You’ve probably heard the phrase “we all have the same 24 hours in a day”, but it surely never feels like it. Time management is one of the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. If you’re working full-time with a side hustle, it can be even harder. Even though it might seem impossible, you’d be surprised by how much you can improve your time management if you just think smart and stay organized.
Saying no is the easiest thing you can do to manage your time. That is why it is the first tip. It’s easy to overbook your schedule if you’re not staying organized with what you already have. It’s alright to say no to a project or push a meeting back in order to prioritize what needs to be done. You should still take advantage of opportunities that will help you reach your goals, but don’t stress yourself out trying to please everyone. If you’re working a job that is separate from your entrepreneurial pursuits, then your time is even more sacred. There is only one you, and unfortunately, you can never be two places at once.
Plan it out
Now that you’ve lightened your workload by saying no, it’s time to plan. When planning out your to-do list, it is important to try to get things done in the most efficient way possible. Doing so allows you to have a better handle on your time management. Some like to plan right before bed or wake up an extra 30 minutes to plan in the morning. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as you have a clear direction for your day. There was a time when I thought I could go about my day and keep everything I had to do in my head. Not only was that impossible, but it affected the quality of my work. By creating a list, I found I had more free time during the day and it felt great to check off each task as I finished them.
Start with the hardest tasks first. Your brain is much more active in the morning, so spending that time completing your hardest task will actually encourage you to work faster and with more focus. Try to batch similar tasks together, such as checking your emails and voicemail messages. This way you can complete tasks in a logical way instead of jumping back and forth. The important thing about making a to-do list is actually making sure you complete the list. The list only works if you use it!
Make Time for Yourself
A part of planning your day is to carve out some time for yourself. We are at our best when we take breaks to regroup. Your brain can only focus for about 90 minutes at a time. So if you finish a task after that time, take 15 minutes to grab a cup of coffee, or play a quick game on your phone. You could even meditate or do a light stretch. Don’t get too distracted though or those 15 minutes could turn into 30!
There are so many other tips and tricks to adding more time to your day. What may work for you won’t be strict enough for someone else. Figuring out how to make these suggestions fit your lifestyle might be challenging; however, the rewards are more than worth it. Remember to break down your bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and to set aside some time during the day to refresh your mind. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first, even if that means saying no. Your time is valuable and what you do with it could be the difference between failure and success.