When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, there’s little that’s quite as fundamental to your overall success as your ability to manage your time. While money is at the heart of every business, money can be gained as well as squandered, and it’s possible to move from a position of bad financial standing today, to one of good financial standing tomorrow.
Like gas, oil and coal — time is a limited resource. In fact, unlike any other resource on earth, time can never be regained once it’s gone.
As if that wasn’t enough, everyone — no matter who they are — only has 24 hours in a day in which to get all their work done, enjoy their personal lives, get a full night’s sleep, and plan for the future.
As time is, therefore, so clearly priceless — here are a few work habits you can start introducing to your routine, that can help free up extra time.
End each day by planning what to do tomorrow
An enormous proportion of the time that’s wasted in business, in wasted by people who haven’t got a clear idea of what the most valuable next action is for them at any given moment.
For entrepreneurs, in particular, it’s quite common to begin the day with no clear sense of what you should be working on — and to spend a number of hours dealing with menial chores before deciding on something really important to make headway with.
Planning out what you intend to do, in advance, is a great way of counteracting this issue — and if you have a natural tendency to procrastinate, it’s especially important that you do this with time to spare.
At the end of each working day, plan out what you’ll aim to accomplish on the next day. Create lists. Sometimes your plans will be disrupted by unforeseen events, but starting the day with a checklist is a great way to build momentum quickly and avoid time wasting.
Commit to a weekly review of your tasks and projects
No matter how refined and effective your personal project management system may be, it is the nature of these things to tend towards entropy and to become disordered and chaotic over time.
In order to keep your planners and project and task management systems in check, you should commit to performing a weekly review of everything in the system.
Determine which tasks and projects have become redundant, which have already been dealt with, which have a new deadline affixed to them, and so on.
Keep a notepad with you, and write down distractions
Distractions occur for any number of reasons during the working day, but these only begin to present a real problem when you follow the impulse and begin procrastinating.
In order to prevent your distractions getting their teeth into you and disrupting your workflow, it’s key to create a bit of a mental gap between the distraction and your reaction to it.
One great and easy way to do this is to keep a notepad and pen on your desk and to write down the distraction when it occurs to you, instead of acting for it. Instead of Googling some unrelated topic that’s popped into your head, note it down. You’ll find this can ease the distraction significantly.
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