While being a young entrepreneur can be an exciting experience, it also puts heavy demands on the time you have. For many first-time business owners, it can often feel like there are not enough hours in the day to handle responsibilities ranging from managing small business loans to utilizing available resources.
This can make you question your choice to start a business, and it may make you wonder if you will ever see success without having to work yourself to the limit. But, if you were to take advice from an experienced entrepreneur, they would say that you don’t need to work ridiculous hours or give up on your dream. Instead, they’d tell you that you need to develop a time management strategy.
The following are some of the top time management tips for young entrepreneurs who are ready to start getting more from their time.
There is little hope of getting the most from your time if you are not making a schedule. This not only means scheduling things like meetings, but also all of the various tasks that need to be completed during the day. With a good schedule, you won’t forget any of the important tasks you need to get done and your days will be more predictable.
With different calendar apps for your phone, it is easy to make and maintain a schedule. When a task comes up, just add it to your calendar. Many of these apps even let you schedule a task that repeats every day, week, or month for things that are a regular part of your schedule.
Your ability to focus on your work is going to have a significant impact on how well you manage your time. Unfortunately, the modern world comes with a lot of distractions. Phone calls, text messages, the internet, and people who may stop by your office for a chat are just a few examples of things which can take you away from your work.
When you schedule time for a specific task, only work on that task and try to eliminate distractions. Maybe you need to turn your phone off for a little or shut down your laptop. You may need to close the door to your office while you work on a task that requires your full attention. Even if you are shifting to another work-related project for a few minutes, the process of task switching can slow you down.
Schedule Free Time
No matter how busy you are, there should be some free time in your schedule. Short breaks can help you relax in the middle of the day. When your break is done, you can get back to work feeling refreshed and ready to go. Furthermore, free time can be used when your schedule does not follow the plan. If a meeting runs long or you end up taking more time on a project, you could skip one of your breaks if you need to catch up.
When you are making your schedule and figuring out what to work on, you need to be able to sort your tasks by priority. Some tasks need to get done with a tight deadline and others might be less urgent. Some might not be necessary at all, but getting them done could be beneficial for a variety of reasons.
Look at the items on your schedule and plan time for the highest priority items first. After that, move down your priority list and schedule other tasks accordingly. If you have employees, you should also look at your schedule to see if there is anything you can delegate to someone else.
Every entrepreneur has tasks they would rather put off. These are usually things that are tedious or unpleasant for some reason. Instead of procrastinating on these tasks, you should make them a priority to get done. Once you have them out of the way, you will feel better about the rest of what is on your schedule.
A good tip to avoid procrastination is to simply set aside five minutes to get started on one of these jobs. Once you get started, you are very likely to decide to finish. Even if you don’t finish, you at least have a start you can come back to later.
Track Your Time
Do you know where your time is going? Even with a schedule, you might still feel like you have time that is unaccounted for or that tasks seem to be taking longer than they should. If this sounds familiar, you need to start tracking your time and do a time audit.
With a time audit, you can see how much time you are putting into different tasks and you can also get a feel for how well you are using your time. You could simply record all of your time in a notebook, but there are apps that can help you track your time.
Time management is one of the keys to success for young entrepreneurs. When you know how to manage your time, you will get more done and be able to run your business more efficiently.
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing.