to your house.
How about putting a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door? How about you set visiting or consultation hours? And again, how about you ‘transfer’ them to someone who can also do the job, if not better? Or if you may think of, how about you set each conversation limited to 5 minutes?
By asserting, you must learn how to say ‘no’ without making the recipient feel unimportant. Make sure that your response will mean beneficial to them, and if not, at least you make them feel understood and welcomed.
In this way, opportunities will still come to you without the risk of losing respect and being guilty.
8. Extra Work
Most of all, the best way to get to your time right and ready is not to overwork. Overworking is the habit of a loser, and is a temptation to the competitive individual.
Overworking, such as leaving office late, or burning the night looking at a pile of papers, is not time management. Again, it’s not the quantity, but its quality that matters.
You may plan your next day the night before, but do not spend the whole night doing that! Work is unlimited, and don’t try to fit them all in one day and in one person who is you. If people see how good you handle your time without sacrificing a healthy time for yourself and your loved ones, they will surely be inspired and wanted to follow your steps.
Some tasks can also be done while you’re in a bus, for example, and these include reading other e-mails, making calls, and reading newspapers.
Only in taking advantage of your time will make your life as an entrepreneur truly exciting and worth doing without stressing yourself out. If time is something that you can learn to easily manage, I bet you won’t find trouble managing more difficult tasks to come.