Starting your own business has many challenges in general, nevermind the fact that we also have to start off wearing many hats as an entrepreneur. It is no surprise then that one of the most common challenges most aspiring entrepreneurs face, considering all we have to take on as an entrepreneur, is time management of course, how to effectively manage time. Time management is a voluntary skill that you learn, you are not born with these skills, actually it seems quite the opposite, the majority of people have shocking time management habits, sadly most of us are not aware just how much this undermines results.
When starting out, most entrepreneurs go from working very little to suddenly working 12 hour days, feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted too soon. The once clear line between their personal and work life is now blurred. You didn’t become an entrepreneur to work more; a clear benefit of being an entrepreneur is to be able to dictate your own working hours, yet it is a common sight these days.
When you become an entrepreneur and you are in charge of your own time, the way you use your time is going to have a direct effect on the results that you see in your business and how much money you make. Remember, we all have 24 hours in a day, nobody has more hours, but some of us do achieve much more in a few days than the average worker does in a week. You do not need to work 12 hours a day to get more results, you could get the same results in 8 hours, if you managed your time more effectively, this has been proven over and over again.
To start improving your time management skills, start with the following easy steps.
- First you want to see where exactly you are going wrong with your time to know where you need to improve. Start by identifying exactly how you currently manage your own time. Using a time-log, for at least 3 days, you must record exactly what you are doing with your time. We all use our time differently and you first need to become aware how you are managing your time specifically before you can make any improvements. You will clearly be able to see where you are wasting time or being unproductive.
- Look to see how much time is spent between arriving at work and actually starting work? How long are you spending on social media sites, checking emails and having coffee breaks? Look at all the ways that you are not using your time effectively and challenge yourself to improve these areas first. What improvements can you make to be more efficient?
- You also want to identify bad habits at work. For example: If you are not planning your days, you are reinforcing a bad habit every day. You want to start planning your days, so that you are reaching your short term goals. Look at your short term goals, break them down into action steps and then sequence the steps. Once you have done that, start by prioritizing your actions, so that you really get ahead and achieve your business goals faster. If you are not working with plans and prioritizing your actions, you are aimlessly moving forward and you are most likely not on target with all your goals or you will take much longer to reach them.
- Besides identifying your bad habits, you also want to spend time developing new successful habits. Habits like discipline, concentration and focus with your time. When you actually perform one of your tasks, you need to be 100% focused and concentrated on that task solely, and this includes no distractions or interruptions at all. You will be able to achieve the same result with the same quality, if not more, in 40% of the time it would normally take you to do it! Add up the time you waste on not effectively performing a task and you will be shocked.
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