16 Time Management Tips for The Busy Entrepreneur
by Rachael Vandendool
These 16 Time Management Tips I am going to share with you in this post are going to help you manage your time better and learn the strategies and techniques to get it all done.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Its how we spend those 24 hours that determines how much we get done.
As an entrepreneur, one of our biggest struggles is getting more done in the time we are given.
We want to check off all those tasks that will help us move towards our goals of starting, running and growing our businesses, while still maintaining a healthy balance in all the other areas of our life.
So the problem exists, we need to get all those tasks done in our work and our life, in the 24 hours we have, and still have time to take care of ourselves.
I bet this sounds familiar, “so much to do, and so little time to do it in!”
We look at that to-do list and are overwhelmed by it, but if we tweak how we approach it, we might find we have more time then we realized.
In this post, you are going to learn 16 Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs to help you manage your time better so that you can get all those tasks done in the time you have…and still, have time to sleep!
1| Take Inventory Of What Has to be done
The first time management tips I have for you is to take an inventory of what you are doing and what you should be doing.
Identifying and taking inventory of what you are currently doing and what you think you should be doing in order to maintain and improve the different areas of your life is a significant first step in the road to productivity.
Knowing what tasks you have to do will help you with planning and scheduling those tasks.
Also, it will help you become more aware of what is on your plate so that you can prioritize, simply and minimize those tasks.
2| Eliminate, Delegate & Automate
Another time management technique is to eliminate, delegate and automate some of the tasks we have on our list.
Many times, we fill our list up with things that don’t need to be done; they could be eliminated.
Sometimes, we fill our list up with things that could be done by someone else.
And some of those tasks on our list could be automated by a program.
Eliminate the items that you know are not important and don’t have to be done.
Delegate the items that you know someone else could do as good as you …or even better!
Finally, learn about ways you can automate different parts of your life and business.
3| Learn to Say “No”
Getting things done doesn’t mean you have to do everything that everyone asks you to do.
You can say, No.
Saying no can be a challenge for some of us, but we can’t fill up our time with things that are not important to us and don’t maintain or improve the different areas of our life.
Learn to say no, and don’t feel guilty about it either!
4| Get Clear On Your Goals
This wouldn’t be a list of time management tips if we didn’t talk about goal setting.
Creating clearly defined goals helps you stay on track of what you need to be doing in order to maintain and improve the different areas of your life.
What tasks do you need to complete to achieve the goals of your life?
Start by clearly defining your goals by using the SMART goal system.
Clearly define the Improvement you want to make
I will ([Improvement] +performance measure) by (specific action)
For example, I will have a blog up and running in the next six months by creating a plan, follow the plan, and get the education and help where I stumble.
Define what success looks like.
It needs to be a definite, measurable accomplishment. This means that the results are achieved, and not you aren’t sure if they are achieved.
For example, I am going to work on getting 1000 new subscribers to my email list. NOT, I am going to work on my email list. I know I have accomplished my goal when I get those 1000 new subscribers.
Use action words for the action you are going to take to complete these improvements. Action works like stop, start, eliminate, quite, begin, etc.
I will start to improve my social media posts…
Is it possible for you to achieve the improvement you set? Yes, there are somethings that you might not have the ability to do. For example, I could never be a surgeon… my hands twitch too much.
Just don’t think too small. There are things we can do that we don’t think we could for other reasons.
If it is impossible, then set a different goal, but if there is a chance it can be done, why not try it.
Decide how much time you are going to dedicate to a task or project regularly.
For example, If I want to achieve 1,000 new Instagram followers, I am going to dedicate 30 min. 5 x a week to that specific action.
After you have clearly stated your goals break them down into specific steps you need to take to accomplish the goal, and if the goal is a big one, break down each step into specific tasks.
5| Prioritize Your Tasks
Deciding which tasks are essential and need to be scheduled right away and which tasks can wait is a time management technique that will help you minimize the tasks you have to get done right now and maximize your time.
When your priorities your tasks, you can be confident that you are scheduling and accomplishing the tasks that need to be done now.
A great way to prioritize your tasks is to use the Eisenhower Matrix.
You do this by identifying your tasks based on how important and urgent they are.
The four main quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix are
Important and Urgent Tasks – Tasks that need to be scheduled in the next week or so and if they are not completed it will have a negative impact on the different areas of your life.
Important and Not-Urgent Tasks – Tasks that don’t need to be scheduled but should be accomplished at some point in the near future.
Non-Important and Urgent tasks – Tasks that aren’t important but do tend to interrupt your day, like phone calls. You need to decide how you are going to deal with these types of tasks.
Non-Important and Non-Urgent tasks – Tasks that we do, but don’t improve or maintain the different areas of our life. These tasks usually should be minimized or eliminated from our list.
6| Create a Plan
Writing down when you are going to get all your tasks done is a great way to keep you accountable to what needs to be done when, and help you stay on track to getting those tasks accomplished.
It is one thing to know what you have to do, but it is another thing to knowing when you are going to do it.
This time management skill is essential to making sure things happen.
Your plan can be a general to-do list for each day or have more specific details of exactly what time and what task you would like to work on each hour, or minute of the day.
How you create your plan is up to you, your personality, and how you responded to completing your tasks.
7| Watch Your Appointments
Having a lot of appointments that have to be done at a specific time, not only breaks up your day but causes you to not to want to get into deep tasks or even small tasks if the appointment is coming up soon.
We tend to feel like we don’t have enough time to accomplish the task, and so don’t even want to start it, even if we did have enough time.
One option is to schedule appointments for early morning or later in the day after your normal work would be done so that you have a large chunk of time to focus on important tasks.
Another option is to schedule appointments altogether on one day so that you have an appointment day.
8| Don’t Steal “Time” From the Baby
The idea behind this time management tip is not to rob time from one part of your life to complete tasks in another part of your life.
Set a time limit for how much time you are going to spend on a task and stop when time is up.
The time you want to dedicate to each area of your life needs to be kept by each area of your life.
It is tempting to say oh, I need 15 more minutes or 1 more hour, but before you know it, the time you had dedicated to helping keep your life in balance is now gone, and you can’t get it back.
Dedicate time to each area of your life and stick to it. Think of it as if you have an appointment to keep, although it is ok if you work right up to the minute before that appointment stop when it is time to stop.
Tip: If you are finding that it is hard to stop a tasks for certain areas of your life even though time is up , try setting an alarm on your phone and stopping 5 min. earlier than you would like, and write down a summary in a journal of what you have done and what you want to do next time you get back to that task, so that you can continue where you left off.
Creating a routine is another time management strategy that helps you save time and stay focused on your tasks.
Routines are jobs or activities that you do regularly in a particular order. You might have a morning routine, an evening routine, or a weekly routine of what and when you are going to do tasks in your life.
Routines can save you time because you don’t have to think about what you are going to do next.
Routines also save you time because when you repetitively do specific tasks, you get better and more efficient at doing them faster.
10| Learn how to block your time
Time blocking is a time management technique that helps you plan out your day by dedicating certain periods of time to specific tasks.
You can block out a time when you want to do your morning routine; you can block out time when you are going to work on your business, and you should block out time when you are going to sleep.
Time block helps you stay organized and focused on what tasks you are going to do when.
11| Keep a Time Journal
To help you manage your time, you need to be aware of how much time your tasks take to accomplish.
Once you know how long something takes you to do, you can easily schedule it into a time slot that you can actually accomplish the task in.
There are times when I am surprised at just how long something takes. Either I overestimate a task and put off doing it because I don’t think I have time for it, or I underestimate a job and schedule it in a time when I really can’t accomplish it.
Keeping a time journal is a great time management skill that can help you manage your time better.
12| Audit Your Completed Tasks
You regularly have to take a look at what tasks are actually maintaining your life and helping you accomplish your goals and what tasks are just not doing anything for you.
If a task you are doing doesn’t have an impact on any area of your life, then consider eliminating it or moving it to the do later list.
Sometimes these tasks can be obvious like spending too much time on social media, but sometimes these tasks take you looking at what the results of them are producing for your life or business. Is that regular post to Instagram increasing your following?
Measure and be sure what you are spending time on is creating results and helping you maintain or improve the different areas of your life.
13| Keep a To-Do-Later List
We can waste a lot of time thinking about what we have to do.
Get those to-do’s out of your head and write them down or put them in an app.
Set a daily or weekly time to look over the list and add them to your daily schedule as needed.
14| Create a Quick To-Do List
The quick to-do list is a time management strategy I developed for when I am waiting for something or have some extra time in my day.
Like when I am waiting in line at the grocery store, or I finished a task early, and I find I have an extra 15min.
The quick to-do list is a quick reference list of small fast activates that I want to get done, but if I don’t get them done, it is ok.
Things that go on this list are engaging on social media, finishing up on a craft project, checking email.
When I have that extra 5, 10, or 15 min, I reference the list and complete an activity.
15| Learn Time Saving Hacks
Learning how to do things quicker and more efficiently can save you so much time and make managing your time that much easier.
Sign up for my mailing list here and get a free e-book of over 100+ Ways you can save time at home, at work, while doing errands and while traveling.
These time-saving hacks are going to help you get those things done faster, easier, and more efficiently.
16| Learn Productivity Tips
While time management is the process of deciding what tasks you are going to do and when you are going to do those tasks in the time you have available, learning productivity tips helps you get those tasks done by being efficient at the way you accomplish your tasks.
You can be more productive by being focused, watching your energy levels, eliminating distractions, etc.
To find out even more productivity tips, check out this blog post about productivity tips for entrepreneurs.
These tips will help you get things your tasks done.
Managing the way you use your time and approach your tasks is a crucial step in getting done the things you need and want to do in your life.
Being aware of what has to be done, and then making a plan of when you are going to do it will help you manage your time better.
While we still only get those 24 hours each day, you can be sure these 16 Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs will help you get all those tasks done as efficiently as possible.