The life of an entrepreneur is stressful. Part of this stress comes from realizing that there’s only so much time in a day. As an entrepreneur, you manage a number of tasks and responsibilities, which could lead to you working long hours and even weekends. While you may put in all this extra time willingly, it won’t help your stress levels. To be successful, you need to figure out how to manage your time correctly. This means addressing how your time is wasted:
- Time Waster #1: Neglecting to Plan Out Your Entrepreneurial Priorities
Improvising your day can make it hard for you to accomplish your main priorities. If your day is loosey-goosey, you’ll find yourself being pulled in various directions and handling multiple challenges throughout the day. As a result, the things that really need to get done may fall by the wayside. It’s therefore essential to establish what your main priorities are and how you’re going to get them done. So, either the night before or first thing in the morning, sit down and write out what needs to get done, how you’re going to get it done, and how you’ll schedule the time for doing it in between your other responsibilities.
- Time Waster #2: Responding too Frequently to your Business Email
Email communication is a huge time-suck. You can easily get caught up in answering emails instead of accomplishing things. If you keep your email open all day, you’re likely to be pulled away from what you’re doing each time a new message comes in. To prevent reading and answering emails from sucking up your time, designate email hours throughout your day. Turn off your notifications and only check your inbox when your schedule tells you to. This will prevent you from being continuously distracted.
- Time Waster #3: Not Spending your Working Hours Doing What You Do Best
As an entrepreneur, you may find it challenging to delegate even small tasks to your team members. It’s hard to let go of the control, but the truth is you’re needed on the big stuff. In other words, you need to use your time to do what you do best. Other people can accomplish everything else. Make sure to hire people that you trust so you can let go of the reins with confidence.
- Time Waster #4: Taking Too Many Business Meetings
Business meetings are essential, but they’re not always necessary. You must figure out what meetings you need to be in and which ones you don’t. Always request an agenda for each meeting, so you know what’s being discussed. This will help you determine whether your presence is needed. You should also keep an eye on how long the meetings you do attend last. Some meetings go on longer than necessary. This is another instance where an agenda comes in handy. This will allow you to keep everyone on topic and move things along as necessary.
- Time Waster #5: Getting Distracted by New Business Ideas
You’re an entrepreneur because you’re passionate, creative, and inventive. Just because you’ve started a business doesn’t mean these qualities are going to disappear. As a result, you’ll likely find yourself tempted and distracted by new ideas that will move your company into new directions. While some of these ideas may be worthwhile, the majority will only waste your time. For this reason, you need to resist following every instinct and instead focus only on what’s most profitable or most interesting.
- Time Waster #6: Thinking you Can Multitask
It might seem like multitasking gets more things done, but in fact, it lessens your productivity. Our brains have a finite amount of attention and productivity. When you switch back and forth between different tasks, your attention becomes focused on the act of shifting gears and is less able to focus on the new job. As a result, you’ll find it challenging to give the necessary focus to any of your tasks. To get the most out of your day, it’s best to just work on one task at a time. When you’ve completed one thing, then you can move on to the next.
- Time Waster #7: Trying to Make Everything You do in Business Perfect
If you have exceptionally high-standards, you’ll end up spending more than the necessary time on a task. You may even find that after you’ve completed something, you continue to go back to it to try and make it “perfect.” Perfection is an unattainable goal that destroys productivity. It can also be harmful to your health. It’s not easy to get over this mentality, but you should start by simply focusing on completing your work. You can always come back and “perfect” your work later, and in doing so, you may find that your work doesn’t need as many improvements as you thought.