In a world where busyness is being praised, it’s easy to find ourselves getting deeper and deeper into multitasking, overwork, and disbalance.
Better time management for entrepreneurs is more needed than a great business strategy, simply because time is a non-renewable resource. There is as much as there is and not more. Yet day by day, we try to get more things done creating the illusion of more time.
We often refer to “being busy” as a norm to justify our success and also misactions. It’s our reason for everything, it seems. “Busy” is the answer to many questions these days and most of the time, we don’t even realize that we are coding our subconsciousness with it.
That being said, we are always in charge. Whether we agree to it, whether we want to admit it, or whether we choose to accept it. Time is not in charge of us, it’s the other way around. While an entrepreneur’s life can be quite hectic at times, it can also be very well managed.
Would you agree that our clients need the best of us, not what’s left of us? Therefore, it’s important to take care of our routines and schedules so we can give our best without sabotaging success and health.
I propose three simple, easily achievable, and maintainable ways and time management tips for entrepreneurs to get out of busyness.
1. Delete Your To-Do List
Don’t get me wrong, a to-do list can be a great tool for daily achievements if used correctly. If you only have three tasks on your daily to-do list, it keeps you focused and helps you achieve goals faster.
However, it’s not the reality for most of us. This is why I suggest not creating a to-do list in the first place.
Here are a couple of misuses of a to-do list that disturb good time management for entrepreneurs
We Look at Our To-Do List as a Plan
We often look at our to-do list as a plan. But it’s not a plan—it’s a list. It gives you a general idea of things you “have” to do that should help you move towards your goal.
A plan, on the other hand, is something very different. A plan has a timeline attached that makes it scalable, unlike a to-do list. The problem with a to-do list is that you can literally add anything there—big tasks, small tasks, tasks that take one minute, and those that take all day.
Unless you are super aware of your timings and can precisely predict how long each task will take, you will only create more anxiety for yourself when trying to tick off from your list. This turns more into a messy day rather than being able to follow a plan.
We Think a To-Do List Will Motivate Us
We often think that a to-do list will help motivate us. While they can be very helpful to gain clarity, motivation comes from following your passion. To keep yourself accountable and do the things you said you were going to do is the key to following through with your plan.
However, a to-do list can serve as a motivation if used as a short-term help rather than a temporary thing. Many entrepreneurs that I have encountered feel extreme anxiety, stress, and tend to procrastinate when looking at their to-do lists. Not very motivating, right?
Unless you only put things like “singing with unicorns on top of the rainbow” in it, it can highly diminish your motivation. And, of course, these types of activities will not move your business forward. You need to find a way to stop procrastinating and actually get to work and complete your daily goals.
We Think a To-Do List Will Increase Our Productivity
We also are quite certain that a to-do list will increase our productivity. It’s far from the truth because this list only helps us see what we need to do. Unless we make time for it, a to-do list will stay a to-do list for as long as we keep one.
This is why my next way to get out of busyness is so important. We can’t achieve our goals unless we make time to do the steps.
A to-do list creates too much flexibility. Therefore, it’s much easier to get distracted, pulled away from the task, and lose focus. A to-do list doesn’t have a time block attached to it.
2. Schedule Your Tasks Into a Calendar
There is a solution on how to achieve your goals after you delete your to-do list without feeling like you have lost a part of yourself. You are only doing yourself a favor, expanding time and allowing the important tasks to fill your workday so you can create less overwhelm and more balance.
If you only do this one simple technique, it will not only help you reach your goals faster but also keep you accountable. It will create a habit of treating your time with respect and not exhausting yourself when trying to complete your never-ending to-do list in a day.
By scheduling your tasks into your calendar, you will give yourself a time frame for each task. This is how you respect your tasks and your time. By practicing this, you will get the same in return and time will expand for you without even trying.
This will also allow you to train yourself on prioritizing much more effectively because you only have a set amount of hours to fill. You will become more attentive and focused on the tasks to complete in the time frame you set up because time is limited. And the best part—you will become much more aware of things that don’t deserve your time.
Imagine being more present at work, at home, and in other activities throughout the day. That is truly powerful and fundamental for great time management for entrepreneurs.
And there are even more great ways to follow if you want to create time management that serves you and your business without compromising anything.
P.S. If you are too afraid to let go of it, use it as a quick tool to help you create better clarity. Use it when creating a roadmap, when putting together a plan, and when scheduling your daily activities. But never use it as a collection of things that you need to do now, or later, or maybe never. It’s a very bad habit that keeps you highly unproductive. It gives you too much flexibility and the illusion that there are unlimited hours in a day.
3. Work on Your Focus
Last but not least is to work on your focus. We know very well that where focus goes, energy flows. That being said, we need to make sure to put the focus where we want to grow and succeed. But how to do that?
Time management for entrepreneurs is not about getting more time. It’s about changing the attitude about how to manage the time you have. To get the best results from any task, focus and attention are crucial.
Even when scheduling tasks, allocating time, planning, and prioritizing wisely if procrastination creeps in, we lose time and end up with mediocre results. And it doesn’t matter how perfectly everything was planned out.
With these tactics, you will be well on your way to focus and attention that will serve your goals and intentions for success you have imagined.
Distraction-Free Work Area
If you have not yet thought about what takes your attention away in your workspace, take a moment and look around. It might be something that you never thought of, like your family photo, stain on the curtains, or peanuts on your desk. Don’t let these small distractors sabotage your performance.
Boundaries on Outside Influence
Not everything needs your immediate attention because not everything is important. Not everything requires your presence and help. The desire to stay “informed” requires a lot of energy—energy that could be invested into strategically important business tasks.
Are your notifications taking you out of your “zone” and interrupting the workflow? Simple but highly impactful actions like silencing your notifications or unsubscribing from the e-mail “noise” are a great start to set boundaries and show respect to the time.
Work According to Productivity Flow
Nothing is more detrimental to your work performance than pushing yourself to do the tasks that require high energy during your “low energy” periods. Wasting your time on your low-energy tasks (like checking email) while you could take over the world with high vibration flowing through you is very poor time management.
It’s not only wise to get to know our daily productivity flow but also use it to our best ability to work effortlessly. When you know which time slot in your days is the most productive one, it’s not hard to fill that window with activities that require high energy and are of strategic importance to your business growth.
All it takes is to look back at your past week and notice how your work has aligned with your energy. Soon enough, you will start to see patterns that give you hints on when that productivity window is for you. The importance of following one’s flow is the difference between struggling and thriving.
Time management for entrepreneurs doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. Use the tools described to make it effortless and easy for yourself. Time can be your best friend that works for you.
Knowing how to use it wisely, adapting the tasks to your rhythm, and managing distractions will help you be well on your way to high performance. Prioritize time management for the moment, and notice how time starts to expand for you. After all, all you have to do is follow the success pattern to create a greater impact.
Featured photo credit: Ruthson Zimmerman via unsplash.com