There is a saying that time is money, and entrepreneurs know this better than perhaps anyone else out there. For entrepreneurs, the ability to make a living rests solely on their ability to use their time wisely, and that is why time management for entrepreneurs is like air and water for the rest of us. To get a head start on the competition and make the most of their hours, we have created some helpful ideas for entrepreneurs to put into place right now.
Why is time management important for entrepreneurs?
The average employee working an hourly job doesn’t care all that much about time management. They want to be productive enough to keep their job, but they don’t get paid extra for putting in extra work. Their hourly pay remains the same from hour to hour, which is why they may lack the motivation to do productive things.
Entrepreneurs see things differently. Entrepreneurs make their money by efficiently spending time and resources on things that have the biggest impact or effect. If they put their efforts into things that have the biggest impact, they increase their chance of success. Entrepreneurs always have limited time to accomplish everything they want on a given day due to a business schedule and many people who count on them. Therefore, time management for entrepreneurs is more critical than most others.
Some entrepreneurs don’t dare to mention that their time management skills are not perfect. They may not be managing their time as well as they should, and it can be a big drag on their success if they don’t get it together and figure out how to take care of business the way they know they need to. This is why we have created this list for them.
20 time management tips for entrepreneurs
Let’s dive right into the most useful time management tips for entrepreneurs!
1. Create A Priorities List Using The Eisenhower Matrix
Every task you do or need to do has importance and urgency. There will always be some tasks you would like to accomplish, but they are not necessarily the most critical elements of your success for that day. You can put those items at the bottom of your list for the day.
You need to focus on a list of items that will add to the bottom line and help promote your success. When you have those items on the list, you can focus your energies on the things you know will make a difference and start seeing results from that almost immediately.
The Eisenhower Matrix can help you visualize your to-do list in the most useful way. You will see a matrix of items ranging from the most important and time-sensitive to those that are less important and have longer time horizons. When you see it all laid out like this, it becomes easier to understand where everything needs to go to make your day as complete as possible.
2. Make Your Space Efficient For Work
Entrepreneurs have flexibility over where they choose to work from. Some will build a home office, and others will rent office space they use for their operations. There is no right or wrong answer as to which one to use.
However, the most successful entrepreneurs have always set aside a space to get work done because it allows them to narrow their focus on the mission. They should clear their space and ensure it is completely free from clutter. A clean space that doesn’t have too many distractions is a great place to get things done.
3. Delegate Work When Possible
Sometimes, people think of entrepreneurs as lone wolves who are out to hunt and make kill only for themselves. That is not necessarily true, though. Many entrepreneurs work with business partners, or they will at least delegate some of their tasks to third parties who can better handle what they need to do.
Even if this is only to get personal chores knocked out of the way, there is no question that delegation of work needs to be done to keep entrepreneurs as free as possible to take on other things they need to do. You cannot argue with the fact that taking a little work off of the plates of people who are working around the clock is always helpful.
4. Focus By Using A Pomodoro Timer
Successful entrepreneurs are sometimes known for having scattered thoughts about various things they are working on.
That is not necessarily a bad thing. It simply means they are trying to keep their focus on various projects simultaneously.
However, zeroing in on a specific project and making some forward progress on their goals. Using the Pomodoro technique of spending about 25 minutes of uninterrupted work on a given project before taking a short break and moving on to the next thing is a great way to get where you need to be with your productivity and progress on various projects.
It is simple but effective, and you should be using it now.
5. Watch What Your Competition Does
You might take some queues from local competition in the same markets that you operate in.
Have you noticed your competitors gaining an advantage over you because they are doing something differently than you do?
They may have a better strategy for managing their time. You might want to keep an eye on them and try to mimic what they are doing to show some of the same results for yourself. Perhaps it will work out to your advantage.
6. Have A Plan For Each Hour Of The Day
Lay out your plan for each hour of the day so you know what you need to do if you start to drift away from your objectives. Everyone is guilty of losing focus for some time, but you can get back to a point where you are on schedule once again when you have a plan for each hour of the day.
Have this written down, and keep it close to you at all times. You may need to reference it from time to time when you start to forget what you were meant to be working on.
7. Keep In Mind That Your Time Is Your Money
It has been said before, but it deserves to be said again, your time is your money. When you put yourself in the mindset of being a boss over your own time and earnings, you can start to think about how you earn that money more clearly. Remind yourself of these things when your mind starts to slip:
- You are in control of your destiny
- You have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur
- The quickest path to success is hard work
Those three thoughts should run through your mind all the time when you are trying to practice good time management. Always think about the rewards at the end of the tunnel.
8. Eat The Frog
Taking out the toughest task of the day right from the start is a great way to ensure you are lined up for a wonderful day ahead. When completing some of their most challenging tasks, people tend to drag their feet. They don’t want to take on the things they know will be a challenge, which is why they save them for later.
You should practice a time management method called eating the frog and take care of the most unpleasant tasks first.
You will be surprised by how much clearer your mind is once you have eaten the frog and moved on to the other tasks of the day. You can ease into the other things you know need to be done after that.
9. Block Out Times Of Your Day For Rest
The body and mind cannot keep on running forever without rest. You need to step back and let your body catch up with everything you have been working on.
If you can block out certain times of the day when you let yourself rest, you will feel better and be in a better position to get more done after the fact. Keep your rest periods consistent, and you will have the time to take care of life’s chores much more easily.
10. Take Away Digital Distractions
You know in your heart of hearts which distractions are the most difficult for you to deal with. Most of us think of our smartphones and social media. Perhaps that is your weakness as well. Here is a strategy that may be used to handle it:
You’ve blocked off this time, so make sure nothing interrupts it. Let your employees, family, and friends know not to call or come by the office unless it’s an emergency. Turn off your email, phone, and social media notifications. Lock your door if you need to, and post a sign on your door.
Do what you need to do to progress on your real work, and let the distractions take a back seat.
11. Get Over The Initial Hump
One of the hardest parts of getting things done is just getting started. Often, people discover that once they get started on something, they are much more capable of getting a lot of work done on that project. They may not even realize just how capable they truly are to take care of what they need to until it reaches a point where they are doing it. Push yourself hard in the beginning to get the energy necessary to get through the initial stages of a project.
12. Try To Find Projects You Enjoy Working On
Time will feel like it is moving much faster if you work on things you enjoy. You can potentially progress on work you enjoy because you won’t notice the hours melting away. You don’t want to spend all of your time just working on the fun stuff, but there is nothing wrong with mixing some of it in to get the kind of results that you are looking for.
13. Treat Yourself When You Make Progress
There is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself once in a while when you make major progress on some of your goals. A little reward is a great way to motivate yourself to keep doing what you have done. It would be best if you tried to make these rewards common enough that you have something to shoot for but not so common that they lose their meaning. Try to use them when you hit significant milestones.
14. Find Some Great Focus Music
Our brains are wired for certain sounds, and one of the sounds that we like is focus music. You may find that you can do more when you listen to music that works with your brain to help promote productivity and make it easier for you to concentrate on taking the steps you want to take in ordertoogress in your day. There are many great focus music apps that you can look at today.
15. Kanban Board
Think of your Kanban board as your way of getting things done and making the most of your hours. This board will help you visualize exactly what needs to be done and when. It is designed to put the most important and time-sensitive tasks in one corner, with the less important and less time-critical tasks in another. You can use a Kanban board to see where you need to attack first and what you can put off for another time. Those who use this method often report that they are pleasantly surprised by the results it yields for them.
16. Normal Working Hours
Set a schedule and stick to it. You are an entrepreneur, but you are not a machine. You should not be readily available to everyone all the time. If you hold certain hours and stick to them, you will be better prepared for the daily challenges. If you allow yourself to be turned into a productivity machine that never shuts off, you will burn out quickly, which isn’t good for anyone.
17. Get An Assistant
If you don’t already have an assistant, then you are missing out on the opportunity to get some of your work done via another person. It would be best if you had people like this in your life to take care of the tasks preventing you from getting your work done as designed. It would be best if you are looking for someone who is organized, flexible, and disciplined. There are plenty of people out there looking for exactly this type of work.
18. Put As Many Tasks As Possible On Auto-Pilot
People who can put some of their tasks on auto-pilot can make a lot of advances that they might not otherwise have made. This is to say that people who take the time to learn how to let certain things roll over to automation rather than try to handle everything on their own will perform better than those who try to do everyone by themselves. Technology has made it much easier to automate certain tasks, so take advantage of that.
19. Say No To Certain Projects
Reach deep inside yourself and say no to certain projects you are asked to do. It might not be easy for you, and you might feel uncomfortable, but you can come out on top if you learn to say no to certain projects handed over to you. You cannot let your workday get overwhelmed by too many tasks colliding with one another.
20. Don’t Make Your Job Your Entire Identity
Make some time for yourself. We live in a culture that says that we should take on the identity of our job and only identify by that work, but that is just not true. You have much more to offer the world than your job title, and you should remember that when you start feeling burnt out. You can do much more than work, and the people who love you the most in your life will appreciate it if you are more present with them when you are home.