The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups, downs, sidesteps, and big risky jumps. On top of this, entrepreneurs work far more than people do in a “normal” job. A survey by Startups found that entrepreneurs work 50.5 hours a week, compared to the UK average of 37. Plus, the mind boggles when you start adding it up for a whole year!
Is there any wonder that effective time management is crucial for entrepreneurs? If an entrepreneur doesn’t get the balance right, it could be the difference between failure and success. The key is to start managing your time before time starts controlling you. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend valuable time setting things up. You only need to make a few tweaks.
Here are four time management strategies for entrepreneurs to help you lead a successful business.
All successful people have a plan. Without a plan, millions of people would be walking around in circles, and nothing would get done. As an entrepreneur, you probably have good instincts and lots of experience. But armed with a plan, you become an incredible force as you use your time wisely. Your plan gives you a clear direction, with defined goals and motivation. If you don’t have one already, now is the time to sit down and do it. It will help you put everything into perspective.
Your plan can detail all the different tasks you need to do to help you get where you want.
In a business setting, a plan is everything. It’s worth bearing in mind that the goals you set in your plans are essential. These goals guide you so you can follow the right path. However, also learn to be open to everything. Things can change, and you may need to rejig your plan to suit unexpected situations. Don’t look upon these times as obstacles but as beneficial signs. These periods help you redirect your efforts to the right place instead of slowly sinking into some quicksand.
2. Embrace the Word Chunkability
It’s all about time and how you use it correctly. Trying to do too much will only end in tears. Look at your projects in a more critical way. Don’t allocate loads of hours to them, and off you go. Entrepreneurs should break down the work into manageable “chunks”. Get used to assessing the workload and put the big tasks into mini-tasks. You can then cross off each task on completion. You don’t have to create excessive lists, but you need to start making some. It is the only way you can manage everything properly.
If a project has no “chunkability”, maybe the project is not clear enough.
Always create the best “chunks” you can for yourself and anybody who might be supporting you. Nobody likes having a massive project dropped in their lap. It also helps you allocate the right amount of time to different tasks. There is no need to suffer from work overload when you can break everything down. It also makes everything more enjoyable! Entrepreneurship should be fun and not a task that feels like a chore. Embrace your creativity and use your chunkability to make things better.
3. Use Your Entrepreneur Brain and Get Support From a Virtual Assistant
Most entrepreneurs are so creative they come up with several new business ideas in a week. The pandemic also pushed people to think differently about their work and created even more entrepreneurs. It’s a growing trend as people realise so many new opportunities. All this creativity, energy and zest can take its toll, and there is only one of you when you start from the bottom. It doesn’t mean you are a failure when you ask for some support.
A clever entrepreneur will utilise the skills of a virtual assistant to give themselves some slack.
Even if you love being in control of projects, some excellent virtual assistants can still give you specialist support. It might feel strange at first if you are used to doing everything by yourself. However, it will free up your time and your headspace. Your virtual assistant can also act as a sounding board and be a source of ideas themselves. You might be surprised how helpful a VA can be and will probably wonder why you never did it earlier. You can also outsource your content creation and social media graphics and free up time!
4. Recognise That Working Smarter is Always Better Than Working Harder
You’ll have heard this phrase before, but how many of us follow it? It’s easy to get caught up in everything you have to do. However, you will be far more effective if you work smarter. When you spend loads of hours working on something, the work can start to feel intense. Some people like to work like this, but it is not healthy in the long term and leads to burnout. Is this the road you want to go down? If you are already on that road, take stock of where you are right now.
You can work fewer hours by making them more productive.
When you work excessively, are you giving 100% for every one of those hours? Probably not. When you make your plan take it to the next level, you can start by planning out each hour of your work. Asana is a great little time management app to keep you on track. Many project management and time management tools can help give you clarity. You can see what you need to do, have done, and still need to do. You will never feel overwhelmed or lost as you have accounted for everything.
Be the Best Entrepreneur you can be
Go you! You’ve got the ambition and drive to be an entrepreneur. It’s not easy to do, but you can be a success with the right management of time. Don’t be afraid to seek out some support to help you on the way. Time management coaching could be the perfect solution. You can also create a plan and break down the tasks as much as you can. Keep an eye on your overall hours and allocate your time wisely.
An entrepreneur’s life is full of magic.
Stick to your system so you can reap the results. Before you know it, you will be reaching both your business and personal goals. It might take time to get there, but you will. Believe in yourself and know that success is in your reach. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. You will learn so much about yourself as your business develops. When you finally reach your goals, you will be ready to create some more.
Sally Leslie is a motivational coach and optimist. She helps freelancers and entrepreneurs create balance in their lives and work towards their personal and professional goals. Sally is also a B2B freelance writer for entrepreneurs, SMEs, and startups. A lover of plants, freedom, and football!