We all want to live happily. We all want to be successful. We all want financial freedom.
Unfortunately, only a few of us are willing to invest our time in activities that will help us achieve these desires of happiness, success and financial freedom.
There is an undeniable link between the way we spend our time and the quality of life that we experience.
Time is perishable, irreplaceable, and irretrievable. Time cannot be saved, and so it is important to use it well.
Great use of time is especially important for entrepreneurs. They’re often faced with ample demands from family, friends, employees and sometimes have difficulty completing important tasks on time.
This can lead to downturns in growth. However, if an entrepreneur can manage time well, then he/she will notice tremendous growth both in business and life.
With this said, here are a few time management tips that will help you succeed. Some are methods that work for me while others are tips that have been used and proven by other entrepreneurs.
1. Always Think Before You Act
Many young entrepreneurs put great effort into tasks that do not add value to the growth of their companies.
They procrastinate. They put little time into the activities that will yield positive results in the long run and focus on tasks that make very little or no difference.
Have it in mind that you cannot save time. You can only reallocate your time usage from less productive tasks to more productive ones.
As a young entrepreneur; before you commit your five minutes to any task, it will do well to ask yourself, “How will this task affect my business positively?”
If after asking yourself this question you discover that the task does not contribute positively to company growth, discard it and never think about doing such again.
Remember that whatever you repeatedly do will surely become a habit. So think about your actions, and be sure to cultivate great habits.
2. Know The True Value Of All Your Tasks
You can know the true value of a task by the amount of time you invest in it. It is normal for every entrepreneur to spend more time on the task that adds much value to his or her business.
Some things you do are more valuable to you than the others despite taking the same time as the others to complete.
20% of the things you do on any given day is usually time-consuming, challenging and difficult to complete, whereas, the other 80 percent may be time-consuming, but are very easy to accomplish. Most times the latter do not add any value to your business.
Watching movies and TV shows are part of the 80 percent I am talking about here. It may take a lot of time to complete a whole season of GOT but that isn’t a difficult task.
In fact, it’s fun watching movies. However, it may not add as much value to your business as editing posts for your blog.
In managing time, it is important for you to set realistic priorities and then stick to them. That is self-discipline! Always choose the most valuable tasks and then ensure you strictly work on getting those tasks completed.
3. Prepare a Personal Time Management Strategy
In preparing a personal strategic plan, your aim is to get the best return on the energy invested in your activities.
You must ensure you receive the highest level of satisfaction from the little amount of time you have to spend on your tasks daily.
I will be sharing with you a simple time management system I learned from Brian Tracy. This system requires a high level of self-discipline, will-power, and personal organization.
The result of this system could be tremendous if only you stick to it strictly.
I was able to overcome procrastination using this very strategy. By utilizing this system, I doubled my productivity, output, and income.
The system is a very clear one. Begin each day by making a list of everything you have to do. I choose to make this list every evening before going to bed as it seems to be the perfect time for that.
So before and while I sleep, I will be able to meditate on those tasks that need to be completed.
When I wake up, my head becomes filled with ideas that will enable me to handle those task effectively. Now I will have to apply the ABCDE strategy to the list I prepared.
A = “Must do” Failure to complete these tasks will result in serious consequences
B = “Should do” Failure to complete these tasks will result in mild consequences
C = “Nice to do” Failure to complete these tasks will not result in any consequences
D = “Delegate” Tasks you possibly can outsource, to spare up more time for those things only you can do
E = “Eliminate” Tasks that are not essential to your business or goals. You can eliminate them, and it won’t have any effect at all
Now before you go to bed, review your list carefully and write A, B, C, D, E next to each task you have written.
If you have several “A” tasks on your list, then it is important you organize them according to their level of relevance. You can do this by writing A1, A2, A3, etc. If necessary, do this to your B and C tasks as well.
One rule you should strictly adhere to is never to move to a B task when an A task is incomplete. Make sure you do not start a task of lower value before that of higher value.
Once you are done organizing your list as explained above, you can then start with your A tasks and complete them before anything else.
4. Know the Consequences
Just like A, B, C, D, E system, we learned that tasks in the A section would result in serious consequences if they are not completed.
Some things have huge consequences for completion and non-completion. Some tasks are so unimportant that it doesn’t matter whether they are completed or not.
For instance, completing a particular project in your business can have huge positive consequences and also negative consequences if not completed. Completing your course in the university will have a long-term consequence in your life as an entrepreneur.
However, watching TV, surfing the internet and checking emails frequently, hanging out and chatting with friends will have little or no consequences if completed or not.
It is not important whether you do them or not, that said, it is pertinent you focus on the task that will result in serious consequences if left incomplete.
5. Be Focused
It takes a large amount of self-discipline and determination to start a task and remain focused until it is complete.
What I do to remain focused is to think about the end, i.e., the final stage of that task. There is always a feeling of excitement whenever I come to the conclusion of a huge task.
So I keep my mind focused on the joy that awaits me when such a task is completed.
Another way I motivate myself to complete a task is to set a reward for myself after the completion of a task. Maybe a bottle of drink or an hour chat with friends on Facebook.
I make the completion of that task a prerequisite to enjoying that bottle of drink or Facebook chat. You can adopt this method as well.
The law of forced efficiency states:
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.”
Focus on your important tasks and make sure you complete them.
Once you have started a particular task, endeavor to give 100 percent concentration until the task is done.
I understand that it takes a whole lot of courage to begin a particular task, but when you finally start, you begin to feel a huge flow of energy that motivates and propels you to complete the task.
What other methods have you implemented to manage time?
Do well to share your strategy in the comments. I would love to know how you manage time 🙂