Entrepreneurship isn’t just a career choice – for many, it is a state of mind that entails a wide range of both professional and personal traits. The ability to launch, execute, grow, and scale a company is a very intellectual exercise that involves a tremendous amount of research, planning, networking, business strategy, sales, marketing, and much more. As a result, many entrepreneurs find themselves faced with the need to jump between tasks, juggle multiple calls and conversations, attend several events, and be extremely careful when it comes to making each and every decision for their business, no matter how big or small they may be.
In addition to the heavy workload and the amount of self-learning that many entrepreneurs have to do, it’s no surprise that burnout is commonplace amongst many business owners today. This occurs when one finds themselves in a state of complete mental and physical exhaustion due to stress, pressure, and working a ridiculous number of hours per week, especially when there is little to no immediate improvement or progress to be seen. Experienced entrepreneurs have mastered a number of important time management techniques to ensure that no matter how much they are having to juggle at once, it’s still manageable for them and doesn’t become detrimental to their health.
#1. Choose Flexible Options as Often as Possible:
Having to rearrange your schedule to fit something in can be very stressful, but when you’re a business owner, it happens all the time. If you’re planning to take on something new, like studying a business course or even getting a degree to help you master business techniques that you can transfer to your company, then choosing the most flexible options available is always going to be your best bet. If you are considering studying for a qualification whilst running your business, you might find these study tips from Southern Cross University to help you study smarter, rather than harder, very useful and informative. But, of course, being flexible doesn’t just apply to furthering your education – try and find an option in whatever you are taking on that can fit around your current schedule.
#2. Break Things Down:
When you’re faced with a massive task or a problem to solve, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Looking at it all at once, especially if it’s come out of the blue, is something that can be all too common in business ownership and management. But the good news is that you can avoid procrastinating over issues and becoming overwhelmed by using a simple time management task of breaking things down into simpler, more manageable chunks and approaching them one at a time. Simplifying your problems makes them easier to manage as you can establish a process to get to the main root of the issue and eventually solve it when you have broken it down into smaller steps.
#3. Swap Your To-Do List for a Priority List:
Having a solid prioritization system in place is one of the best things that you can do for yourself as an entrepreneur. A to-do list as long as your arm that never seems to get any shorter can quickly take a massive toll on your sanity, so while it’s a good idea to have a list of things that need to be done, don’t have them all in front of you at once – create a priority list that you can use to list the things that need doing immediately or very quickly from your to-do list each day. Not only will this help you better manage getting everything done, but it’ll also speed up the process and contribute to greater efficiency as there is a lower risk of you spending time working on tasks that could have waited.
#4. Break Your Goals Down into Smaller Objectives:
It’s certainly not uncommon for entrepreneurs to have massive goals, and that’s definitely something that credit should be given for. But, when you’re dealing with the reality of life running your own business, working towards your long-term goals can seem like an uphill battle. So, take the technique that you use for solving problems and also break your goals down into smaller ones that are easier to achieve. Think of every step that it is going to take to reach your overall, biggest goal, whatever it may be, and turn each step into a goal of its own. Working through these smaller steps chronologically will be far easier for you mentally and emotionally, and you will get more satisfaction from knowing that each time you complete a step, you are a step further towards reaching your ultimate goal.
#5. Take Regular Breaks:
Today’s ‘hustle culture’ has glorified working flat-out, and the truth is that it’s healthier and better to take regular breaks and make sure that you are looking after yourself as well. The idea of working 24/7 has been romanticized today, but sadly, spending every waking hour working and, worse, losing sleep so that you can work even more will only end up with you suffering in terms of your health, mental state, relationships, and even your business. Instead, make sure that you are setting aside some time to refresh your mind – spend some time with friends or family, go for a day trip, take a walk in the countryside, or kick back and enjoy a TV show that you like. This time for yourself will not only help you continue enjoying life and avoiding burnout, but it will actually work in your favour when it comes to your business – you’ll return to your desk feeling fresher, renewed, and ready to take on whatever the day is going to throw at you.
#6. Ask for Support if You Need It:
There’s a reason that networking is pushed so much in the entrepreneur community – other business owners and professionals can be your greatest support system, and when it comes to running a successful business without making yourself sick in the process, you’re going to need all the support that you can get. Take the time to build your network of professionals. Not only can they help you with practical advice for business growth and success strategies, collaborations, and products or services that may be beneficial for your brand, but you can also lean on their experience and wisdom when it comes to how they’ve managed to look after themselves personally whilst running a business, too. Never be ashamed to ask for help if you are struggling in any way; somebody out there will be able to point you in the right direction.
#7. Revisit Your Strategies Often:
So, the time management strategies that you’re using right now are working well and having the desired effect – that’s fantastic! But bear in mind that, much like your marketing strategies, what you’re doing now might not be quite as effective in the future. So, it’s always worth revisiting what you are doing when it comes to time management and self-care as an entrepreneur to determine in case there’s anything that you could be doing differently to achieve results. And don’t just wait until you start feeling the dreaded symptoms of burnout before you do this. Sitting down with yourself every few months or so gives you the chance to truly reflect on what you’re doing and make adjustments if needed before things get out of control.
Being able to manage your time well is one of the best skills to learn for successful entrepreneurship.