The concept of time management is important, time moves on whether we like it or not, So we can’t actually manage it, but we can manage our agenda.
I’ll share seven tips that’ll help enhance your productivity and focus as a busy entrepreneur that wants to get results, today, I want to center everything around results.
Whether your goal is to make more money, to live anywhere, to make a positive impact or have more time to do what you love. It all starts with the choices you make daily, results are a meeting point between the whats and the why’s that drive us.
For example, one of your whats might be to pay off your parents’ mortgage and the why might be to bring closure to all the sacrifices you witnessed your parents make for you. I say all of this, because one of the biggest traps for entrepreneurs is day-to-day tunnel vision, which turns being in business, into being in busy-ness.
It’s a tragedy to find out after a year of hustle and work that you were busy every single day, and yet you didn’t achieve any results.
This is a disease of always doing things and yet not getting things done, at the end of the day, results are the only things that matter.
All of the tips I’m about to dive into are focused on just that, setting you up to manage your focus in order to realize your goals.
Maintain a Bird’s-eye view
Maintain a bird’s eye view. Oftentimes, especially when we’re newer to entrepreneurship, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
It’s an exciting time and you may have so many things swimming around your head, creating a business card design, running Facebook ads, starting a podcast, creating a newsletter, launching a business Tik Tok account and countless other things.
One thing all of those random examples have in common though, is that they’re individual tasks that may or may not be impactful. If you are busy and stretched for time, it stands to reason that you need to make the best use of it and maintaining a bird’s eye view of your vision and targets is critical in order to prioritize which individual tasks you should be performing to support the results that matter.
The required result of every business is profitability and especially if this is a new business, ramping up money in the bank needs to be a near singular priority.
You have a value proposition to your prospective customers and you need them to see that value and be willing to pay for it.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, I recommend thinking about where your target customer spends their time. If it’s on Reddit, perhaps spend your time posting and commenting to become known as a thought leader in the relevant subreddits.
If they’re on Facebook or Instagram, it’s perhaps time to start making some video ads optimized to convert. If your target customer spends their time working out at the gym, perhaps visiting local gyms in your area to build relationships and create commission partnerships with the owners of the gyms.
To recap, tip one, before executing any task it’s worth zooming out from your tunnel vision and ensuring the task you perform next will get you the closest to your desired result of bringing money in.
Efficiency vs Efficacy
Efficiency refers to the ability to accomplish a task with a minimal amount of resources or effort. Efficacy refers to the ability to produce a desired result or outcome. In other words, efficiency is about doing things right, while efficacy is about doing the right things.
This tip speaks to the all too common trap of feeling busy despite having no results to show for it. Maybe we watched a Google ads tutorial while brainstorming a new ad campaign or we made a list of our competitors and creep their websites to validate our own pricing and even get some ideas for our own website.
Perhaps we even read up on some industry news, signed up for an industry webinar, scheduled a call with a marketing agency, followed and commented on influencer Instagram accounts in our space. This is the difference between efficiency and efficacy.
To reference Tim Ferris, being efficient is doing things well and quickly whether or not they’re important, while being effective is having the foresight to identify the important things to do in the first place. Our tutorial watching campaign brainstorming competitors, researching industry news, reading webinars, registering agency, engaging Instagram commenting, rapid brownie making friend was sure as hell efficient, but were they effective? Meanwhile, the only two things our other entrepreneur friend accomplished on the same day was one research the name of the wholesale decision makers at art supply stores in their city, and to send them an email with a wholesale price list and closing with a promise to personally drop by in the coming week to meet them and give them a free product sample.
The individual task account paled in comparison in terms of efficiency, but in terms of impact supporting the goal of bringing money in well, the winner is clear.
Recognize, and constantly review the difference between being efficient and being effective, and you’ll be well on your way to making the best use of your energy and focus in order to not just do things, but rather get things done.
Take regular breaks: Schedule regular breaks to refresh your mind and increase productivity.
Taking regular breaks is an important aspect of time management for busy entrepreneurs. It’s easy to get caught up in work and lose track of time, but taking breaks can help refresh your mind and increase productivity. The human brain is not wired to focus on a single task for long periods of time, and taking breaks allows the mind to relax and recharge.
One effective way to schedule breaks is to use the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. This technique helps to break up the workday and allows you to focus on one task at a time. After four 25-minute work sessions, it’s recommended to take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.
Another important aspect of taking breaks is to disconnect from work during that time. Instead of checking emails or answering calls, try to engage in an activity that allows your mind to relax and refocus. This can be anything from going for a walk, doing some yoga, or even just closing your eyes and taking deep breaths.
It’s also important to note that taking regular breaks can help prevent burnout, a common issue for entrepreneurs who often work long hours. Burnout can lead to decreased productivity, fatigue, and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. By taking regular breaks, you can reduce the risk of burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In conclusion, taking regular breaks is an essential aspect of time management for busy entrepreneurs. It helps to refresh the mind, increase productivity, and prevent burnout. By scheduling regular breaks and disconnecting from work during that time, entrepreneurs can maintain a better work-life balance and achieve their goals more efficiently.
You’ve heard of Murphy’s law or Parkinson’s disease, but Parkinson’s law? What’s that? Parkinson’s Law is a concept that states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This means that tasks tend to take as much time as is allotted for them, regardless of the actual amount of work required. It is often used to explain why projects tend to take longer than expected and why deadlines are missed. The concept was first described by C. Northcote Parkinson in his 1955 book “Parkinson’s Law, or The Pursuit of Progress.”
There are several strategies that can be used to mitigate the effects of Parkinson’s Law and ensure that projects are completed on time:
- Set clear and realistic deadlines: When setting deadlines for a project, be sure to factor in the amount of work required and the resources available and set a realistic deadline accordingly.
- Prioritize tasks: Break down the project into smaller tasks, and prioritize them based on their importance and urgency. This will help to ensure that the most important tasks are completed first and that the project stays on track.
- Use a project management tool: Utilize a tool such as a Gantt chart or Kanban board to keep track of the progress of the project and its tasks.
- Minimize distractions: Be mindful of the distractions that can arise during the course of a project and take steps to minimize them.
- Regularly review progress: Regularly review the progress of the project and make adjustments as needed to keep it on track.
- Hold regular meetings: Regular meetings with the team members help to keep everyone on the same page, and ensure that everyone is aware of the progress and any issues that may arise.
- Hold yourself accountable: It’s important to hold yourself accountable for the work that needs to be done, and to take ownership of the project.
- Be flexible: Be willing to adapt the plan as needed to ensure that the project is completed on time.
By implementing these strategies, you can help to mitigate the effects of Parkinson’s Law and ensure that your projects are completed on time.
Use time management tools
There are many different time management tools available that can help you to stay organized and on track with your tasks and projects. Some examples include:
- Calendar: A calendar allows you to schedule and plan your time in advance, and can be used to set reminders for important tasks and deadlines.
- Slack : Slack is a communication and collaboration platform that allows users to chat, share files, and organize conversations in channels. It is primarily used by teams and businesses to streamline communication and improve productivity.
- Pomodoro Technique: This technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
- Notion, is a productivity and organization tool that allows users to create notes, tasks, wikis, and databases. It is often described as an all-in-one workspace, as it allows users to integrate different types of information and media in a single location. Notion’s flexibility allows users to create customized workspaces, such as personal journals, project management boards, and team wikis. It also includes collaboration features, such as the ability to share and edit pages with others. It is available as a web app and as a mobile app.
The 80-20 Rule
You may have heard of the 80/20. It’s a rule that seems to apply in all areas like in business, roughly 80% of profits come from just 20% of our most loyal customers, and on the negative front, 80% of your interpersonal stress comes from roughly 20% of the people in your life.
The 80-20 rule can be used in a variety of ways depending on the context, but some common applications include:
- Identifying and focusing on the most important factors: By identifying the 20% of inputs that are responsible for 80% of the outputs, you can prioritize and focus on the most important factors for achieving a desired outcome.
- Improving efficiency: By identifying and eliminating the sources of inefficiency, the 80-20 rule can help you achieve more with less effort.
- Identifying key customers or products: By identifying the 20% of customers or products that generate 80% of revenue, a company can focus their resources on those areas to increase overall profitability.
- Identifying and solving problems: By identifying the 20% of problems that are causing 80% of the issues, you can focus on solving the most critical problems first.
- Time management: By identifying and eliminating the 20% of tasks that are taking up 80% of your time, you can free up more time to focus on the most important tasks.
It’s important to note that the 80-20 rule is not a hard and fast rule, and the actual proportions may vary. The key is to identify the most important factors and focus on them.