Time Management Keys to Running a Business
Every entrepreneur needs to understand how to effectively manage their time, especially when it comes to delivering projects under deadlines.
Schedule your tasks: With the incredibly busy lifestyles that have proliferated in the modern world, the good old fashioned “to-do list” needs an update; we need to include an estimate of how long each task should take so that we don’t schedule too much for one day. How frequently do we have a long list of tasks to complete, but spend our whole day on the first few items on the list, while pushing the remaining items onto tomorrow’s already-full list?
Limit yourself to the specified time: As tempting as it is to take more time than we’ve allotted for each task, this bad habit can really cut into the day. It also lessens our motivation to work quickly to get the job done, because we know that we will always be willing to give ourselves more time to do it later. Instead, stick to the block of time that you’ve scheduled, and if it’s impossible to get everything done in that time period, then you should schedule another time to work on it later. This has the side benefit of giving you the opportunity to approach the task with renewed vigor, as continuous effort will diminish your energy and quality of work.
Avoid distractions: It is evidence of a world gone mad that we can no longer sit still by ourselves for an hour and complete a few tasks without being interrupted by one thing or another. Cut yourself off from the world. That means no telephone, no internet, and roll out the “Not Welcome” mat in front of your door. In addition, when meeting with others professionally, avoid going off on tangents, as they will turn your business meetings into social gatherings and make it less likely that you will get anything done.
Follow the 80/20 Principle: Not everything on your to-do list will have a measurable impact on your productivity, so don’t try to do everything. Instead, focus on doing the things that will move your projects forward at great pace and eliminate or delegate the tedious busywork that does little for you. We have the perception that if we don’t get everything done on time the world will collapse around us, but in reality most of the results we achieve in life come from a small percentage of the things we do, while the majority of work we do has little impact on anything at all except to drain us of our energy and rob us of our free time.
Don’t ignore your personal life: You’re not working just for the sake of working; you’re doing it to support your personal life. Never forget that the relationships you have with your family and friends will benefit you more over the long run than working from sunup to sundown to finish a project. By ignoring your personal life, you will sap yourself of passion for your work and lower your productivity.
By managing your time wisely, you will be able to get things done without feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day.