Tips and Tricks to Master Time Management
Running a startup takes a hell of a lot of work. We’ve talked about how far hustle can get you, but it’s not just as simple as putting a lot of time in, but also how you use that time to full effect. So let’s talk about time management, what exactly it means, and some of the tips and tricks out there to maximize your own output as a small business.
The funny thing is that bad time management is a myth. It’s not about wasting your time, but an inability to recognize where you should be aiming your focus and drive at any given time. Entrepreneurs all struggle with this because there’s so much that needs to be worked on at any given time. There are so many ideas floating that it can be difficult to seize onto one and buckle down.
It’s not that you don’t have time or that you can’t manage your time, but that there’s so many balls in the air that it can be overwhelming. Time management is just a matter of knowing what your intentions are and what exactly you need to be doing to achieve them. That’s how you get organized and that’s how you get way more productive. Here are some great tips and tricks to help get you there.
1. Record Everything
It’s amazing how many good ideas go to waste. Every meaningful thought and interaction you have in a week should get logged somewhere for future use. While you won’t necessarily get a lot of action out of all of them, there’s always a chance that you can turn at least a few of those into something productive. And the great news is that there are some great tools out there to help you keep it all down.
2. Plan for Interruptions
No work week ever goes as smoothly as you hope. Somewhere along the way, an issue or a distraction is going to pop up that will break into your workflow. The best way to combat this is to plan for that eventuality. Budget time for interruptions and if you can, make sure they’re at least leading to productive conversations and thoughts.
3. Start Every Day with an Agenda
Scheduling out your whole week is great, but the game always finds a way of changing day after day. Take away a half hour or so and work out what you want to accomplish for the day and how you want to go about it. They’re not lying when they say that organization leads to results. If every single day is organized then that’s going to lead to a lot of output overtime. It’s pretty easy too. Even a simple checklist can do so much work if you stay consistent with it.
4. Find Moments for Crunch Time
There are so many built-in distractions to running a startup. May it be talking with your team, emails, meetings, or brainstorming; there are some days where you look back and realize you haven’t gotten any concrete work done. Sometimes that’s fine, but it’s always good to portion out part of your day specifically dedicated to getting all the outstanding work finished. Plan a couple hours where you completely cut out all the distractions.
No email, no social media, just work. It’s true that all those things are just as important to a business, but as with anything, you can’t let yourself get overwhelmed by them. You will work way harder and way faster if you let all the noise go for awhile.
5. Don’t Bother with Multi-Tasking (If You Can Help It)
This may seem counter-intuitive, but multi-tasking is actually way harder than a lot of people think. Studies show that only 2.5% of people can multi-task efficiently. If you’re one of those people then you’re in good shape, but if you’re not, you should make sure that you’re always focusing on one specific task at any given time.
That said, if you focus on a single task you can as much as double your productivity. You’re always working your hardest when you’re focused on one thing. Don’t let that potential go to waste.
At the end of the day, you have to find a strategy that works for you. Not everyone works at their peak in the same, but it can never hurt to narrow your focus and really hammer out every challenge that comes your way step-by-step. Your startup journey can only go so far if you’re not willing to take every single one of those steps as they come.