Entrepreneurs lead a busy and overwhelming life, whether you’re just starting out or already leading a company. You have to set up a meeting, strategize your marketing, plan your budget, monitor your sales, do networking and beyond. All these tasks can be mind-boggling. Afterall, time is gold isn’t it? We only have 24 hours a day so how can we maximize every second if there are so many things that require our attention?
Fix a schedule
As much as possible, schedule everything! Being an entrepreneur means that you are your own boss, hence you make and set your own schedule. Use this opportunity to account for every hour of the day, from meetings to travel and shopping. Your day should be organised according to priority. Also, don’t diminish the value of writing down. Even if we believe we can remember all the things we need to do accurately, most often than not, we might have missed out something important. Opt for for a pocket calendar, if you’re more tech savvy, an online calendar.
The 2-Minute Rule
This rule is a simple idea that will ensure that you aren’t wasting valuable – something we’re all guilty of. Have you ever realised that once you start working on a dreaded task, it somehow gets easier and easier? Garnering the motivation to actually start is the toughest part. To adopt the 2-minute rule, start by devoting 2 minutes of your time to a task you’re delaying. For example, If you need to craft a letter, just write two or three sentences in two minutes, and you’ll find yourself finishing the entire letter. This rule helps you to get on with actually starting your work, not necessarily completing it entirely. Instead of wasting your time figuring out when to start, use this time in taking action.
You might ask “But we’re trying to make full use of our time and multitasking allows to complete more tasks in a shorter period of time, so why not?” Here’s the thing though – multitasking rarely works. The human brain is only optimized for doing one thing at a time. Adding tasks doesn’t expand the brain’s capacity; it only increases its cognitive load or simply put, the amount of mental effort. By multitasking we are reducing the attention we give to each task. Instead, focus on the item at hand. This way, you’ll be able to retain more information, work faster, and save time.
As mentioned earlier, the key is not about getting more things done in a shorter period of time. To manage your time well, attention and focus is vital. Why? Because the way you control your focus and attention impacts directly your productivity. If you think about it, without attention, your time is somewhat irrelevant. Attention is what creates action, produces quality and facilitates productivity. To manage your attention, invest in your focus and support your attention by minimizing distractions. Shut your phone off sometimes, or at least use the Do Not Disturb feature. Close your office door if you have one. Wear headphones if you don’t. It’s pretty simple but the effects are astounding.