People in all kinds of jobs are feeling the pressure of time constraints. New technology
and new ways of work make it easier to get more done, but we manage to fill any found time with new projects and business ideas. Entrepreneurs generally like to be busy; it is in their nature to try new things, maximize the use of their time on building valuable businesses, and strive to have more-and-more customers to serve.
The following three tips will help to maximize the use of valuable working time, and help to set priorities.
1: Get up and get started. Many entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have recently moved from a more traditional job into self-employment, might benefit from getting out of the house early each morning. Setting a destination and a schedule that might include dropping kids off at school, a quick walk to a coffee shop, or an early morning visit to the gym can help to mark the beginning of a day. Promptly then returning to a home office will allow the work day to officially start, curbing procrastination and other issues caused by moving too casually from bed to work.
2: Take inventory and allocate time. While working as an entrepreneur, each day can bring new challenges or opportunities that can be hard to manipulate into a predictable schedule, but many broad categories of work should be defined and have time allocated to them. Begin by listing broad categories that may include:
- new ideas
- business improvement projects
Decide how much time each category needs to allow you to do at least the minimum required to be successful. Decide how many times in a week, month, or even year you have to dedicate time to these tasks. It may be helpful to place appointments on a calendar for each of the categories. Even if they move to make space for other work, you will be more aware of the impact of the change than if you just add them to the bottom of an ever growing task list.
3: Stretch, but don’t over commit. Consider how many working hours actually exist in the year. 52 weeks minus 3 if you deserve a vacation, minus 2 for statutory holidays (let’s pretend that entrepreneurs take them). With this conservative calculation there are around 1800 hours to be scheduled. Think about your responsibilities to both your business and customers and how they fit into the calculation, then use what is left to prioritize special projects or new initiatives. The inventory from tip number two above could be a good place to start. If after subtracting all of those things from your available time, you estimate that 400 hours remain, you can think about the new and innovative things you want to do in those hours.
Entrepreneurs like to be busy, in many cases they are successful because they are willing to work hard. Working long hours comes naturally when the extra effort aligns with better performance. But, no one wants to burn out. Effectively managing your time by making the most of each day, allocating specific time for the things that matter and taking on a reasonable number of new initiatives based on how much time is available will help to ensure a balanced life and successful work.