Do you ever feel like the day gets away from you? This can be common among entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t have to be your reality. By practicing time management skills, you can more carefully schedule out your day, ensure that your time is spent efficiently and get more done.
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some tips straight from business leaders that can help you stay productive.
Schedule Everything — Even Personal Time
One common problem among business owners is the issue of dealing with disruptions — they can throw your whole day off and prevent you from addressing important responsibilities. But you can cut your disruptions considerably by scheduling out every part of your day, including personal time, says Anurag Pal, CEO of Escalon Services.
“It’s very important to maintain a daily/weekly/monthly routine,” Pal says. “In addition, ensure that you exercise. It’s very easy to become lethargic and irritable, or to let events overwhelm you — so ensure you get plenty of exercise and make sure to schedule it.”
Of course, you’ll still face disruptions, but there will be fewer of them — and you’ll be better prepared to deal with them if the rest of your day moves efficiently. Take those distractions in stride, and accept them as part of the process.
Maintain To-Do Lists
It’s helpful to start each day at the same time so you don’t fall behind and you can more easily get into your routine, says Sarah Lerche, chief financial officer with Escalon Services. As you go through your scheduled day, you might find it helpful to keep to-do lists and check the items off throughout the day. It can provide you with a feeling of accomplishment to cross tasks off the list, whether they’re large or small, Lerche says.
She also suggests taking breaks during the day. “Do something else for 30 minutes to an hour — go for a walk, listen to music, etc.,” she adds. This can help clear your mind significantly.
Don’t Try and Participate in Everything
Entrepreneurs are curious by nature, and often want to join in every webinar they come across so they can learn new information. But you shouldn’t try and attend them all, or you’ll run out of time to get to your other responsibilities.
In some cases, you can delegate some to your team, Pal says. “Have them send summaries to relevant team members.” Or, he suggests, you can register and then listen to the recordings when you have time.
He also recommends maintaining a cohesive workstation space so you always have a sense of normalcy, particularly one where you’re comfortable and you know where everything is, since that will help you minimize distractions.
Maintain Structure in Your off Hours
You shouldn’t abandon the idea of having a schedule during evenings and weekends, Lerche says. You can add online exercise classes to your evening schedule, and on weekends, you should try and do your personal errands so weekdays and weekends feel different from one another, she notes.
Check out These Additional Productivity Tips
In addition to the strategies above, entrepreneurs should consider instituting some of these productivity practices into their lives:
- Maintain a work-life balance
- Outline your days in advance
- Limit distractions in your work life
- Tackle your most difficult tasks first
- Take advantage of your commute time
- Prioritize your emails and tasks with multi-screens
- Write down your daily goals and accomplishments
- Keep your weekend to relax and refuel for the week ahead
- Schedule daily breaks or take a break when you are not feeling productive anymore
- Know when to say “no” — avoid anything that is not in line with your work or that’s unproductive
- Utilize apps and technology to improve efficiency and productivity, and to organize your schedule
- Limit your meetings — If you must have them, make sure they are focused, punctual and effective