Being an entrepreneur is tough. It requires a deep passion, long tiring hours, risks, and strive. 24 hours, that is all you have in one day. So make sure you are using every bit of it efficiently. To ensure that you are maximizing every bit of your valuable time utilize a combination of methods. The only way you are going to find out what works for you is to dive in and start testing it out.
Think about how much you could accomplish if you were using every bit of your waking hours.
Start by asking yourself a couple of questions
Are you working for the sake of working? What are your deliverables at the end of the day? Are you doing strategic planning or are you digging through the weeds? Did you accomplish what you wanted to so far this year? Are you coming up for air?
Next steps towards maximizing your time...
Write Things Down
By writing down your goals and milestones, you are statistically more likely to accomplish them. Yes, write them down with pen and paper, physically making a list and post it somewhere that you see everyday. Schedule in action items on a weekly basis to progressively accomplish these goals. Set deadlines.
Set reminders and notifications to re-evaluate your progress on these goal quarterly. Utilizing an Urgent Important Matrix is another simple and effective method to prioritization. It allows for a visual and definitive decisions when reevaluating goals and can help with making adjustments as needed to your list.
When you have completed a goal cross it out and add a new one!
Change Your Perspective
Take a look at your high-view goals both personally and professionally. We often work with our heads down, focused in our computer. Its imperative to come up for air and reassess our goals.
Stepping out of your normal environment can significantly put things into perspective. Spend the day at a co-working space. Bring your laptop to the beach or a park. Reach outside your comfort zone and see what new opportunities arise.
Take action. Try something new every week. Listen to a podcast you normally wouldn't listen to. Take a class that is outside your comfort zone. Go to a networking event.
Routine, Routine, Routine.
Stick to a routine by using a calendar or project management software. Set deadlines and project check-in reminders to make sure you are staying on point. Adhering to a calendar requires discipline and takes practice to form a habit. I promise though, as difficult as it may be to follow a strict time managed schedule, it will be worth it as you realize your goals are being achieved.
Use technology to your advantage. I have a habit of thinking of great ideas and forgetting them later in the day.
Your brain is the worst notebook and the worst place to store everything.
Use a recording device to record your notes and thoughts or carry around a pocket notepad to jot down your ideas. It will elevate time in trying to remember the great idea you had earlier in the day.
"Work-life balance" is a term that is used very frequently throughout the business world. Everyone seems to be striving to achieve this and entrepreneurs whom work long tiring hours are certainly no exception. Remembering the important things in life is essential to not losing site of why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. Schedule in time for the things that get you out of bed in the morning.
Stepping away from your phone and technology for periods of time will help to ground your mind and reset your focus. As an entrepreneur, if you burn out, it is likely your dream will too.
Make sure to read, relax and enjoy life.
Learn the Art of Delegation
A huge limitation to business owners is that there are only so many hours in the day. The more your grow as an entrepreneur and business owner, the more people are going to want things from you. The more people want from you the more time you are going to need. One of the most successful ways of overcoming this limitation is to learn the art of delegation. Learn to delegate tasks that are not $1,000/hr tasks and focus your time on the tasks that require your direct attention.
Developing a business from scratch involves long dedicated hours, strategic and quantitative reasoning, and an extreme passion and drive. Maximizing your time is of the utmost importance in order to push your business and career goals directly forward.