If you’re new to the world of being an entrepreneur, then you likely don’t know how to manage your time like one. There’s a certain science to time management in general, but when you’re an entrepreneur you’ll need an airtight budget on your time. You’re a business owner, and employee and customer service rep all in one – you don’t just have one job, you really have all the jobs.
This means your time is no longer yours unless you work hard to make it yours. Unless you have a tight control on your time limits and management, you’ll find yourself drowning. The charm of being your own boss is supposed to be you write the schedule and you can take as many days or evenings off as you want, but the reality is that without having a mature discipline, you can easily find yourself swamped.
Time management is about give and take and sacrifice. While you may want to sleep in, it’s better to handle your invoices in the morning and spend time for yourself at night. This kind of compromise is what your new schedule will run on, and these three time management tips may be what separate you from a full schedule and a week-long vacation.
Start Analyzing Your Current Time Management
Before you commit to any new, improved schedule, first thing is first – you have to understand where your time is going now and what you’re capable of. Spend one day next week working at full capacity. In a sense, run yourself ragged. This will show you what your maximum capacity is. Now spend the rest of your week as usual. This can be a slow pace or one that’s realistic; whatever you would naturally do.
At the end of this week, step back and compare your starter day to the other days in between. Your time management schedule should be somewhere in the middle. You need to do enough in a day to be productive and you need to be trying hard at it in order to make the most of your day.
Plan Your Downtime
Real people have office hours, and you should too. It’s okay to check your work phone while you’re away from your desk, but don’t schedule yourself for anything when you know you’ll probably have to be ripped away from something else. You have a life, you have to eat and you have to sleep. If you know you won’t be awake before 7 AM, don’t schedule a conference call for 6:30.
This also keeps you grounded. You shouldn’t sacrifice your life for work. You’re working so you can live your life – remember that.
Learn to Put Things Off
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But one important concept of time management is focus. Don’t answer every email that comes in just because your phone tells you it’s there. Don’t pick up the phone when you’re working on something else. There is a time to give everyone your undivided attention, and it’s not while you’re in the middle of giving it to another task.