Entrepreneurship is a state of mind that entails many personal and professional traits. Being able to launch, execute, grow and scale a business is an intellectual exercise involving a lot of research, networking, planning, business strategy, marketing, sales, and a number of related activity.
Time is gold. We only get 24 hours a day, thus, maximizing every second is formidable, especially as Entrepreneurs. But, how can you be effective with time management if there are so many things that require your attention?
Clearly, there is no scope of having more time in a day. The best you can do is work on your attitude and actions in managing it.
Below is a list of easy, effective time management tactics for entrepreneurs:
- Give Your Day A Positive Start:
Give your day a positive and peaceful start — no messages, no cell phones, and no emails. Give yourself 15 minutes before you step into the usual panic. Spend these few minutes planning the day, the upcoming hours, putting things in place, organizing the material you need, and so on. Also, consider ending your day on a positive note as well. Take 15 minutes at the end of your day to wrap things up and getting stuff ready for tomorrow.
2. Use The Ivy Lee Method — The 101-Year Old Productivity Hack:
First things first, here are the highlights of the Ivy Lee method:
- At the end of the day, note down six things you need to accomplish tomorrow.
- Prioritize the six items in order of their importance.
- On the next day, focus only on the first task and finish it before moving on to the second one.
- Repeat this every day to achieve higher productivity.
The method is quite simple, right? Well, that’s why it works. It utilizes many key concepts to help businesses increase their productivity and make better use of their time.
3. Attention Management:
We have said earlier that in time management, the key thing is not about getting more and more time. It’s mostly regarding how you change your attitude to manage your time. In managing your time, attention and focus are very crucial. This is because even if you allocate a portion of your time for a specific task but actually spend it switching from one task or another (multi-tasking), it will be more likely that you will end up with a mediocre result.
4. The Prioritization and Delegation Matrix:
Anything that disrupts your work schedule is a distraction. This is why prioritization and delegation is important. Prioritization is learning when to say “no” to the things that don’t really need your attention. While delegation is transferring those non-priority things to the more appropriate individuals.
If you can, getting a personal assistant is the best way to delegate your scheduling, other administrative tasks and routines that eat up most of your time which prevent you from focusing on the most important aspects of your business.
You can categorize your work into the following to assist you in knowing which one to prioritize and which one to delegate:
Must Do: tasks that require your full attention and have serious repercussions when not completed immediately.
Should Do: tasks that only require your monitoring so you can delegate. These tasks have serious repercussions when not completed immediately.
Would Do – tasks that require your full attention and have moderate to no repercussions when not completed immediately. Usually, they can be done at a later time.
Could Do – tasks that you don’t have to do so you can delegate. These tasks have moderate to no repercussions when not completed immediately.
5. Allocate Unstructured Time
Unstructured time is exactly what it looks like, it is a time allocated for nothing. By “nothing”, it’s anything aside from a work agenda or a personal meeting. Unstructured time is your “me time”. You’ll probably be thinking: “I’m already busy, why do I have to allocate a time for nothing”?
However, your unstructured or “slack” time is an important aspect of effective time management. Why? The more time you put into your schedule, the busier you get. And the busier you get, the more you push yourself into physical and mental exhaustion, and ultimately, burnout or even sickness.
As an entrepreneur, your health is your wealth. Your unstructured time can be used for a one to two hours nap time. It can be weekly or every other day. The point is it’s the time when your brain is free to wander which allows you to be more imaginative, refreshed, and stressed-free. Thus, having more energy, attention, and focus on work.
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