Time management is a crucial skill in essentially every job, and it’s even more important for entrepreneurs and small business owners. As the leader of your business, you’re likely responsible for a wide range of tasks that are critical to your company’s success, from getting a small business loan to managing inventory. Strong time management skills enable you to get more out of each workday and allocate your resources more efficiently. These are some of the most effective time management tips for entrepreneurs.
Take Advantage of Digital Solutions
Every entrepreneur occasionally has to work long hours, but working harder doesn’t always lead to better results. There are a number of free and affordable online training software options to help entrepreneurs spend less time on tedious tasks and more on things that truly matter to their businesses.
These powerful time management apps, for example, make it easier than ever to notice inefficiencies in the way you spend your time. Similarly, marketing analytics solutions enable you to closely monitor performance and make more informed decisions for your business.
Make a Schedule
Entrepreneurs often have a wide range of things to do on a single workday, and this can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t have a way to keep track of your responsibilities and prioritize the most important tasks.
Whether you use a physical planner or an app like iCal or Google Calendar, you’ll find it much easier to manage your schedule when you have it written down. Many digital options integrate with other applications. Google Calendar, for example, automatically imports events from Gmail and adds them to your schedule.
Give Yourself Time to Focus on Work
It’s easy to get some things done while multitasking, but other responsibilities demand your full attention. You should give yourself some distraction-free time where you give the most important tasks your focus.
Without dedicated time for specific tasks, you’ll probably end up switching between responsibilities and not making enough progress on any individual thing. It’s often tempting to try to get everything done at once, but you’ll be more effective if you work on major tasks separately.
Finish the Most Important Tasks First
People commonly work on the simplest or shortest jobs first before moving on to more time-consuming and difficult responsibilities, but this strategy will only make it harder to accomplish the things that really matter. Instead, you should consider completing tasks in descending order of importance.
The easiest way to do this is to categorize jobs based on their relevance and whether they can be delegated. Important tasks that you have to do yourself should always be your top priority. From there, you can move on to other duties depending on your schedule. Don’t be afraid to delegate if you don’t have time to finish everything yourself.
It’s easy to assume that working more will help you get more done, but pushing too hard often has the exact opposite effect. In fact, regular breaks are associated with significantly better performance, and you start becoming less productive after a few hours of working on the same thing.
With that in mind, you should step away from work at least every hour to keep your mind fresh. In addition to these short breaks, try to get a longer rest once or twice per day. Ten minutes sometimes isn’t enough to cool down, especially if you’re working on high-impact projects.
If you work 10 AM – 6 PM, for example, consider eating lunch at 12:30 PM and taking another break around 3:30 PM or 4. Splitting your day into two or three sessions will also help you schedule specific tasks for those times rather than working aimlessly throughout the day. You should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish between breaks.
Get Started as Soon as Possible
Getting started is the hardest part of any task, especially when you have a lot on your plate. Things usually get easier once you begin moving in the right direction and gathering momentum.
When you have an especially tough workload, try to put some time toward each task as quickly as you can, even if it’s just five or ten minutes. It might not seem like much at the time. However, it’s a lot better than putting things off until the last minute.
Similarly, simply making a few changes in your time management habits will go a long way. You won’t be able to perfect your approach to time management overnight. At least you now have a place to start.
If you’re not currently keeping a schedule, for example, download a time management app right now rather than waiting. The simplest way to improve the way you spend your time is to stop procrastinating.
Time management might not be on your mind on busy days. However, it’s one of the most important skills for entrepreneurs to master. We’re hoping these tips will help you start using your time more efficiently. So you can get more done by the end of each day.