8 Top Time Management Tips For Young Entrepreneurs
Operating your own business can be an incredibly demanding and time-consuming venture. It is often a thankless task which includes juggling a multitude of obligations at the same time. Competing stakeholders such as clients, friends, and family are all looking for your attention. In such an environment, the entrepreneur is in a virtual battle with the hands of the clock. Every second of the day is precious as there is so much to be done and no room for wasted minutes. Perhaps Michael Altshuter, the noted motivational speaker, and coach said it best when he remarked," The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." Make no mistake, the inability to manage time efficiently will have a business come crashing to the ground in very short measure. So what is a spanking, brand new and wet behind the ears entrepreneur to do? Time management is the key! Below is a list of 8 top time management tips for young entrepreneurs which can help create a pinpoint focus, and virtually claw back all those wasted minutes.
8 Top Time Management Tips
1. Complete Your Hardest Task First:
This is included as the number one tip because it could very well be the most valuable. It is human nature to avoid the tasks which we dislike. People will look for any reason or excuse not to do them and primarily occupy themselves with finding something else to do. What they really end up doing, however, is completely wasting time as they put all their effort in avoiding the task at hand. By forcing themselves to tackle the hardest jobs first, the individual will be completing it when they have the most energy. This will very likely not be the case later in the day. What will happen in turn is a feeling of accomplishment and renewed excitement to tackle the next job. After all, if they could get that done, then nothing can stand in their way now!
2. Organize Your Work Space:
If we were to calculate the actual amount of time which is wasted looking for that "special book" or critical research notes in a disorganized work environment, the results would be staggering. This is simply lost time which can never be recovered. However, by setting up a carefully organized and minimalistic work area, this trend can be stopped dead in its tracks. It is important to only include the items you really need, and not clutter the area. Then, by organizing the work area in a way that everything is properly labeled and in its designated spot, precious minutes can be recovered.
3. Stop Making Excuses:
"Excuses sound best to the person making them up." (Tyrese Gibson) If you are spending quality working time creating excuses and coming up with reasons to do something else...nothing will ever get done. Washing the dishes or reading that article from your favorite author can wait. They are simply excuses preventing you from finishing the task at hand.
4. Avoid Distractions:
There is no doubt that distractions from your work will come in all kinds of ways. Checking your emails, answering your phone and even catching the latest episode of Game of Thrones! They all have one thing in common- they are preventing you from accomplishing your goals. To minimize distractions it is critical to find a quiet, solitary space and disconnect from the world and your devices!
5. Create To Do Lists:
There is something very fulfilling about creating a list of the various tasks you need to complete and then getting to cross them off the list. It also has the added bonus of keeping you focused and on target to accomplish the predetermined jobs for the day. Never underestimate the power of the "to do" list.
There are really no guarantees in life...except for the fact that it is virtually impossible to check everything off your "to do" list in one day! That is why it is so important to prioritize your time. If there is a work assignment which needs to be completed by the end of the day, that should take priority over something which is due a few days from now. Those individuals who do not learn how to prioritize their tasks and time will find themselves with very unhappy clients.
7. Learn To Say No:
If everything goes according to plan, you will reach a point where your business has more demands than you can possibly handle. This is when it becomes very important to learn how to say no. Complete your most valuable work first. This will tend to be with your most trusted and established clients. It is the group you want to keep happy and satisfied as they are the core of your business and will continue coming back to you. If you over-promise and under- deliver, your business will begin to develop a poor reputation and work will begin to dry up and disappear.
8. Set Defined Work Hours and Schedule Your Day:
Running a business can often be very unpredictable. You will go through very busy periods and also times when work seems all but dried up. As such, it can be very difficult to predict work hours and create set schedules. However, do not fall into the trap of only working "when you feel like it." Try to set defined work hours with a set schedule and plan. Things may not always unfold according to this plan, but completing it will nonetheless give you a focused outline to follow.
Undoubtedly, starting a business as a young entrepreneur is a very intimidating, confusing and overwhelming proposition. However, by utilizing effective time management strategies, one can begin to see all the puzzle pieces start to fall into place. It is also very important to realize that all these tips have a strong focus at the core. Schedule and plan, but always do so in a focused way with your overall goals targeted with laser-like precision. If so, this could truly only be the beginning of much greater things to come.
First Things First. By Stephen Covey
20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management. By Celestine Chua
The Skinny on Time Management. By Jim Randel.