Most entrepreneurs don’t fail because of business reasons. Business strategy is often easy to correct or fix. What’s more difficult to fix is the entrepreneur. The more you can accomplish, the higher your chances of success. Your productivity and time management skills are one of the most significant indicators of whether or not you will succeed.
The most valuable resource that you have as an entrepreneur is time. Unfortunately, time is a limited resource, and once lost we can never get it back. With the same 24 hours in a day that is allotted to everyone else, many entrepreneurs feel as though they don’t have enough time to accomplish what they want. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to learn how to manage your time effectively if you’re going to increase your productivity and accomplish everything you set out to do.
Fortunately, with adequate planning, organization, and focus, anyone can learn how to effectively manage their time and begin to work smarter, not harder to reach their goals and achieve their dreams, without burning out.
To be able to manage your time correctly and effectively, it is crucial for you to understand the tools and techniques that are available that can help you improve the required skills that are needed to ensure you complete all of your tasks and activities to reach your goals.
If you don’t already have a system in place to help you manage your time, the techniques and methods in this book can help you develop one. Utilizing the tips and procedures outlined in this book will help you understand why time management is so essential for everyone, not just entrepreneurs, for being more productive and finding success, as well as help you to start to put a time management system in place so you can accomplish more in less time.
The Importance of Time Management
Time is an incredibly valuable resource for entrepreneurs that can never be stored or saved for later use. Everyone has the same amount of time available to them, but for entrepreneurs, it becomes critical that they learn how to use their time effectively. You may not realize it, but time management affects your entire life. It allows you to get more important things done, which can dramatically boost your productivity. Over time, that increased productivity will snowball into marked improvements in both your professional and personal life.
Many people feel that they don’t have enough time to accomplish everything they want to in life. They often blame their lack of time for their increased stress, bad relationships, poor finances, and lack of exercise. However, with the proper time management skills, you can accomplish everything you set out to do.
Time management can help you to identify your priorities, as well as help you make conscious decisions so that you can spend more of your time doing the essential things that will benefit your business. Effectively managing your time can also help you reach your goals faster. Proper time management also helps you accomplish more things in less time and with less effort and stress.
The Benefits of Time Management
Time management makes you a more punctual and disciplined person. It prompts you only to work when you have to. For you to make the most of your available time, you have to prepare a to-do list or task plan. Proper time management requires that you develop a list of activities or tasks that you have to accomplish during the day. It is essential that you also include specific timeframes in your to-do list, as well as the level of urgency for each task. Your task plan, or to-do list, can provide you with a better sense of direction when it comes to getting your work accomplished. It can help you identify how your day should look so that you can work accordingly and achieve more in less time.
Being able to manage your time effectively will also help you to become more organized. It can teach you how to organize your workspace better so that you can more easily find documents, folders, and files. You can benefit from your increased ability to manage your things more effectively as well, through the use of excellent time management practices.
Having a plan for managing your time can also help you realize your goals and objectives within the shortest amount of time possible. With proper time management skills, you can meet your targets ahead of schedule and finish your tasks on time. Incorporating proper time management in your life can dramatically increase your productivity and help you accomplish your goals without having to spend more time working.
How Ineffective Time Management Can Hurt Your Business
Ineffectively managing your time, when it comes to your business, can lead to many problems and undesirable consequences. If you don’t have strong time management skills, it can result in missed deadlines, poor quality of work, excessive stress, inefficient workflow, and more.
If you don’t effectively manage your time, it will become more difficult for you to finish your work on time, which can cause you to be seen as inefficient and unreliable. Your clients, customers, and colleagues will end up having far less faith in your abilities to run a successful business. Missing deadlines and tardiness will significantly hurt your reputation, which can, in turn, start to affect your personal life and wellbeing. As an entrepreneur, if you want to be successful and get more done in less time, then you have to master your time and figure out how to improve your time management skills.
Applying the Pareto Principle to Your Business
The Pareto Principle, or what is better known as the 80/20 Rule, was first considered in 1896 by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto during his time at the University of Lausanne. Briefly stated, the 80/20 rule states that only a minority of effort, inputs, and causes lead to the majority of results, outputs, and rewards intended by a specific person. In other words, 80 percent of what you achieve in your life comes from just 20 percent of the activities that you spend your time, effort, and energy on. Therefore, for all practical purposes, for 80 percent of the time, the effort and energy you spend on a specific undertaking aren’t important in accomplishing your objectives.
To put it in perspective, the 80/20 rule asserts that there is an inherent imbalance between:
• Causes and effects
• Inputs and outputs
• Efforts and rewards
The question then becomes, wouldn’t it be great if you could focus your time, effort, and energy on the 20 percent of the activities that will bring you the 80 percent of the results, rewards, and outputs you desire?
The Importance of the Pareto Principle
All too often, people tend to expect that all causes have the same significance over the results intended by them. For example, with new businesses people tend to assume that every customer is valuable, resulting in them feeling the urge to meet that customer’s demands, however unproductive they might be to the operations of the business. Another example would be the businessman who expects that every product or service that he offers his customers is equally valuable and should be focused on. Unfortunately, nothing can be farther from the truth.
The Pareto principle, on the other hand, affirms that when two sets of information are put to a cause and effect analysis, more often than not it will result in a pattern of imbalance. The imbalance is that only a minority of the inputs produce the majority of the outputs initially intended. Why is this important to you? Understanding the Pareto principle will give you valuable insight into how you can better manage your time and increase your productivity.
Applying the Pareto Principle to Your Business
When it comes to productivity in business, 80 percent of the tasks that you have to complete during the day can be achieved by using 20 percent of the time. For entrepreneurs, it is essential to be aware of the fact that the Pareto principle can be applied to every aspect of your business, especially time management. This means that 20 percent of the activities that you do throughout the day are responsible for the 80 percent of the results; which also means that 20 percent of your customers are responsible for 80 percent of the sales, and 20 percent of your goods or services are responsible for 80 percent of your business profits.
As an entrepreneur, implementing the Pareto Principle to manage your time better is simple. The first step that you need to take is to examine your to-do list and determine which ones make up the 20 percent of activities that will be responsible for providing you with 80 percent of the results. These are the activities that you want to focus on during the day and should be given the highest priority.
The remaining 80 percent of the activities that are responsible for just 20 percent of the results can be delegated or outsourced to a professional who has the time and skill set to complete them successfully. Outsourcing the 80 percent of the activities that don’t produce the majority of results will allow you to focus your time and energy completing those tasks that will help you grow your business and increase your profits.
Time management isn’t about your ability to make important choices regarding the sequence of events that need to be completed that would, in turn, determine the level of productivity you can achieve. With time management, you can take control of the tasks and activities that you work on every day. Truly productive individuals have mastered their time management skills and always work on the most critical tasks first. This results in being more productive, allowing them to get more done in less time.
Understanding Parkinson’s Law and How To Use It To Your Advantage
Parkinson’s law is the idea that the more time we choose to dedicate to a particular task, the longer it will take to complete the task, even if we could have completed the task in a shorter amount of time. First observed by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in his 1955 article published in The Economist, he noted:
“It is a commonplace observation that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Thus, an elderly lady of leisure can spend the entire day in writing and dispatching a postcard to her niece at Bognor Regis. An hour will be spent in finding the postcard, another in hunting for spectacles, half-an-hour in a search for the address, an hour and a quarter in composition, and twenty minutes in deciding whether or not to take an umbrella when going to the pillar-box in the next street. The total effort which would occupy a busy man for three minutes all told may in this fashion leave another person prostrate after a day of doubt, anxiety, and toil.”
This phenomenon that was first observed in 1955 has been shown to be true in a number of scientific studies that show when people are given extra time to complete a task, they will usually take advantage of that time, even when it isn’t needed. The theory is that if you give yourself a week to complete a two-hour task, then, psychologically speaking, the task will ultimately increase in complexity and become much more daunting in order to fill that week. It might not even fill the extra time with more work, but rather more stress and tension about having to complete it. By assigning the right amount of time to your tasks, you can gain back more time, and those tasks will decrease in complexity and return to its natural state.
There are a few ways that you can apply Parkinson’s Law to your daily schedule that will allow you to check off items on your to-do list quicker and spend less time during your day filling in time to look busy.
Running Against the Clock
Take the time to make a list of all your tasks and then divide them up by the amount of time it takes for you to complete them. Then give yourself half that time to complete each task. Giving yourself half the time to complete tasks forces you to make the time limit crucial. You want to make sure that you treat these reduced time limits like any other deadline, and see those deadlines as unbreakable.
You can use your intrinsic human longing for the competition so that it works for you. Running against the clock forces you to try and win against the clock and strive to beat it as if it were your opponent, without taking shortcuts or producing low-quality work. This can be particularly helpful if you have trouble taking your own deadlines seriously.
This exercise, at first, will partially be an exercise to determine how accurate you are predicting how long a task will take to complete. Some of your time estimates might be spot on, to begin with, and some might be overly inflated. For the tasks where your time estimates are spot on, you won’t be able to beat the clock if you cut the time in half, so experiment with longer times. You don’t want to just jump back to the original time allotment that you set for these tasks, because there may be a more optimal period in between.
Crush the Cockroaches of Productivity
Take a look at your day and identify the time-fillers, like social media and email, that you might usually spend ten to twenty minutes on. These little time fillers are what are known as ‘cockroaches’ in the productivity world. These activities do nothing to move you forward in reaching your goals.
Instead of spending a leisurely 20 to 30 minutes in the morning reading through your email, give yourself five minutes. This goes for all the time-filler tasks that you identified. Don’t provide these tasks with any more attention until you’ve completed your to-do list for the day. Once you’ve completed everything you need to complete, then you can indulge in some social networking, email reading, or fee reading for as long as you’d like.
These are the kinds of tasks where 10 percent of what you do is important, and the other 90 percent is entirely useless — committing to avoiding these tasks until your essential work is completed forces you to focus on the critical tasks.
Implement the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method was invented by Francesco Cirillo in the early 1990s and can help you power through distractions, hyperfocus, and accomplish things in short bursts, all while taking frequent breaks to relax. The methodology behind this productivity and time management method is simple: when you are faced with a series of tasks or an enormous task, break the work down into short, timed intervals, that are spaced out with short breaks. This technique of working trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines.
The Pomodoro Method is one of the most straightforward productivity techniques to implement in your day. All you need is a timer. Start by choosing a task on your to-do list and set your timer for 25 minutes. Work on the selected task until the timer goes off, then put a check on a piece of paper. Take a short break of about five minutes, then set your timer for another 25 minutes and get back to working on your task. For every four Pomodoro’s or checks that you have on your paper, take a more extended break between 15 and 30 minutes.
If you repeat this process of working in 25-minute intervals, with short breaks in between, you’ll find that you get a lot accomplished, while taking the necessary breaks to help you relax and recharge your brain. It is important to note that if you are distracted during your 25-minute session, for any reason, you either have to end the Pomodoro there, or you have to postpone the distraction until the Pomodoro is complete.
Prioritize Your Projects and Tasks Using the Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Time Management Matrix, was first created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his presidency, and later popularized by Stephen R. Covey in his bestselling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Eisenhower Matrix is a productivity tool that entrepreneurs can use to become more productive. It can help you prioritize the tasks that you need to complete each day. When it comes to the tasks and activities you need to work as an entrepreneur, it is essential to understand that not all tasks are created equal. Some of the tasks you complete will provide a substantial outcome, while others provide you with next to nothing. Unfortunately, both kinds of tasks take time to complete.
The Eisenhower Matrix can help you determine which tasks you should focus on by creating two categories of tasks, those that are important and those that are urgent. This division of tasks into two categories will require you to understand the difference between an important task and an urgent task. Having a clear understanding of this will help you to prioritize your tasks and activities using the Eisenhower Matrix.
The Four Quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix
The first quadrant in the matrix is referred to as the Quadrant of Necessities and should contain those tasks and activities that are both important and urgent. These are the tasks and activities that you have to deal with immediately. Some examples are project deadlines and family emergencies. These are the kinds of tasks, that if not attended to quickly, can have terrible consequences. However, even though the time you spend in this first quadrant can’t be avoided, you can significantly reduce the time in this quadrant if you spend more time working on tasks and activities that belong in the second quadrant.
Quadrant II This second quadrant is referred to as the Quadrant of Quality. The tasks that fall in this quadrant are those proactive tasks that will improve or help you maintain your quality of life. The more time you can spend working on tasks in this quadrant, the less time you will have to spend in the other three quadrants. Some things that would fall into this quadrant of the matrix are planning for the days ahead and evaluating your performance to see if you are doing what you expected. Most of these tasks are related to personal development and are tasks that you know you should be working on, but aren’t under a time crunch to complete them.
The third quadrant of the matrix consists of tasks and activities that are urgent, but that isn’t important, and that won’t move you forward in accomplishing your goals. It is essential for your productivity to minimize or eliminate as many of these tasks as possible. These tasks tend to drain your energy and waste your time. This quadrant is known as the Quadrant of Deception, and if you spend your time and energy working on tasks that fall in this quadrant, you’ll find yourself wondering where your time went.
Some examples of tasks that would fall in this quadrant are answering non-important phone calls, replying to non-work messages, and chatting on the Internet with someone about trivial matters. You can reduce the time that you spend on the activities and tasks in this quadrant by learning how to say ‘no’ and delegating work to others.
Quadrant IV The fourth and final quadrant contains tasks and activities that are neither urgent nor important. These tasks don’t have to be completed right away, and you should try to minimize or eliminate them because they don’t add much value to your daily progress. This quadrant is known as the Quadrant of Waste. As an entrepreneur, you need to be mindful of when you are working in this quadrant. The tipping point starts when you spend too much time doing mindless activities that should be allocated to your free time.
Some of the tasks and activities that would fall in this quadrant of the matrix are watching television, engaging in gossip, surfing the Internet, and spending too much time on social media.
Using the Eisenhower Matrix to Increase Productivity
Urgent tasks require your immediate attention, while important tasks contribute to your goals, mission, and values. As an entrepreneur, you should be focusing your energy on completing tasks that fall in the second quadrant of the matrix, those tasks that are important, but not urgent. While the Eisenhower Matrix seems simple and easy to follow, most people have the tendency to deal with urgent activities first, even if they aren’t crucial to reaching their goals. This often happens because these kinds of activities tend to press you for your time and attention, causing you to ignore the tasks and activities in the second quadrant. When you sit down to create your to-do list for the following day, place each item in one of the four quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix. The things that fall in the second quadrant are those tasks that will move you forward in reaching your goals and are those tasks that you need to set aside time to accomplish them.
Why Having a Routine Can Help You Manage Your Time Better
The first step to managing your time better is to create a routine and work with it. The power of routines can’t be overemphasized because you will create a pattern for yourself with the time that you have, which in turn will enhance your time management skills. For you to create a routine, you need to take the time to plan. The easiest way to do this is to sit down with a notepad and make a list of all the activities and tasks that you complete every day as part of your overall experience. Some of the events will be static, like going to work or having dinner, and others will be flexible based on what you do on a particular day.
It is imperative that you are aware of those activities that you often do. Too many people simply wake up and stumble into their day expecting that it will unfold and give them good tidings. However, the day doesn’t just bring anything to us; you have a responsibility in ensuring that you make the most of your day. To gain a better handle of your time throughout the day and accomplish more, you need to create a routine. To help you get started here are some ways that you can start to manage your time with the help of a routine.
Create a Chart
You can achieve more time when you create and work closely with a map. When you set out with a plan for the day, you will be able to get much more done compared to someone who doesn’t have a plan. Developing a plan for each day will allow you to be more mentally prepared for what is to come in the day and know how much time is allotted to specific tasks when you take the time to create and follow a chart.
If you want to create plans for tomorrow, you need to start by envisioning everything that needs to be done and write those tasks and activities down. This way, when you wake up the next day, you won’t have to waste time trying to think about what you need to do. This can save you valuable time and allow you to jump into your day quickly.
Avoid Social Media Distractions
Social distractions have become even more enhanced thanks to the multitude of social media platforms that are available at our disposal today. Unfortunately, with so many choices it is too often easy for us to spend hours of our time on the networks rather than working on the things that we set out to accomplish.
When you create a routine, you want to be sure to attach a time frame to your plans to help you avoid being distracted by the pull of social media until you complete your tasks. When you aren’t distracted by social platforms and other unplanned activities you can better manage your time throughout the day. To help you stay on track, use social media as a reward for being focused and accomplishing what you set out to do during the day.
The last thing you want to do is spend the time to create a routine and let it fall by the wayside because you’ve lost focus. It takes a lot of focus to make your routine a reality. When you wake up in the mornings with a plan you need to develop a focused mindset toward your plan so that nothing distracts you.
Too many people develop routines but don’t remain focused on sticking to it, so at the end of the day they have their plans in hand, but allow any and every activity to steal their focus and attention. If you want to improve your time management skills and increase your productivity as an entrepreneur, then you have to be focused and determined to stick to the plan you’ve made for the day.
Reorganize Around Time
When you reorganize your day around time, you will end up making plans based on the unexpected events that can happen in your routine. Most people struggle with time management because they don’t plan for distractions and unexpected events, which can lead to the feeling of being overwhelmed, which can result in procrastination. If you can reorganize your activities around time, you will find that you can still accomplish all the activities that you planned to get done for the day.
Building a rock-solid routine can significantly benefit your time management efforts. Having a routine in place keeps you from wasting time trying to decide what comes next and can give you a better idea of what you can expect during your day and when to expect it. When you establish a routine, you can expect to benefit in the following ways.
The benefits of having a reliable method are immense, but at the top of the list is the fact that you attain more significant achievements in your life. This is because you are now effectively using your time the right way which will allow you to get more done and improve your chances of success.
More Free Time
When you establish a routine, you can enjoy the idea that the 24 hours you have in the day can be used to participate in non-work related activities. Proper planning will enable you to create time for more activities that are fun and relaxing, which is essential for avoiding burnout. Time management isn’t about managing time so you can work more, but rather entails utilizing time in the right way so you can get more things done in less time and have more free time to indulge in those activities that you love.
Most entrepreneurs who are better at managing their time can attest to the fact that they became much more productive with everything they did. The transformative process is always amazing and is just one of the benefits of establishing a routine.
With a routine, you can start to focus more of your time and energy on the critical activities first then begin to gradually progress to less-important tasks toward the end of the day. As an entrepreneur, the depth of your productivity you will experience will be significantly enhanced when you work with a routine.
Procrastination is the thief of time that can be avoided when you are deliberate about creating habits. Your daily routines can help shape you in a way that you don’t put off today’s activities because you already are used to the method. When you can successfully fight off the temptation to procrastinate, you can gain a mastery of time and will continue to make progress toward your goals. It is much easier to procrastinate when there is no urgency with you need to accomplish and when you don’t have a plan in place. Take the time today to create a plan and establish a routine so you can take your activities seriously as you work toward attaining a perfect circle of solid time management skills.
Become More Disciplined
Success and discipline are two words that go together because you will never find a successful person who isn’t disciplined and vice versa. Establishing routines will allow you to become more disciplined and focused on what needs to be done as opposed to what you feel like doing.
Everyone wants to spend their time lying around on the beach soaking in the sun and taking in the fresh air, but you will never accomplish anything living this way. For you to make progress toward achieving your goals, you have to attain a certain level of discipline that makes it impossible for you not to compromise on anything. Getting your routine established today will help you become a more disciplined person who is proud of their accomplishments.
Routines can be strict about instilling in your daily life, but once you get used to them, they will become a significant part of your life and help you build a successful business. Be determined to grow from where you are with the process of routine as you work toward better time management skills.
Improve Your Time Management By Learning to Delegate and Outsource
As a business owner, you are responsible for every aspect of your company, form marketing to list building to customer service and more. To have time away from your business you have to learn how to delegate and outsource some of your responsibilities to qualified individuals or you will be bombarded with work. Business owners who try to do everything themselves will eventually succumb to burn out and failure. When you work non-stop, you eventually lose focus on how to improve your business and increase your customers. Unfortunately, when you try to handle everything yourself, you can ultimately damage your business, so it is essential that you learn how to delegate tasks so you can free up your time to focus on more critical aspects of your business.
Learning the Art of Delegation
Learning to delegate is not only easy but extremely beneficial to the overall success of your business. The first step you need to take is to analyze and determine which of your daily tasks you can delegate, what needs to be done to accomplish each task, the standard that you expect the tasks to be tackled and completed, and who would be better suited for the task. You need to make sure that the person you delegate the task to has the capabilities that are needed to complete the task, and if they don’t, they need to have the potential to learn the skills required to complete it. Before you start delegating tasks, you need to ask yourself the following questions.
• Which tasks and activities can I delegate?
• What are the steps needed to complete the task?
• Who is the most qualified to complete the task?
• Do they have the capabilities needed to complete the task in a timely manner?
• Can they handle the responsibility involved in completing the task?
• What results do I expect from the completion of the task?
To be successful at delegating you to have to think through the process and take the time to plan it out before moving forward. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of delegating tasks without any planning, which will ultimately lead to failure. So, it is essential that you take some time and think through the process and make a plan as to who you will delegate the task to, and what you expect the end result to be.
Another important aspect of delegating is the ability to be clear about what you need, the time limit in which you expect the work to be done, and the results you expect when the task is complete. If those you are delegating too don’t clearly understand the responsibilities, they will spend more time in unproductive activities and eventually become demotivated. Being clear when you explain the tasks is crucial to attaining successful results.
Outsourcing Tasks for Better Time Management
Outsourcing is not just for large corporations. Many small businesses today are taking advantage of the outsource resource that is available today to help them excel the growth of their business and improve their time management skills. Outsourcing gives you the ability to hire professionals to complete the work that you either don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to complete without having the added expense of training new employees and purchasing the equipment that might be involved in the completion of the job.
Why You Should Outsource the Work
Your staff is the most significant expense and asset that you have in your business. The number of people you have working, their skillset, their cost to your business, and their ambition and motivation, all combined are the most important determining factors in the success or failure of your business. Being able to get the right people in the right positions at the right time and at the right price gives you a substantial advantage over your competition.
The numerous benefits of outsourcing for your business are unlimited. It can free you up to focus on doing the things that will move your business forward. When you can outsource jobs, it means that you are no longer tied down in figuring out how to do the task that you may lack the knowledge or skills to complete. You can outsource the job to a freelancer or agency that specializes in a particular area. Not only does this reduce the risk of costly mistakes, but it can also result in better efficiency, faster delivery, and an increase in productivity. Outsourcing has also been shown to be more cost effective which can result in enormous savings and more money for your business. Outsourcing can give you a competitive edge by allowing you more time to concentrate on the more critical aspects of your business.
Types of Tasks You Can Outsource
You can outsource everything from web services, administrative tasks, content creation, and payroll, or anything that you think someone else would be better suited to complete. You can also outsource those repetitive and labor-intensive tasks and projects that are necessary to keep your business running smoothly. Here are just some of the tasks that you can outsource to free up more of your time and help you become more productive.
• Data entry
• Accounting tasks
• Budget management
• Website management
• Internet marketing
• Email management
• Order processing
• Customer service
Outsourcing and delegating tasks is an easy and cost-effective way to get more work done and deliver excellent results. With delegation and outsourcing, you can take back your time and accomplish more in less time.
How Building Good Habits Can Improve Your Time Management
Time management is one of the most challenging tasks to learn. Trying to differentiate between things that are urgent in your life and what is critically important to your life can be confusing and quite tricky. The ability to distinguish between these things becomes practical when it comes to health issues. The tricky thing about health problems is that in most cases the most essential aspect of health doesn’t tend to appear urgent.
For example, while it may not be urgent for you to go to the gym today, it is undoubtedly vital for your long term health. Another example would be getting stressed out at the moment won’t wreck your entire body, but if you can’t solve the underlying issues that are causing the stress, you may find yourself heading in a negative, downward spiral. Finally, eating processed food, fast food, or convenient food will certainly not affect your inner emotional being; however, it will increase your chances of becoming physically ill. In this context, it is incredibly essential to manage your time to ensure that you eat healthily and take care of your body on your journey toward success.
Focusing on Physical Health
This may be the easiest, as well as the hardest category to focus on. It’s easy in the regard that all you need to do is exercise and eat well. It’s hard because very few people actually create and stick to a plan to address their physical well-being. This is because we don’t feel like we can find the time to eat correctly and exercise.
When it comes to your exercise regime, start by committing to 20 minutes of exercise a day. This can be anything from practicing yoga in the morning to take a quick 20-minute walk after dinner. The key is to have fun and start to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Make sure you find something that you not only enjoy but also something that you can do every day. Focus on an activity that is easy to start with a quality process.
As you get used to setting aside time to exercise, you can begin to increase the amount of time you exercise and the intensity at which you exercise. Participating in regular physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, clear your mind, and keep you healthy, which will all help you avoid experiencing burnout.
Eating a healthy diet is also incredibly important for reducing stress and keeping yourself from burning out. When you feel your body with healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats, you feel better than you would if you ate nothing but processed or fast food.
When it comes to eating healthy, planning ahead, and writing down your shopping list can help to keep you accountable. As you plan your weekly meals, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and limit the number of carbohydrates. Preplanning your meals can save you time and ensure that you won’t be tempted to hit the fast food drive-thru on your way home at night.
Focusing on Mental Health with Meditation
Meditation provides many proven benefits with the most well-known and documented effect being increased calmness. This increased calmness can help you experience a myriad of health benefits and improve your ability to handle stress. When you can handle stress better, you can help to reduce your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels in your body.
Practicing meditation in the mornings can help to focus your mind and body and help you to relax before you get into your daily schedule. If you are experiencing stress about projects, clients, deadlines, or other aspects of your business, meditation can remove your attention from these problems before you get started with your day.
Regularly practicing meditation can also help you strike a better balance in your life and prevent burnout. Many people, including entrepreneurs, believe that you have to work sixteen hours a day to get your business off the ground and be successful. While building a successful business does require hard work and dedication, long-term success demands that you balance your work with other aspects of your life.
Burnout is more likely to contribute to a lack of success. However, keeping a balance in your life can help to create success, not just with your career, but in other areas of your life as well. The better you’re able to manage your time, the more time you’ll have to take care of yourself mentally and physically, and help you avoid burnout.
Tools and Apps to Help You Increase Your Productivity and Manage Your Time
There are hundreds of productivity and time management tools and apps that you can utilize to help you better manage your time and help you accomplish more in less time. However, with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones you should be using.
If you aren’t already using a calendar app, scheduling tool, or another way to maintain your schedule, Google Calendar can help. It’s free for anyone to use and you can install it in a matter of minutes. Keeping a calendar and scheduling everything you need to do during the day is an easy way to discipline yourself and help you become a more effective entrepreneur, which will, in turn, help you grow your business faster.
Using Google Calendar will help you organize your tasks and help you better manage your time. The most successful entrepreneurs keep a calendar to help them stay organized and plan their days and weeks so they can avoid low priority tasks creeping into their schedules.
With all of the distractions that have the potential to pull you off course quickly, it is easy to get scattered. RescueTime is an app that will help you better understand your daily habits so that you can focus on what’s really important and increase your daily productivity. RescueTime runs securely in the background of your computer and other mobile devices. It tracks the time you spend on applications and websites, which provides you with an accurate picture of how you spent your day.
With RescueTime you can set alerts to let you know when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on an activity, block distracting websites, and it will log highlights about what you accomplished during the day. RescueTime will show you how long you spend reading and responding to emails, how long you’re in meetings, and how long you spend doing things online other than work.
Focus Booster is based on the Pomodoro technique that can empower you to maintain focus and manage distractions throughout your day. Focus Booster uses a simple Pomodoro timer to help you boost your productivity, put an end to procrastination, improve your focus and track your time. The app will help you achieve more while also helping you understand how you use your time. The simple dashboards allow you to visualize your progress and rhythm to help you improve your productivity and gives you the power to quickly generate invoices or reports from CSV exports to share with your clients.
With Focus Booster you can discover work/life balance and identify areas where you can improve.
The Toggl app is an excellent alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you are spending on different projects. It makes tracking time simple and if you forget to log your time it sends you reminders. When you effectively track your time you can know how much your time is worth by breaking down your hours by projects, clients, and tasks. This will allow you to see what tasks are making your money and which ones are holding you back. Effective time management starts with being clear on how much time you are actually spending on projects and tasks, then thoroughly analyzing the results so you can work out how you can manage them more effectively.
Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your thoughts, ideas, and images in a variety of ways. With Evernote, you can even record your meetings, speeches, interviews, and ideas, as well as create notes, add voice or text attachments, and share all your files with your colleagues. Evernote helps you to capture and prioritize your ideas, projects, and to-do lists so that nothing falls through the cracks.
An excellent productivity method that can help you come more organized by focusing your thoughts is mind mapping, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping tool available. You can use Mind42 to create your to-do lists, brainstorm ideas, and organize events. The software runs in your browser to create mind maps to help you visually organize your day. Gain more clarity about your day and get more done in less time.
If you find it challenging to manage all your tasks throughout the day, organize your goals, or work on your to-do list, MyLifeOrganized can help. MLO is a task management system that can help you target what you should be focusing on during the day to ensure that you reach your objectives. It will automatically generate to-do lists that include priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can better track your progress. The simple drag-and-drop interface will allow you to rearrange any task within a plain list or it will organize them into a simple to use task tree.
These days everyone is bombarded with too many passwords and trying to remember all your passwords can eat up your precious time. That’s where 1Password comes in. The app allows you to keep all your passwords in a single encrypted database that is protected by just one password. Having all your passwords safely stored in one place will save you time when you forget then and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so that you don’t compromise on security. 1Password also allows you to securely store your credit cards, receipts, and more and have access to them from any device.
These are just a few of the better time management and productivity apps and tools that you can use to help you master your time and accomplish more in less time. Many of them you can use for free, and those that charge a monthly fee are relatively reasonable. Start boosting your productivity and managing your time better with these time management apps.
Time management is life management and a skill that is essential for entrepreneurs. It is an indispensable resource. Time management is about finding ways to work smarter, not harder so that you can accomplish your goals in less time. Like any other skill, time management can be learned and must be practiced regularly. By learning how to take control of your time, you give yourself the power to be successful and live the life you are passionate about.
It can be challenging to take control of your time, because of the number of actions that are required to take to develop the skills, as well as the time it takes to master those newly acquired skills.
With the help of the tips and techniques outlined in this book, taking control of your time is much easier to accomplish and will result in you being able to accomplish everything you set out to do, with less effort and in less time.
If you can practice fundamental techniques of time management long enough, you’ll benefit from a drastic increase in your productivity. Goals that seemed like a pipe dream will become more achievable. The tasks that scared you before will no longer appear as daunting. Things that you never thought possible would start to happen and all you have to do is show up and put in the work.
Time is the next best form of currency, so it is essential that you spend it well. Learn how to effectively manage your time and start to enjoy more time doing the things that you love.