Ever have one of those days where you’ve felt crazy busy all day long, but didn’t really get anything accomplished? We’ve all been there. Ever wonder how some people seem to accomplish so much in a given day? Want to know how the squeezed so much productivity into a single day? Time Management.
Everyone has 525,600 minutes to get things done this year. Your time is one of your most valuable resources. As an entrepreneur you’re being pulling in a bunch of different directions and it’s hard to stay focused on the tasks you need to complete. Couple that with what I think of Entrepreneur A.D.D. (you know, that phenomenon that forces you to focus on whatever the shiny object crosses your line of site) it’s any wonder we can get anything done at all! I’ve got 3 key strategies that I use to both manage my time more effectively as well as ensure the time I’m focused on the business is as productive as possible.
3 Easy Steps to Efficiently Utilizing Your Time
1. Remove Distractions
I know it sounds simple, right? But remove distractions. Close FaceBook, close Twitter, and even your email and your phone. The world won’t end, and customers are only expecting an immediate response from you, because you set that expectation. An expectation that is not realistic long term. Instead we need to start to retrain our customers so instead of dropping everything and effectively disrupting what you’re working on, they know and expect you will return the call shortly. Try it. I even know some business owners who openly leave the message on the voicemail that they will return calls today at 11:00AM and 3:00PM. That’s immediately setting expectations, and now you can ignore the phone and focus on what needs to get done.
2. Time Blocking
You have in your head what you need to focus on this week, right? How often does that get lost the minute you sit at your desk? Instead open up a calendar – I like to create a separate Google Calendar for this – and draw 2 hour blocks of time that I’m going to focus on certain tasks. Marketing, Accounting, Sales, etc – whatever your business requires, bunch up those tasks into 2 hour blocks and put them on your calendar. Then the trick is to treat that time as sacred as a client meeting. Don’t schedule over it, focus on the assigned task.
3. Make A Plan
When your block of time comes up, make sure you have a plan. Know what you’re going to accomplish in each block of time. Have a plan, a checklist. If not, you’ll spend 1/2 of your 2 hours figuring out what needs to get done – what a waste. If you need time to plan, block that off and do all the planning at once.
See, it’s not impossible, just a little discipline, and you’ll be one of those productive people who are asked how you accomplish so much!
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