Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs: Manage Yourself to Manage Your Time

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Time Management for Entrepreneurs“Time management is really a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time, but manage ourselves.  The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey.

Time is the great equalizer.  We all have the same 24 hours in each day. What makes the difference is how we use the 24 hours we’re given. You probably could think of quite a number of persons who seemed to have accomplished a great deal in their lifetime, and often in a short time. They did this within the framework of 24-hour days.

Are you discouraged with how little you seem to accomplish while others seem to accomplish a great deal more in a short time? If you do, you’re not alone as I’ve felt that way at times. What are some things that could be holding you back?

Seeking perfection. One person will spend 30 minutes writing a great blog post on a topic in their niche with which they’re familiar.  They lay the facts out in a clear, concise way that appeals to their target audience.  The other entrepreneur will spend two hours doing the same thing.   Did the person who took longer write a better post?  Perhaps they wrote more details with the goal of having a perfectly written article.  But did the additional time bring more value to readers?  A personal assessment would determine if this was so, but striving for perfection when no one expects it of you could cause you to be less productive than you could be.

Lack of organization: Disorganization is a huge time-waster. Searching for papers, documents, etc. is great waste of time – yours and others. There is no question about it that to make good use of your time, you must stay organized. No fancy storage system is required, but having a specific place for certain things will allow you to find them immediately when you need them rather than running around searching here and there, frustrating yourself, and wasting precious time. Your lack of organization may affect others so that you end up wasting their time as well.

Taking on more than you can manage: Most of us have a natural desire to help others, and we also have a problem saying, “No.” We often take on much more than we can comfortably handle and find that by saying “Yes” to too many things we actually become unproductive. How is that possible, you may ask? The answer is simple: Time spent on one thing is time away from another. This goes hand-in-hand with the questions small business owners and entrepreneurs should keep asking themselves, “Is what I’m doing taking me closer to my goal?”

If the task is something that could easily be done by someone else, and is not in line with your goals, whether these are personal or business goals, and is actually robbing you of time you had scheduled to work on these goals, it is not an effective self-management decision.  In order to practice good self- management, you should have a plan or strategy for the various aspects of your life and sticking to your plan in order to reach your goals shows a measure of self-respect.

When you manage yourself to manage your time no one can tell you exactly how you should do this since everyone’s circumstance is different. Further, there are people who can set schedules and live by them, while others like to go with the flow.  However, it’s important to remind yourself that to the extent to which you practice good self-management it’s to that extent you’ll make good use of your 24-hour days, be productive and reach your goals. 

Incorporating these time management tips for entrepreneurs can help you make the most use of the portion of your 24 hours that you allocate to your business on a daily basis.  And don’t forget to include time to have FUN in your business!

Many books have been written on the topic.  Here is a Kindle book you may find an easy read: 10 Minute Time Management by Ric Thompson.

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