Time management is the creation of tools and processes that allow individuals and organizations to accomplish more in a set time period. While time management is critical to success for all individuals, it is critically important to entrepreneurs. This is because entrepreneurs are typically faced with tons of challenges each day and quickly compile massive “To Do” lists. This article presents tips to help entrepreneurs to better manage their time to be more effective.
The first step in time management for entrepreneurs is to identify key uses of their time. For instance, what percent of your time is spent answering phone calls (both personal and professional), having company meetings, traveling to meetings, finding information, managing your team, etc.?
After identifying the key uses of time, entrepreneurs must determine whether these uses maximize the value of their time. For example, questions must be answered such as whether more value is added to the organization if the entrepreneur spent less time traveling and more time managing the team.
In addition to figuring out the best uses of their time, entrepreneurs must follow several tried and true time management tips including the following:
1. Not ensuring that everything is perfect. Great organizations perform the critical tasks expertly. However, it is impossible to be great at every imaginable aspect of a business. Entrepreneurs must focus their time on the critical activities.
2. Saying “no”. While it’s always nice to be the hero and adhere to everyone’s wants and desires, doing so takes up an unreasonable amount of time. Entrepreneurs must be willing to say no to actions/plans that do not add as much value to the organization as other actions/plans.
3. Prioritizing. Since there are only a limited number of hours in the day, not only must entrepreneurs say “no” to certain activities, but they must be vigilant in prioritizing those activities that add the most value and which best allow the organization to execute on its business plan.
A critical component to a successful time management plan is a solid business plan. The business plan lays out the critical elements that the business must accomplish and what the action plan is to get there. The time management plan should be overlaid on this. That is, it should force the entrepreneur to plan and prioritize their time to best meet the goals set forth in the business plan.
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