It is clear that the scarcest commodity of an entrepreneur is time. Small business owners often wear many hats. They are the CEO, accountant and marketer, and even the janitor on occasion.
It isn’t surprising therefore to the find reports such as the “Makings of a Successful Entrepreneur,” published by the Kauffman Foundation, verifying the notion that the big challenge for successful entrepreneurs is the stress of time management and maintaining a balanced life.
Below are three tools that have helped me in my quest to better manage my time.
Track your time
This exercise will surprise you. It surely surprised me. It made me take a good hard look at how I spend all my time. It made me realize two things: that I had more available time than I thought and that it was being mismanaged spent on things that were not conducive to getting you the results I wanted. My favorite tool for this exercise was Toggl. It’s an online time tracking tool that is simple and easy to use. It is also free. I use it at my computer and on my iPhone (of course, it has an app).
Get your priorities in order
To do this I love to use Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. Set your priorities according to this matrix and you are well off to a good start.
Set a schedule and stick to it.
Now that you know where you spend your time, create a schedule that includes EVERYTHING, your personal life as well as you business. Creating a schedule for all of the things you need to tackle on a daily or weekly basis does wonders for relieving pressure. It gives you a complete list of actions to be taken and it obligates you to put them in writing (so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them).
What techniques, tools, tricks and tips have worked for you?