Time management for entrepreneurs is an often misunderstood concept that when grasped will change the way you think about your day and your business. It is essential to understand that time cannot be managed. The only way to manage your productivity is to manage yourself. Regardless of how productive or successful you are during the day, time is the same for all of us – there are 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week.
We have all heard the phrase “time is money” and yet most entrepreneurs aren’t leveraging their time to generate more clients and more money. There is an avalanche of information on time management for entrepreneurs and we can all get distracted with the techniques we should be doing.
To keep it simple, I suggest these five strategies for turning time into money.
- Delegate non-income producing activities. To make more money requires you to do more income generating activities. As a business owner, we are the most focused on making money in our business and are usually the best person to market it, make sales and in some instances – actually perform the service. But what about all the other tasks that need doing? Assess what activities you are doing each day and determine which can be delegated to a staff member or be outsourced. If you don’t have any staff, consider hiring someone part time. It is well worth the investment and will pay dividends quickly.
- Plan your day in advance. At the end of each day spend 15 minutes planning the most important income generating activities for the following day. It shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes and more importantly, this will keep you on track to achieve your goals.
- Block your time. Once your income generating activities have been determined, schedule time in your calendar to perform them. This schedule needs to be viewed as non-negotiable, even a commitment to your future.
- Collapse time. When a certain period of time is allocated to any task, as human beings we naturally use the full amount of time. I challenge you to look at how long each activity needs and then reduce the time you will allocate to yourself. Even if you reduce the time by 15 minutes, that 15 minutes could then be used for an additional activity that will generate more money. Each period of time when used correctly will add more profit to your business.
- Eliminate distractions. This is often the hardest strategy to commit to. We have mobile phones that ring and beep with every call, email, SMS and social media alert as well as office phones ringing, alerts on our computers, staff that need attending to and client requests. It is easy to get caught up in all these demands for our attention. Set boundaries with yourself and those around you that there are certain times of the day that you will be available – and that includes family and friends. Advise family and friends that you are not available during the workday. Educate staff members what time blocks are available for you to be reached. Let clients know when you are available and the estimated time that you will get back to them. Plus turn off all alerts. You do not need instant alerts. Simply return messages when you have allocated time.
Now I would love to hear from you. In the comments below, tell me your biggest insight you are taking away from this?
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