There’s only 24 hours in a day, no matter how much we sometimes wish there’d be more. Time management can be a struggle for anyone, but entrepreneurs have a special challenge because of the additional demands on their time and the direct correlation between productivity and income. While there’s no way to make the days longer, using some tried and true time management tips can help you manage your entrepreneurial efforts and drive success without giving up personal time or time with loved ones.
Many meetings are not strictly necessary. The information could be conveyed via email or phone all much more efficiently. In addition, many entrepreneurs travel to others for these meetings adding more lost time. If someone schedules a meeting with you that feels unnecessary, don’t hesitate to cancel and request they provide the information another way. This could save you hours every week.
We all have those people in our lives who take up more of than their fair share of our time. Not only is it keeping you from being productive, it’s also impacting their own time management. Have a conversation with them about time management and productivity. You’ll cut down on the amount of time you lose to them and you just might help them improve their own time management skills in the process.
Emails are one of the most common time thieves and sources of stress for people. Make it easier on yourself using email management techniques such as inbox zero. In addition, tell everyone that if you’re CC’d on an email, you won’t make reading or responding to it a priority. Also, request people start emails that do not require a response with “no response needed” or similar language. Help yourself, and keep your team’s stress lower, by avoiding using email as a micro-management tool. It’s not necessary to be involved in every conversation.
Get Next Steps
Whether you have a meeting, phone call, or email exchange with a person, make sure you walk away from the interaction with a clear understanding of what comes next with due dates. This saves on follow ups later.
Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time available. Given that, set shorter deadlines. You may miss a few now and then, but you won’t waste your valuable time.
Make a “Not to Do” List
Think about the stuff you spend a ton of time doing that doesn’t yield any benefit. Put those on a list and don’t do them anymore.
When you value your time, you also have a clear picture of what makes sense for you to do vs. delegating to someone else. If you can find someone to do the task (or several tasks) for less than the value of your time – delegate! Or, automate it. Many tasks can be done more efficiently using the many automation tools on the market today.
According to the Pareto Principle, we spend 80% of our time on things that yield about 20% of the results. Flip this by prioritizing your tasks and working through them accordingly.
Try implementing these time management tips to boost your productivity and increase your success. Don’t forget, for more great tips like this, sign up for my newsletter!