The best time management system for entrepreneurs is one that takes into account all of the unique challenges that a self employed person faces. If you’re an entrepreneur and you want to find out about better time management, this is the article for you. Some things to consider are how productive you really are at the office, what types of distractions waste the most time in your day, and how you can be more effective with the time that you have. With that in mind, let’s look at how a great time management system can improve your peak performance.
Creating a Comprehensive Time Management System
When designing your own time management system, there different factors that you should take into consideration. Not all of these will apply to every entrepreneur, but there are sure to be some time management strategies here that you can use to make more money, and enjoy a better lifestyle.
- Are you productive at the office? In a podcast interview with Tim Ferriss, the renowned entrepreneur Derek Sivers told Tim that he loathes spending time at the office, and at one point even considered moving to Hawaii without telling anyone at his company where he was going. Derek considered such a rash move (and even bought the airplane ticket) because he understood that he was unproductive at the office, and he was wasting time on small details that didn’t concern him.
In your own life, you should take the time to actually figure out whether working at the office is productive for you. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who works from home, and this doesn’t concern you. But most entrepreneurs work with other people, and one of the best tools for time management is figuring out a way to optimize an office routine. This can include delegating tasks, creating distraction free times when you’re not available, and bundling meetings together on the same days.
- What distractions take up most of your time? Creating an awesome time management system means finding ways to maximize the amount of time that you spend on your work. For entrepreneurs, being interrupted while at work is a common distraction. If you work at the office, these interruptions might be coworkers asking you questions. On the other hand, for entrepreneurs working at home, you might get distracted by your family, smartphone, or the temptation to turn on the TV for ten minutes to get the latest news.
You don’t necessarily have to do away with these distractions, but you should budget time for them. For example, if you’re aiming to work eight hours a day, you can create a time management schedule which actually gives you nine hours in a day to get eight hours of work done. By planning ahead for the inevitable interruptions, you’ll be one step ahead of other entrepreneurs.
- Are You Using Your Time Effectively? When creating a time management schedule, you should consider all of the actions that you can take to improve your productivity. For example, one of the best ways to start off your day is by not checking your smartphone. Put it into airplane mode the night before, and then set a time to check it at.
You’ll find out that by ignoring your telephone and email in the morning, you’ll actually set yourself up to be more productive throughout the day. While this might be especially difficult for you if you’re an entrepreneur and you feel the need to always be connected, you’ll quickly find out that most messages can wait until lunch.
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Time Management Tips That the Pros Use
After you’ve taken a broad look at your day, you probably have some ideas about how you can improve your productivity. These may include spending less time at the office, budgeting time for distractions, or ignoring your phone in the morning. While these are some general ideas to keep in mind, the following specific tips will help you to become more productive, while maximizing the time that you have to get work done.
- Set goals and measure your progress.
If you don’t have your goals clearly thought out and written down, you won’t have a good idea about where you’re going. It’s worth writing them down as well. In the classic book: How to Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states that if you don’t have your goals written down, you stand almost no chance of achieving them.
The best entrepreneurs start by stating what they want to accomplish in great detail. Then they break that down into goals for each year, quarter, month and week. This will ensure that you manage your time effectively, and spend less of it on frivolous activities that won’t help you in the long run.
- Create a daily to do list
The importance of this step cannot be overlooked when it comes to creating the best time management system. By taking the time to lay out your goals before the day begins, you’ll be far more likely to stay on track towards achieving your long term dream. Some people recommend writing down your goals the night before, while others prefer to do it in the morning. When you choose to do it isn’t as important as the fact that you do it consistently over time.
- Set goals and measure your progress.
- Block out distracting websites
Facebook and Twitter might be tempting, but they rarely result in you getting much work done. Even if you’re an entrepreneur who needs to interact with potential customers, or clients, via these platforms, you should set aside a certain time of the day to do it, while staying off of social media for the rest of the day.
- Take frequent breaks
It might not seem like better time management to frequently take a break, but it’s actually an effective way to increase your productivity. Every good time management system leaves some room for you to set aside the work and spend 5 or 10 minutes doing something you enjoy. You’ll find that after a break like this, you’ll return to work with an increased amount of motivation and focus.
- Don’t Try to Get Everything Done
If you have a Type A personality, or if you’re extremely dedicated to your work, you might get stressed when it feels like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it. The best way to combat this is to remember the 80/20 rule. At your work, 20% of what you do is going to result in 80% of the results. When you feel like you have too much work to get done, look at your list and ask: what can I do here that will make the rest obsolete?
Putting it Together
The best time management system for an entrepreneur is the one fits best into your lifestyle. All of the advice presented above is a great way to get started in creating your own time management schedule. However, you’ll find that some things work for you while others don’t. That’s fine, and it’s part of the process of refining your schedule and becoming the most efficient version of yourself possible.