- Sparing two hours in a busy workday is possible for entrepreneurs if they employ time-saving tips for each task throughout the day.
- Distractions, urgency, and priorities are the common reasons that prevent business owners from having free time on their hands.
- It takes time to find the right tips that will boost productivity. For starters, try these ones.
Being an entrepreneur can be quite stressful. Everyone looks up to you, your schedule is filled with all kinds of responsibilities, you spend long hours in the office, and you feel like you don’t have time for anything else than work and chores. It’s a fact, most new entrepreneurs have difficulties finding time and resources to cross all the tasks off their lists, and finding some additional time for fun, family and rest seems impossible.
“So many tasks, so little time”
This mentality is often the only thing that prevents us from achieving our goals and freeing up some time for ourselves. Here are some general tips, which can help every busy entrepreneur free up to 2 hours a day if you’re lucky.
Get rid of distractions
We are blessed to live in this modern era, filled with all kinds of comforts. Unfortunately, our world is also filled with all kinds of distractions. In fact, we are so used to the distractions on our computers, that it sometimes feels like our heads and hands have different priorities. For instance, you’re ready to work on a project, you have everything sorted out in your head, but your hand starts scrolling through Facebook posts instead of working. This is how productivity dies and in order to avoid that you need strong motivation and focus on the task at hand. If you limit your access to social networks during your work hours, you will save at least half an hour every day. If you lack the self-control, then you can use a program or application, which limits your access to these websites on demand.
Follow a defined timeline
A big part of being an entrepreneur includes being chained to a desk trying to figure out better solutions for some projects. However, spending prolonged hours forcing ourselves to work doesn’t mean that everything will happen faster. On the contrary, scientists have proven decades ago that this affects our productivity in a negative way. Instead of wasting hours on pointless head banging, you should consider the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a very simple technique that can be broken down to 5 simple steps:
- Choose one task to work on.
- Set the timer to 25 minutes.
- Work until the timer rings.
- Take a 5-minute break.
- Repeat the previous steps 3 more times, and then take a 10-15 minute break.
The approach is named after the classic tomato-shaped timer, and its goal is to help you take advantage of bursts of focus by removing distractions and providing you with a time limit. Once you start employing it, you will notice that some tasks will take you less time, allowing you to save a couple of minutes from every project.
Learn to delegate
It’s amazing how many tasks can be done by practically everybody in the company, but we are still the ones who do them. Most entrepreneurs are just so protective of their projects, that they don’t think anyone else can finish the task the same way or with the same quality. This is all part of some delusion, which keeps us from having more time to ourselves.
So, to free up some time from your schedule, you need to revise all your tasks and delegate the least important ones to someone you trust. This process can be both scary and refreshing, but it’s for a good cause – you will have up to an hour to yourself, and you’ll give someone else the opportunity to grow and develop.
Evaluate your priorities
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have a clear job description, and in our strive to find and learn new things. We often get caught up doing something non-essential, which just takes our precious minutes away, like reading some interesting publication or catching up on mail. This is why if you want to save those 2 hours a day, you need to learn to prioritise.
Make a list of the essential tasks that need to be done right away, and leave everything else in the background. Once the important things are done, you can get back to those secondary tasks. A good tool to help you organise your online resources is Pocket. It allows you to save everything you find online across all your devices – laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.
Batch tasks together
Batching your tasks together will allow you to not only perform them quickly but also mindfully and time-effectively. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world use batching both in their professional and personal life. First, you’ll need to divide your tasks into categories according to skills and resources needed to finish them, as well as the logistics involved in each of them. Then it’s just a matter of combining the tasks together, so they can happen faster and without any additional effort. An example from personal life – when you go shopping, you also think what else can be done while being out – paying bills, taking clothes from the dry cleaners, etc. You just need to apply the same principle to your work.