Most entrepreneurs have a good understanding of the value of time, and of maximizing their usage of it in getting tasks accomplished. The really successful entrepreneurs are often experts at managing their time and prioritizing tasks, so that their most important tasks are accomplished first and lesser tasks done when time is available.
However, even very successful entrepreneurs are occasionally guilty of losing valuable productivity because they don’t make best use of time available to them, or they don’t maximize those hours when they are typically more productive, like early in the morning. Here are some handy tips startup managers and executives alike can make use of in their entrepreneurship journey.
Use time blocks
Using time blocks is a productivity hack that maximizes your usage of time throughout the day. Time blocks are specific time intervals scheduled throughout your day wherein you focus on a single specific task from your to-do list and nothing else. These individual tasks should be high-priority tasks which can’t wait and are generally the more difficult items on your agenda.
The Pomodoro technique is one example of how time blocks can be used to break up the day into, for example 25 minute intervals, so that very specific tasks can be accomplished. These highly focused 25-minute intervals are then followed by a brief break period, before moving onto the next task.
An entrepreneur who is in charge of managing a number of employees can extend the productivity concept to include all those individuals under his/her direct supervision by using tool such as Buddy Punch.
This time management software is a web-based product which can be accessed by literally any type of device which can connect to the Internet, and is one of the most efficient time management software systems available. It can be made compatible with your home website, and can ensure that time and attendance are managed with ease for every team member in your company.
Forget about multi-tasking
Multi-tasking is basically a myth, because the human brain is really only good at focusing on a single task at a single time. When you attempt to multi-task, you won’t do any of the tasks you’re trying to address very well, and that means you’re much better off to focus on a single task and accomplish it quickly, so that all your attention is devoted to one thing.
When you’re trying to accomplish several things at once, you’ll end up leaving jobs incomplete, your mental health will suffer because you’re too busy working to take a break, and you’ll make mistakes that downgrade the quality of your work. Take on one task at a time, and save another for the next day, or next week.
Choose a good website host
You might wonder why choosing a good website host should be considered a productivity tip for entrepreneurs, but when you don’t have a really good host for your website, you’ll quickly find out how time can be lost in a workday. Whether you’re a small business owner or CEO of an enterprise, your website is constantly being measured against all your competitors. Site visitors can form negative impressions about your entire business based on the amount of time it takes a page to load.
For instance, just a few hours of downtime might send site visitors scurrying to a competitor, never to return to your website. That makes using the web hosting comparison tool when choosing a web host is one of the more productive things you can do for yourself and for your business.
Obviously this is one of those things that’s easier said than done, and you can’t control distractions like a million incoming phone calls or emergencies which occur around the workplace. However, to a very large extent, you can control the ordinary day-to-day distractions which eat away your hours of productivity and shorten your available time for accomplishing important tasks, impacting your business’s profitability. It may require a bit of self-discipline, but you have to learn to eliminate unnecessary cellphone activities, social media chatting or other involvement, or even mindlessly doodling on your desktop computer.
Stick your iPhone in a locked drawer, block Facebook and LinkedIn on your work computer, and wait until you’re home to browse Amazon for new purchases. Set up notifications for yourself to remember important tasks that might slip your mind while you’re working.
This means you should make yourself accountable, and not just those people who work for you. You can do this by establishing goals from your weekly agenda, and developing a plan for how you’re going to accomplish them. Then the important part comes in where you share this plan for accomplishment with a co-worker or a peer.
The accountability aspect stems from the fact that you will then have to report back to that person on whether or not you actually accomplished your goals, i.e. you’ve made yourself accountable to someone else.
Learn when to say ‘no’
If you’re like most business executives and entrepreneurs, you’ll probably want to be everything to all people, so as to cultivate relationships and to give the impression that you are a can-do kind of person. This is great up to a point, but when saying ‘yes’ to everything that comes your way means that your time is so divided that you can’t accomplish much of anything, you’ve lost the value of being a can-do person.
Learn to say ‘no’ to tasks which don’t help you meet your goals, or which won’t help you grow in the direction that you’ve set for yourself.
Consider the power of delegation
You’ve hired the good people around you for a reason, and you should trust that they are competent to carry out the goals and objectives of your company. You need to get into the habit of delegating tasks which do not call for your specific skills, and which can easily be carried out by some of the good people you’ve hired.
Not only will this free up time for you, but it will help create an empowered workforce which is more motivated and has greater skills to help your company become successful.
You’ll recognize the telltale signs of burnout long before it actually happens. Before you reach that point, you should periodically just unplug yourself from the business environment, and allow your mind and body to recover from the exertions of the day or the week.
Being productive does not mean working until you’re ready to drop; it means efficiently tackling those jobs which are high priority tasks. Make sure to keep some energy in your tank to stay motivated and keep you forward, so that you’re ready for tomorrow.