The life of an entrepreneur is tough. Think about it…Entrepreneurs have to know how to do it all – something that’s only possible if they learn how to manage their time correctly.
We hear a lot about the need to encourage the creation of small, entrepreneurial businesses in order to generate jobs and grow the economy, but less is said about just how difficult it is to turn that great idea into a sustainable business that actually makes a profit! Many small businesses never achieve their true potential because the entrepreneur who started them is swamped by so many challenges: the need to handle business admin – running the business – and to service clients. Clearly, both are important, and the neglect of one will ultimately affect the other.
The same challenges apply to individuals working for more established companies, except they have colleagues and existing systems to support them. For both, learning how to manage one’s time effectively is the key to being successful.
Use these simple techniques to get the most of the hours you have at your disposal:
- Turn good behaviours into habits. Habits can be great tools, or great hindrances. Consciously identify things you need to do regularly, and turn them into habits. More difficult, identify bad habits that waste time, and set out to change them.
- Create optimal work conditions. Having established what needs to be done and when, make sure you get through the work. Focus is essential, and you can help create it by reducing distractions. Basic techniques would be to put your cell phone on silent, close down unnecessary tabs on the PC and shut the door away from any distractions. Also, keep your workspace clutter free: the appearance of order is soothing and conducive to orderly thinking.
- Set a basic time schedule, and prioritise tasks. The first thing is to understand exactly what needs to be done – sometimes this is harder than it sounds – and then work out when you will do each thing. Prioritise tasks by doing the most important ones first. This approach also gives one a sense of accomplishment and control.Remember to set time limits for tasks and spend only as much time on it as the task warrants.
- Make the most of time. Remaining focused is critical, as noted above, but take a leaf out of many top achievers’ books and start your day early, when your mind is fresh and there are fewer distractions. Use an hour or two’s weekend time sensibly, it can substantially reduce pressure for the following week.
- Work smarter, not harder. As part of prioritising tasks, spend some time regularly looking at what you do and eliminate processes that are unnecessary, or streamline others. A related technique is to learn how to say no – entrepreneurs are by their nature people who see opportunities, and opportunities can be distracting and merely add unnecessary pressure. Group similar tasks together by getting all the work related to figures done at once, for instance, and then make the shift to another mode of thinking. Use tools available to your advantage, there are many project management tools at your disposal and companies offer value added services, MiWay’s MiBusinessAssist.
- Look after yourself. If you are not physically and mentally at the top of your game, all the time management in the world will be in vain. Get enough sleep (seven to eight hours is needed), exercise regularly and eat healthily. It is also important to find activities that recharge your mental and spiritual batteries through periods of quietness in your business MiWay’s MiBusinessAssist.
We can often become so focused on completing tasks that we get lost in detail and get overwhelmed. Think of how to do the things you need to do in a way that is fun. In the words of the singer Marc Anthony: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
As much as admin can be a bore at times and can be left to the last minute, there are certain things that just shouldn’t wait. While you’re doing what you love, let MiWay Business Insurance help you to keep your business fighting fit.
Having insurance is the crux of stressing less about your valuables. If your business owns company cars, make sure all your cars have car insurance from a reputable company.