5 Top Time Management Tips For Entrepreneurs

Simple steps that will significantly improve your productivity

Top Time Management Tips for EntrepreneursOn the face of it, I’m sure you could easily spot that there is very little that Richard Branson and I have in common, he is short (5’11) I’m tall (6’4), Richard has a beard, I don’t, he owns and runs the Virgin Group comprising of 400 companies, I run, well me.

The one thing we do have in common, is the fact that we both get 24 hours in a day, and how we use that time has a significant impact on both our lifestyle and productivity. It allows Richard Branson to run his business empire and still spend 6 months a year on Necker Island, and it allows me to run my business and take the whole of August off every year to spend time with my family.

By learning to use your time wisely you can significantly improve your productivity. Below are some simple time management tips that if implemented will dramatically increase your productivity through more effective use of your time.

Be Aware Of How You Spend Your Time

Before we can start to use our time wisely, we have to know how we are spending it now. One of the biggest time management tips I can give you is become aware of how you spend your time. Once you become aware of how you spend your time, it’s easy to identify and focus on the activities that provide the greatest benefits for you personally and financially. Try to keep track of how you spend your time during a typical week and then analyze your time usage. What time did you get up, how much time did you spend getting ready to work, how many hours do you spend responding to e-mails and phone calls. Did you really spend that long on Facebook?

What Is The Value Of Your Time

We have all heard the expression time is money. Knowing both the cost and the value of your time will help you make better decisions as to whether you should delegate or outsource a task or invest the time to do it yourself. The value of your time is usually a minimum of three times your hourly rate.

So lets say your time is worth £120 ($200) an hour, it may be better to consider outsourcing the task of editing your newsletter to someone who charges £20 ($30) rather than do it yourself. You could then spend that time on high value activities that only you can do.

Learn To Prioritize

Do you regularly run out of hours before you run out of work? Learning to prioritize your tasks, will ensure that you are dealing with the tasks that add most value first. You must create a system that works for you. Even if you just categorized your tasks as A Tasks, B Tasks and C Tasks, you would be better than many. Consider asking the following questions of any outstanding tasks:

  • What tasks MUST I do today?
  • Which tasks can I reschedule if needed?
  • Which tasks can I delegated?
  • Which tasks will help me to achieve my goals and objectives?
  • Which tasks can be eliminated and forgotten about?

Learn To Say No

Be warned of all the time managemet tips in this article this is the hardest. Many times when we say yes to other people we are in fact saying no to ourselves. When you say yes, you invariably end up adding things to your TO DO list? By doing so you may well be saying no to things such as time for your family or yourself. Whenever anyone asks for your help instead of saying yes straight away, tell them you will get back to them in a specified period of time, (not too long) and use this time to consider the following questions:

  • Do you really have the time or energy to do that extra task?
  • Does it invade on your personal time?
  • Does it involve doing something you enjoy?
  • Does it fit in with your list of priorities and goals?

If the answer to any of the above is negative, you should consider saying no to the other person. It can be hard, but try saying, “I’d love to help, but I just haven’t got the time, and I would hate to let you down”

Batch Like Tasks Together

As you work through your daily priorities, try to plan your tasks out into like activities. Set aside a specific batch of time to respond to e-mails, another batch of time to return phone calls, do all your invoicing at the same time, you’ll save time and mental energy as you won’t be tempted to flit from one thing to another.

Why wait for success when you can literally schedule it! By using the above time management tips, you can accomplish much more with less effort. Be choosey about how you spend your time. Focus on activities which most closely match your goals. By taking time to monitor, measure, and manage your time, you will enjoy an abundance of success and happiness. I’m not saying you will get to own an island but you may free up enough time to take next August off 😉

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Till next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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24 thoughts on “5 Top Time Management Tips For Entrepreneurs

  1. “Many times when we say yes to other people we are in fact saying no to ourselves”. This is so much me when someone ask for something, I just can’t say no especially if he or she is a good client. I need to keep in mind the fact that it is not all about pleasing them, but also analyzing if its good to go or doable. Lucky to read some of the helpful information that can be found in blogs.

  2. Love this! I was a teacher for 12 years at the same school in the U.S. before moving last year to accompany my husband for his new temporary job in the Netherlands. The last 4, I was a Curriculum Tech Coordintor, and boy did they find lots of things for me to coordinate! I would find myself saying “Yes” a lot, but learned to help my administrators prioritize with each new thing, by adding, “Would you like THIS first, before x, yand z?!” Sometimes it would be a yes, and other times they would then remember something else I was working on, and put that at the top position!!
    Michele TravelwithMrsT recently posted…Instagram and Related Apps: My Honest OpinionMy Profile

  3. I have difficulty saying no… I recently gave up a role in my church – because I had been taking on more and more without dropping something. It turns out that there are people that want to do what I did, once they were given a programme, when I was in charge we couldn’t get a rota of people together!
    However this Sunday I was more relaxed and dedicated to worship so the decision was the correct one!
    Diana Bensted recently posted…Granny square blankets…My Profile

  4. I’m good at the saying no bit…. I’m confident enough to do that. Jut not so hot at any of the other stuff.

  5. Great advice! Time management is crucial. If I don’t take care to manage my time, I can be busy all day long and not get a thing actually accomplished.
    I’m a list maker and now keep everything in one calendar. I begin and end my day with my calendar. It has helped tremendously.

    • Thanks Tammy, list making works very well for left brain thinkers but not always for right brain thinkes, it’s about getting a system that works for you and sticking to it.

  6. Hi Mike. Thanks very much for the great article. Really valuable advice for us all. So right on saying No too. It’s something that none of find easy to do and sometimes, when I do, I feel a bit selfish…. But there’s no point in pleasing others, only to make ourselves miserable!

  7. Time management should be an everyday task. There is no worse feeling for me than feeling overwhelmed. It is far better to manage your time and feel productive. Love your interpretation btw that 5’11” is short 😉

    • Thanks Karen, I agree entirely, but i’m glad that not everyone has your view or i would have no clients 😉 5’11” is short compared to me, but my wife raises herself to her full 5’4″ and tells me the best things come in small parcels and when i look at her i have to agree 🙂

    • Hi Pat, thanks for sharing it is appreciated. I like the blog challenge it helps me to hone my writng skills and ideas, thanks for visiting hope to see you agian soon

  8. Brilliant Mike & boy I need this. Despite being retired I always run out of time. I think we are coming from different places as regards our blogs but I’m certainly learning a great deal from you!
    Julia Skinner recently posted…Picnics in the UKMy Profile