As an entrepreneur your time is sacred. You may marvel at those who seem to accomplish marvelous feats in the same 24 hours each day with which you both have to work. You might even start to believe that by some miracle they’ve been given an extra hour or two a day. There is no secret, it just requires taking an active approach to managing your time and seeing what needs to be changed.
In this post we’re going to explore a simple process that will help you get more from your time, so you can do more every single day.
1. Understand How You Spend Your Time
One of the most important elements of managing your time is understanding how your spend your time. Your time seems to either expand or contact based upon how you spend it, and chances are you waste a lot of your time with aimless activities you aren’t aware that you’re doing.
For a week bring around a notebook, or piece of paper and record how you spent the last hour of your time. Over a week this will help to give you a realistic picture of how your time is spent.
2. Know The Most Important Activities For Your Business
Once you have an understanding of how you’ve been spending or wasting your time you need to be equipped with an understanding of what activities are important for your business. There’s an old adage that essentially states 20 percent of your activities will be responsible for 80 percent of your results.
It’s your job to uncover what these 20 percent activities are. Here’s a hint, usually they’re the ones you avoid the most. They’re the ones you could put off all day if you had to. Look where you have the most resistance and you’ll very often find the important activities.
3. Let Your Schedule Be Your Friend
Your schedule and your to-do lists will now become your best friend. Your schedule will be your holy grail of how you’re spending your time. If you’re not used to using a schedule, then your time estimates for certain activities might be off. But, never let anything cross your mind without scheduling it, or adding it to your to-do list.
To-do lists are effective in that they help clear your mind of precious mental space. This helps you to focus when you’re actually immersed in an activity, instead of trying to remember that thing you forgot to do.
Another way to schedule is to schedule based on certain activities and actions, instead of hours on a clock. This can be helpful if your work is more creatively based, or artistic and less dependent on the clock.
4. Focus Will Extend The Time You Have To Work With
As I’m sure you’re aware time seems to pass at different speeds depending on where we’re at and what we’re doing. If we’re waiting in line time seems to drag on forever, but if we’re focused and immersed in what we’re doing then time seems to stretch out a little.
The key to having this occur more often than not is mastering your ability to focus. This means you’ll need to take extra care in cutting out any distractions, and making sure you have everything you need for the task at hand. This means no more multitasking.
When you distract yourself from the task at hand you actually end up losing time, as it takes longer for your mind to get back to the task you were just doing.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
Lastly, you need to make sure you’re in peak condition. If your mind and body are healthy it’s going to be much easier to focus. You know what works for you, but make sure you’re exercising regularly and giving yourself time to unwind.
When you’re healthy and stress-free your mind works more efficiently, so you’ll be using less time for the same tasks. As the master of your time you’re going to be much more efficient getting things done if you actually feel good.
Managing your time properly doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, once you stick with it for a little bit, it’ll become second nature. What are your best tips for maximizing your time? Let us know in the comments!