Entrepreneurship is more about practice than talents or business acumen. As entrepreneurs, people typically go into business because they have a passion, not necessarily graduating with a business degree. Therefore, you will need to learn from your experiences and mistakes. In growing your business, you also need to learn various skills and keep refining them. This growth mindset becomes far more important when you start a small business. Of course, you do not want your small business to continue at a micro-level forever. You want it to grow in leaps and bounds to be par with the top multinational corporations.
Talking about the skills that all entrepreneurs need to master, time manage-ment takes the top shelf. Time is the best equivalent of money if we talk about entrepreneurship. Besides, for small business owners with large ambitions, time management becomes even more essential. Losing out on a considerable amount of time can mean a loss of opportunity for a small business. So, you know how vital time management is to give wings to your dreams.
This blog post elucidates a few of the most effective and significant time management tips for small business owners. If you incorporate these practices into your day-to-day routine, you can take your startup to new heights.
Let us now look at these tips that can make a massive difference in business and boost your accomplishments.
Five Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs
1. Identify what wastes your time.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you can either waste your time and lose opportunities or utilize time to steer your growth. Without a doubt, you will choose the latter. But when you desire to improve your time management skills, you first need to know what is devouring your time unnecessarily. So, you must identify the activities that waste your time. The identification of the problem is always the first step to resolving the issue. Sit down, take a small break, and introspect to realize your time wasters. Once you do that, form firm strategies to eliminate these time sinks from your professional and personal life.
For instance, you may be losing a lot of time in commuting for different meetings in a day or week. As much as these meetings are significant, you might be able to manage them through video conferencing. Hence, wherever possible, use telecommuting for your meetings, saving enormous traveling time. If technology offers smart work, why not make the most of it?
2. Wake up early, start early.
You may be amused to know that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., wakes up at 3:45 a.m. daily. Not only is this extraordinarily early, but he spends his first few hours working on emails. Emails can be a significant time sink, and you should save yourself from the trap of losing time to emails.
Do you ever wonder how some people seem to have extra time on their hands even though everyone has the same twenty-four hours? Now you know.
Growing research suggests that successful people begin their day early. Most of the top business leaders start their day as early as 5 or 6 a.m. (not quite as early as Cook). With this habit, they capitalize on the quiet time of the day with no interruptions and increase their productive time. This schedule also helps them maintain an excellent work-life balance. Some studies have found that early risers are more productive than people who work late into the night due to laying prone all night. Morning productivity is heightened by larger brains—really! You can plan your most crucial activities for the morning when you are fresh and productivity is at its best.
So if you begin your day like Tim Cook does and many successful people do, you can stay ahead of time. Imagine the power you might feel staying on top of your business and managing time.
3. Put the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ to use.
This technique is a gem when it comes to time management. This methodology is useful for employees as well as employers or in any other sphere of life. Francesco Cirillo devised this method of time management in the second half of the 1980s. According to this strategy, you set a timer for twenty-five minutes and invest your complete focus to a task. Then, you take a break for five minutes to relax and reset the timer for twenty-five minutes and begin again. Each interval is known as a pomodoro and the breaks refresh the brain. So, if you face problems in structuring your time, this is the way out for you. It is a great way to organize your time well and manage your tasks. Worth a try, at least, isn’t it?
Deep Dive: "The Hidden Benefits of the Pomodoro Technique."
4. Work smart and not just hard.
It is time to automate most of your tasks and duties to manage your time well. Technology has come a long way, and it is making life easier for businesses and business owners. The world of artificial intelligence has taken long strides to create a fascinating digital era, increasing automation and convenience. You can do so many operations with only your laptop or smartphone and hence save a lot of time. So, the most prudent thing is to use the countless and efficient applications, software, and tools available for businesses. The time savings can be used for self-care, which is so essential for entrepreneurs. So utilize technology to do as many tasks as possible, allowing you to exercise or take an extended lunch break.
Let technological innovations manage many of your tasks to increase your productivity while protecting your time and focus on critical work that only you can do. The use of time-tracking software, calendar applications, planning, and organizing tools are only a few examples of how you can depend on technology. You can even use a desktop app to inspire you. There are endless automation options to meet your requirements. So, work smart and save on time while staying thankful to the generous world of technology.
Deep dive: "5 Time-Saving Technologies Your Company Needs to Use."
5. Hire quality interns.
Taking advantage of an intern program can be an excellent idea for small entrepreneurs to add more value to your organization with a minimum payroll commitment. Not only do you give an intern experience, but their help can also save you time. You can initiate a thoughtful internship program to offer interning opportunities by defining what areas can be delegated. Once you have quality interns, don’t be afraid to delegate. Sometimes business owners hang on too tight; wise delegation is a key to expanding your business. You can assign the less critical functions to interns. Or activities that consume a lot of time but require little knowledge of your business, such as time-intensive things like scheduling. When you divide the work with interns, your workload lessens and it often promotes better organization. Delegating duties is essential for your management of time as well.
To cite an example, rather than spending time planning your meetings, you can assign this work to a trusted intern. One of your interns can plan your schedule and keep you informed. In the meantime, you can do other imperative work. Another use of the saved time is meeting potential clients or possible affiliates for lunch. Developing relationships is a vital foundation for every business. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of delegating tasks. And inspired interns can lead to a culture of teamwork and high employee engagement.
To wrap up, time is as precious as profits and revenues. For your startup to rise through the ranks, it is essential that you learn some smart time-management tactics. Entrepreneurship is not only about doing things right but also about doing the right things at the right time. The above strategies will help. Planning and organizing your work well can have a tremendous impact on your success.
Undoubtedly, you don’t want anything to get in the way of your business success, not even you. So, maybe it’s time that you change a few things in your routines. After all, the “lack of time” excuse is only for those who do not know the art of time management. Remember, there’s always room for improvement. Forward movement is the best practice.
Related reading; "Why Time Management for Moms Is a Myth"
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