Time management is one of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur.
Your dream has always been to be your own boss. To do business the way you knew it should be done. To offer a great service or product. To stand behind your promise. To make a difference.
Time management is one of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur. You may have no resources other than yourself and your idea, so it seems logical that you have to keep working harder and harder. You’re excited about your future, yet you’re already exhausted.
So how do you get it all done? How can you be sure you are making progress? Take a step back. Get a cup of coffee and answer the following questions.
1. Do I have a master plan?
This is a crucial question. Where do you want to be in one year, three years, five years? Write it all down, then chunk it down. Start by making a list your goals for each year. Be specific: How will you get business? Pay for things? Then break these goals down by month, then by week. Now you have a concrete way to make progress. Each day, look at the week’s list and get busy on the tasks.
2. How will I spend today?
You know what needs to be done today, and how it will move you forward. Assign times to each task, to keep you on track. Spending four hours on a short blog post because you got sidetracked clicking on interesting links is not useful. Give the blog post an hour and hunker down. Assign times for lunch, exercise, and interruptions. Just know how your day is budgeted.
3. Does this task pertain to my goal?
As you consider your time, it’s important to use it wisely. I suggest that at least half your time be spent engaged in activities that produce most of your results.”
4. Am I avoiding distractions?
Stay off social media while you work. Tell your family that your home office is out of bounds. Don’t check email every hour. Only take business calls during your scheduled work time. The easiest way to lose control of your day is to let time get nibbled away by distractions. When you discipline yourself, you’ll have better focus.
5. Is this the best use of my time?
As the company owner and leader, you want to have oversight of everything. In the beginning, it’s how you measure your progress. But your time is precious, so ask yourself if your activity is in the interest of success.
Do you need to be putting stamps on mailings? Writing every blog post? Making a spreadsheet of contacts? As soon as you can determine what to delegate, you give yourself the gift of time. Time that can be spent growing your business.
The hard work will never go away. And because you love your business, that’s good news. When you learn to manage your time and be more productive, you can do what you do best: Be successful!
Originally posted on Inc.com
Rhett Power is Best-Selling Author, Executive Coach, Columnist at Forbes, Inc. & Success. Rhett Power co-founded Wild Creations in 2007 and quickly built the startup toy company into the 2010 Fastest Growing Business in South Carolina. Wild Creations was named a Blue Ribbon Top 75 US Company by the US Chamber of Commerce and named as one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing US Companies two years in a row. He and his team have won over 40 national awards for their innovative toys. He served in the US Peace Corps and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He now has a rapidly growing coaching and consulting practice based in Washington DC.