Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Not Enough Hours In The Day? 10 Simple Ways Entrepreneurs Can Better Prioritize Their Time

When you’re a busy entrepreneur, there never seems to be enough time in a day. You likely have long lists of tasks that require your full attention, but little time to sit down and focus on them. This can be overwhelming and, in turn, send your productivity levels into a slump.

It’s important to find the best ways to prioritize your time so you can accomplish everything you want to do. To help you find what works for you, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members shared their best time management and prioritization tips.

1. Complete Your Most Important Task Right Away

If I don’t get enough sleep or exercise multiple days in a row, I feel like a stupider, angrier version of myself. So, I like to get in a workout first, which removes the temptation to skip it later when things are busy. Over breakfast, I write down everything I need to do that day. I pick the No. 1 priority and commit to getting it done in the first hour or two of focused work. Where possible, I only schedule calls or meetings for the afternoon. I grind through all the urgent, but not important admin tasks last. It’s basically David Allen’s model of “Getting Things Done” preceded by a sunrise Barry’s Bootcamp. – James Pelly, OXO

2. Determine Your ‘Top Three’

Before you open email, before you check text messages, before you check Slack and before you check social media, ask yourself this simple question: What’s most important about today? If I only complete three things, what must they be? Once you get clear on your priorities, it keeps you focused on the tasks at hand instead of on distractions. – Antonio Neves, Career Success Speaker & Author

3. Rank Every Item On Your To-Do List

If you simply go through a process of checking things off a list, more often than not more things will be added to it than you are checking off, so you end up on an insidious hamster wheel. To combat this habit and focus on the important things every day (and if not every day, then every week) you should go through the discipline of aggregating everything you need to get done and force ranking them in order of importance. If something is consistently at the bottom and yet it sits on your to-do list for weeks on end, then it simply isn’t that important and probably should not be there in the first place. – Colin Darretta, WellPath

4. Deprioritize Anything That Isn’t Urgent

First, go over your tasks or to-do list. To most of us with a schedule to follow, it might seem that everything has to be a priority. One excellent piece of advice I came across recently (which I find to be quite effective) is to deprioritize or move a few things that aren’t really urgent off your list or to a later date. A review of your priorities can help you decide which tasks you need to focus on first. It will also help you make a quick decision if any ongoing project needs to take the backseat for now. If you need to, create a non-urgent list. Another tip is to set limits on how long you should work on particular tasks. Add a reminder on your phone or laptop and don’t work any longer than your set limit. – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck

5. Make Sure Your Work Relates To Your Biggest Priority

The easiest way to prioritize your time is to always go back to your biggest priority. Each week should have one big overarching priority that is directly linked to your goals (for the year and quarter). We love to impose multiple priorities on ourselves, but “priority” actually means only one. Therefore, you cannot have more than one priority. When you remind yourself daily of your priority for the week, this then speaks to where you should be spending your time and how you should be arranging and planning your day. By beginning your day with reviewing and acting upon your priority, you become less overwhelmed and create a greater sense of focus and thus more needle-moving results. – Leanne Lopez Mosley, GROW Coaching Solutions

6. Pay Attention To Your Time Frame

I look at how much time I have to achieve a goal. Some tasks need my attention right away and others can take the following weeks or months to happen. When you look at the time frame, it becomes clear what you should prioritize. Just be wary that you don’t put off the long-term goals until the last minute. So long as you plan for them and work on them a little bit at a time, you’ll be on track to achieving both short-term and long-term goals. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Seek Out Objective Advice

With so many projects going on (and new ones in the works), it’s easy to try and push everything forward. To actually accomplish more and get help in prioritizing tasks, turn to a trusted colleague to conduct an analysis of the initiatives that will have the highest impact on growth and the strongest ROI on your time. You’ll find that it’s easier to pause or postpone projects that are objectively low priority, saving you plenty of time and resources. That way, you can be assured knowing that your time is spent driving the biggest results. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

8. Ask Yourself If Anyone Else Can Do It

The best productivity rule of thumb for a CEO is to ask yourself, “Is there someone else who can and should do this?” As entrepreneurs, we tend to just want to do everything, as most of us can. But as they scale their companies, entrepreneurs often forget there are other people on their teams who are much better suited to complete a task. This is difficult to train out of an entrepreneur, but simply asking that question when faced with a long list of to-do items often uncovers many opportunities for delegation. – Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

9. Schedule Similar Tasks Back To Back

Time blocking is by far the most useful tool I’ve employed to reclaim my productivity. I block off continuous periods of time that are pre-scheduled for high-priority tasks and then I ensure that time is spent working on those tasks. Similarly, I schedule all of my meetings back to back and aim to never have more than three in a row. This creates “blocks” of meetings and ”blocks” of free time, allowing me to naturally have a schedule where I have extended periods of uninterrupted time to focus. – Arian Radmand, IgnitePost – Robotically handwritten notes

10. Plan Your Work Around Your Peak Creative Hours

First, you must learn when your peak creative time occurs throughout the day, then prioritize your most important tasks during that time. Everyone has a different time, which can be influenced by circadian rhythms and your sleeping and diet habits. I learned this through writing over the past two decades. My creative hours always occurred after a mid-afternoon break, though I used to force myself to get my most creative work completed in the early mornings while the mind was freshest. Nowadays, I take a long afternoon break to truly get away from it all and then prioritize my most creative tasks during those hours after my break. That’s when I’m supercharged and can solely focus on one task, whether expanding business plans or creating content strategies for a client. – Ron Lieback, ContentMender

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button