Personal time management ... what's that got to do with being a successful entrepreneur? Well, as a matter of fact, more than you realise especially when you're starting your own business. You only have yourself to rely on for help (at least in the beginning) and so you need to make every day count.
Knowing how to organize your time (or not) will ensure you are effective and productive and therefore achieve your goals quicker... and that's what you want ... isn't it?
Follow these simple time management strategies. Make a commitment to yourself to work on developing your personal time management skills. It'll take a bit of effort and perseverance but I can guarantee that it'll be worth it.
Without an Action Plan it'll be very difficult for your goals to become a reality .
An Action Plan breaks goals down into achievable steps and
- provides you with a useful overview of what you have to do
- helps you to focus on the important rather than the urgent
- provides a benchmark against which to measure progress
- highlights any potential problems
When you're faced with several tasks to do, on the same day, it is sometimes difficult to know what to do first. Prioritizing what you have to do makes it easier and ensures you do the things that you help you achieve your goal first.
Review your "To Do List" and mark tasks that are:- important and urgent as #1- either important or urgent as #2
- neither important nor urgent as #3
Then do all the tasks marked #1 first, then the #2 tasks and then the #3 tasks last!Remember to always ask yourself: "Will doing this task now bring me closer to my goal?"
Put some time aside once a week to review your achievements and to plan for the week ahead.
I like to do this on a Friday. It helps me plan and also acts as a destresser as I feel in control. I know exactly what I need to do and as it's documented, I can put work out of my mind when I walk out the door at the end of the day - one of the best benefits of personal time management!
Choose a time of the day that suits you to plan: either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, before you knock off is best!
Use a diary (either electronic or paper). List everything you have to do, categorised the tasks and prioritize. Block out time in your diary for each task.
Remember to leave some free time as a contingency. Murphy's Law and all that ..... You don't want to plan your day so tightly that it puts extra pressure on you.
Try as best you can to separate work from home. Working from home takes discipline and it helps if you keep set hours. When I started working from home I decided to work the same hours as I did when I was an employee. That set my routine for me and made it easier to focus. Once I had everything set up and functioning efficiently I then started allowing myself some flexibility.
Make sure that your friends know that you working even though you may be at home!
In the beginning I found that friends and neighbours didn't quite "get" that what I was working from home. I had to be very strong ... eventually they started respecting the fact that I was working and the interruptions ceased.
If your computer beeps when an email lands in your inbox, switch it off!
Designate a specific time/times every day to answering emails.
How much time you set aside and how often you designate time to answering emails will depend on the type of business you're running.
Make sure you continue working on your personal time management skills and see the results!