Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time Management Techniques for Entrepreneurs

We have previously discussed the importance of the 80/20 rule in terms of time management. However,  there is a difference between the ideas of time management when you work a standard 9-5 job, as opposed to when you’re working on your own time as an entrepreneur.

When you are a business owner, you don't get paid by trading your time for money by getting paid a flat rate no matter what you do. Therefore, each second now matters and is directly linked to your own potential income. When you work for yourself, time literally is money, and you want to make sure you’re spending it in the best possible way.

So how do you stay focused? Here are some techniques to keep yourself on-task, when there’s essentially no one around to keep you accountable.

1. Take some time to ease yourself into the day. Don’t get out of bed and sit down at the computer straight away. You’ll find it more difficult to stay on task if you jump right in. (READ “Seven Minutes in Heaven” for ways to relax when your time is limited.)

2. Take breaks during the day. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, and without a set “lunch hour” or break, you’ll feel guilty stepping away. But remember that keeping yourself refreshed and motivated makes your working time more productive, so don’t be afraid to take a (reasonable) meal or relaxation break. You’ve earned it!

3. Make lists. A great list to have is ABC. A: As soon as possible; B: Before end of day: C: can wait. Once it’s on the paper, stick do it and you will get to it when you are done working.

4. Stay organized. A messy work area is a great excuse not to get work done. At the end of your “work day” or right before you take a break, tidy up so that when you sit down and start to work, your area is always clear.

5. Work in an area where you feel relaxed, creative, and charged with entrepreneurial spirit! This could be your laptop on your porch with a mug of herbal tea, or in an office you’ve painted and decorated to feel like a beach cottage. It could be at a cafe or in the library, or at the kitchen table. Wherever you feel your most creative and energized is where you should set up shop.

6. Set goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Make sure that there is always a task or project to be working toward completing, even abstract things, so you are always using your time purposefully.

7. Set time limits. Example: If your goal is “write a blog post to promote my business,” you should set a reasonable time limit for that goal, like “one hour.” This helps you avoid wasting time pretending to work. If it’s not done, move on, and come back to it later.

Most important of all, ENJOY YOURSELF! Remember: You are your own boss! You’re working for YOU now! This is what you wanted, and you’ve achieved it. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to work for yourself. Chances are, it was to make more time and money for your family or other priorities, so make sure that you are doing just that!

Do you have any additional time management tips to add to this list?


Pia said...

hi kitty. i'm actually doing these already. i love making a list so i won't forget anything i should be doing on that day.

Kitty said...

That's great Pia. I love doing these as they help me organise my day productively too.

Arshini Preetish said...

It is extremely important that have an organized way to know what needs to be done, when to complete and finding time to do it.

Using time management software is the best technique to manage our time and tasks wisely. Personally, i have been using time recording software ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx
) to manage my regular tasks. It is a great tool to save time as we can do things almost instantaneously and track our performance using it.

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