How to manage Time as an Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, your time is precious. You have eight hours a day and five days a week (plus some extra) to take care of all your myriad responsibilities and turn your business into a success. Incorporating really good time management tips into your daily routine will help you get more done.
Time management can be difficult to master, but if you’re dedicated to the cause and willing to adjust your habits, any entrepreneur can get better at managing their time.
The best time management tips for entrepreneurs
These are some of the best time management tips for entrepreneurs:
Start tracking your time.
Create a time audit.
Use online calendars and to-do lists.
Batch similar tasks together.
Delegate more frequently.
Don’t abandon tasks.
Stop wasting time waiting.
Know when multitasking can work.
Follow the 80-20 rule.
Learn to say no.
Limit your media consumption.
Set a strict time limit for each task.
Build buffer time into your schedule.
Dedicate your mornings to your most important tasks.
Schedule breaks and vacations.
Build habits around recurring tasks.
Set goals for improvement.
Let’s explore each of these time management tips in greater detail so that you can start managing your time better right away.
1. Start tracking your time
Our first time management tip is to start tracking your time. Toggl and Time Doctor are two of the top dedicated time trackers, but most modern productivity apps and project management apps have time trackers built-in as well.
Tracking your time serves a few different purposes.
First, it forces a level of mindfulness into your work. You can start and stop the timer whenever you change tasks, bringing your attention to your habits.
Second, you can use it as an analytics tool. In other words, which tasks seem to be occupying a disproportionate amount of your time? Why are they taking so long?
Use this in combination with these other strategies to determine how well they’re working.
2. Create a time audit
After using a time tracking app for a week or two, take a detailed look at how you’re spending your time.
Consider this your time audit. Take note of any major gaps in your schedule that seem to be missing; these are likely being wasted by distractions or unproductive work.
Also, note any tasks that seem to take longer than you thought. Flag these so you can find more efficient ways to handle them in the future.
3. Get organized
Everything becomes easier (and faster to accomplish) when it’s organized.
For example, if your emails are all organized into folders and subfolders, you’ll find it much easier to find whatever specific message you’re looking for, ultimately saving you minutes of time.
These small efficiency boosts might not seem like much individually, but added together, a better-organized work environment and work approach can save you hours of time every week.
4. Use online calendars and to-do lists
There are dozens of productivity apps that claim to help you save time and work more efficiently, but the best app available is probably still a basic online calendar, especially when you use it in conjunction with a to-do list.
Most modern online calendars are hosted in the cloud, so you can access them from any device. Use these to keep track of all your meetings and obligations, and to organize your most important to-do items.
The trick here is to use your calendar consistently; only if you rely on it for all your scheduled items will you find it useful for organizing and managing your time.
5. Batch similar tasks together
Most entrepreneurs find themselves overwhelmed by a diversity of tasks in different areas; they’re forced to tackle HR, accounting, high-level business strategy, and customer service tasks all in the same day.
You’ll find it easier and more efficient to batch your tasks in different categories, rather than hopping from one type of assignment to the next.
That’s because it takes time for us to get into a flow state, and if you shift between different categories of tasks, you could disrupt that flow.
Plus, batching similar tasks gives you a sense of continuity.
6. Delegate more frequently
One of the greatest tools in your arsenal as an entrepreneur is delegation — the power to transfer some of your tasks to someone else.
Many new entrepreneurs are reluctant to delegate since they want to remain in control, but this is ultimately counterproductive.
Your time is best spent on the tasks that require your unique abilities. For many business owners, this includes high-level strategy, client relation