Hi, since I started as part-time online entrepreneur in 2001 and fulltime since 2011, managing time has become an all too real struggle for me as for many online and offline entrepreneurs. With so much to do in both your work and personal lives, it can be challenging to get things done during a day. I learned that there are many ways for entrepreneurs to improve their time management skills to get more accomplished in less time. Here are four ideas I learned over time to improve my own time management.
Make a Schedule and Stick to It
You can start to improve your time management skills by taking the time to organize your days and weeks in advance. While there will always be surprises that you’ll have to deal with, you’re more likely to be able to tackle those surprises better because you have an idea about what tasks and responsibilities you have to deal with each day.
Learning how to prioritize is the second way to improve time management skills. If you want to execute your projects efficiently, then you have to decide which stages or components of the project are essential to your business and which contacts and meetings you really need. You have to be able to determine which activities and tasks will deliver the best returns for your business.
If you want to be able to work in peace, then you need to inform those you work with when you’re not available. Your partners, employees or people that want to connect with you on for instance LinkedIn can’t read minds, so it is your job to set appropriate boundaries when necessary. Make sure that you communicate your limits in a polite, yet direct manner to ensure that you can have the time you need to work on essential tasks.
Account for Good Distractions
There will always be distractions that get the best of you, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. However, no one can work for hours on end, and to stay productive, we all need breaks. The best thing you can do is accept this reality and try to incorporate some distractions into your schedule. Try to block out some downtime every day. This might mean setting aside a few minutes to take a short walk, grab a cup of coffee, or find some other stress management activities that you can do.
Managing your time requires discipline, planning, and a healthy attitude. However, if you get it right, you will start to notice improved productivity and lower levels of stress like I have seen over the years!
See you soon,
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Tony de Bree has been working in (corporate) venturing and entrepreneurial financing of high-tech and impact startups and scaleups inside and outside Banking, FinTech & RegTech since 1997. He earmarked Amazon.com, Bol.com, PayPal, ASML & IKEA in 2001 while working at Corporate IT Strategy at ABN Amro. He is a successful online entrepreneur as his ‘plan b’ since 2001. He left the Bank at the end of 2011 and is helping executives, students, founders of startups, CEOs of scaleups & SMES to make money online and offline and ‘Start & Grow their business without growing their organization’. Connect with him on LinkedIn here or contact him here.