As an entrepreneur, there is never enough time in a day. Innumerable meetings, perpetual troubleshooting, and employee management are but the tip of the iceberg in an ocean of cutthroat capitalism. When we vie for a competitive advantage, it often boils down to who wants it more and how much time we are willing to spend on taking it—but what if we could spend less time accomplishing more?
We can. Proper time management skills cannot be overstated but are often understated. Many entrepreneurs work hard but not smart, and although they are willing to grind away during countless sleepless nights, they fail to optimize their efforts. The true (and established) entrepreneur is one who not only wholly commits himself/herself to their enterprise, but does so efficiently and effectively. In light of such, here are some proven techniques to manage your time and set you apart from the competition:
- For one week, record all your thoughts, conversations, and activities. Although this may seem unnecessarily cumbersome initially, it will ultimately enable you to reclaim your time. You will be able to analyze where your time is going and then react accordingly. After the week is complete, you will have a formidable understanding of your average day-to-day.
- Instead of merely tacking things onto a to-do list, assign each activity a time. By specifically allocating a slot in your schedule to accomplish a responsibility, you will be far more inclined to actually execute it. Even if it’s just time to sit and think about some pending business, set an explicit hour and location where you will carry it out. By adding details to the abstract, the event becomes mentally concretized and thus more significant in our mental perspective. When tasks take on greater significance, we are more likely to efficiently carry them through to completion.
- Schedule time for interruptions. We know life is unpredictable, and to pretend otherwise is to live in ignorance. By acknowledging time for inevitable interruptions, we are able to mitigate overall time spent on unforeseen events and thus use them to our advantage.
Time is elusive. At times, it seems nearly impossible to pinpoint where it is going and being spent on, but with the above tips, you can finally bring some form to the intangible.