As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel like there’s never enough time to tackle all of your to-dos. (As soon as you get one done, another pops up, needing attention right away.) For this reason, developing great time management skills is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your biz. Not only will it alleviate loads of stress, but it will allow you to prioritize and get the things that need to be done, done.
I’ve narrowed down 3 of my top time management tips for entrepreneurs – the tips I’ve used to build my own business from scratch. Let’s go!
1. Keep a detailed calendar.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised to know how many people don’t actually keep a calendar of their due dates and priorities. Keeping track of meetings is one thing, but if you don’t also schedule out your to-dos by the day, you’re setting yourself up to let things slip through the cracks. I put everything in my calendar – business-related and personal. This is how I make sure everything gets done, and how I have time for everything. It saves a ton of brain space to write everything down so you don’t have to remember it.
If paper and pencil calendars aren’t your thing, there are a ton of digital options that can help you stay organized right on your tablet or computer. Making use of your Apple calendar or Google calendar is a great place to start. I could not survive without Google calendar!
2. Set time blocks for productivity.
Coming in second on my list of time management tips for entrepreneurs is time blocking! Blocking your time is a great way to ensure you’re productive when you need to be while also giving yourself breaks to recharge your batteries and re-center yourself. By setting time blocks for certain activities and tasks, you can plan out a specific number of minutes or hours to work, and then schedule breaks in between. During your productivity blocks, turn off all distractions (including your phone) and exit out of all tabs that aren’t conducive to getting shit done! This will keep you focused and hyper-productive so you don’t spend hours getting something done that should only take ten minutes. (Distractions are real time vacuums!) Time blocking your days will help you avoid task-switching, which can put a huge block in productivity. I didn’t realize how much time it cost me to switch between tasks until I started time blocking, and now I’ll never go back! Setting aside specific blocks of time for certain tasks will give you open space to really get in the zone and do your best work.
3. Don’t set unrealistic goals or expectations for yourself.
Part of time management is knowing how much time you *actually* have to get stuff done – and not taking on too many projects. As an entrepreneur, you have high expectations for yourself, which is great – but spreading yourself too thin is a surefire way to consistently fall short – and then again feeling like you need to overcompensate. Feeling like you have to say yes to everything – every meeting, every opportunity, and every client – isn’t just taxing for your mental health – it’s dangerous for your business. Learn to say no respectfully so you can spend your time effectively fulfilling your obligations and commitments. It’s easy to get caught up in saying “yes” to too many things as an entrepreneur, especially when you have an endless to-do list, so it’s important to be realistic with yourself about how much you can do in a day. Doing too much will drain your energy, and you won’t be able to do your best work. Remember, every “no” gives you the chance to say “yes” to something better.
As a young entrepreneur, I struggled with many aspects of time management myself. I always felt like I should be doing more, despite having a packed schedule that was already difficult to manage. Oftentimes, I felt DRAINED.
These lessons are one of the things that inspired me to launch No Bullshit Business School, my signature program that teaches coaches how to scale their businesses effectively with the clients they want while involving their mind, body and soul – and how to ensure your time is spent on tasks that propel your business forward instead of keeping it stuck in the same place.
The course launches October 5, 2020 – I hope to see you there!