We are all familiar with the expression “Time is money” but as entrepreneurs this expression holds near and dear to our hearts and bank accounts. If we don’t make time to market and improve our products or services, we won’t make any money. With so many things demanding our time and attention, how can we better manage our time? Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day but why are some entrepreneurs more effective and productive with their time than others? Here are my 4 top entrepreneur time management tips to help us accomplish more and keep our sanity while stretching a dollar to save and make thousands:
- Lists. Before we end each workday, we need to create a to-do list with our tasks for the following day. Many of us try to keep track of tasks in our heads but with so much information overload in our lives, we can’t possibly remember everything. By taking 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to create this list, we are transferring our tasks from our heads to a list that we can refer to often. You can write your list down on paper, use Microsoft Outlook’s To Do List feature or Google Calendar’s task list, use To Do List iPhone Apps or smartphones, or whatever tool you like. The tool isn’t as important as the execution and the consistency of its use. Incorporate your to do list into your workday to improve your time management skills so that you can be more productive. As the old saying goes “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”.
- Prioritize. Now that we have a To Do List, we need to prioritize it. Everything on the list cannot have the same priority. If it does, nothing gets done. Develop a labeling system for prioritizing your tasks into three categories: must do, have to do, and can wait to do . It doesn’t matter if you use single letters (i.e. A, B, C) or numbers (i.e. 1,2,3) to prioritize your tasks as long as you understand the importance of your tasks. Without prioritization, you will run around all day like a dog chasing its tail.
- Organize. It makes no sense to create a to-do list and prioritize it if we are not going to get organized. Being disorganized not only costs you valuable time but also money because you are wasting valuable time that could be used to make money. Organize your work environment so that everything that you need is within immediate reach.
- Schedule time. Now that you have decided on a system to track your to-do list and organized, schedule time to work on those tasks. You have a schedule to follow so it should be easier to organize your day so that you can be proactive instead of reactive. Just don’t overbook.
These are just a few time management tips to get you started! Reclaim your time today!