3 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Help Manage Their Time
Starting a business is an incredibly ambitious and trying endeavor. Unfortunately, after you’ve got your company off the group, the really hard work starts! Entrepreneurs have a special kind of take-charge wiring. That’s their greatest strength, but it can also be their worst enemy, especially when it comes to time management. They work well under pressure and can handle juggling lots of projects at the same time. That said, there are only so many hours in the day, and burning the candle at both ends will shorten the life of the business and the business-owner. Here are three essential tips to manage your time as an entrepreneur.
Don’t Try to be a One-Person Team
As a small business owner, you probably take pride in being able to handle things yourself. That’s great but doing everything by yourself isn’t possible from a time management or sanity standpoint. It’s understandable that you might not be able to afford staff in the early days, but anything you can outsource on a limited basis (groundskeeping, accounting etc.) should at least be considered. Also, if it makes sense financially, having a business partner means you’ll always have another set of eyes and pair of hands with skin in the game.
As the owner of a new business, you should also seek guidance from mentors-people you respect from your work with them in the past and ask them to help brainstorm and problem-solve with you. Most of them will recognize that they have been where you are now and will be happy to meet for coffee to help you strategize, if you respect their time.
Discern Between “Urgent” and “Important” Tasks
Let’s move to another common time management issue: prioritizing things as they come in. “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority” is a business cliché for a reason: it’s true. You can’t assign equal weight to everything that comes across your desk. What you should do instead is determine whether each item is “urgent” (meaning you need to handle it immediately or almost immediately), or simple “important” (meaning you need to get to it, but it can wait until more immediate tasks are completed.
Limit Digital Distractions
Finally, recognize that digital distractions are time management’s greatest enemy. Even if you are reading business journals or blogs, the social media rabbit hole can waste hours of your day. Structure breaks with timers to check your smartphone. Treat it as a reward, rather than a constant stream.
Successful entrepreneurs recognize their limits. Use these tips to manage your day.