time management. However, there is a difference between the ideas of time management when you work a standard 9-5 job, as opposed to when you’re working on your own time as an entrepreneur.
When you are a business owner, you don't get paid by trading your time for money by getting paid a flat rate no matter what you do. Therefore, each second now
matters and is directly linked to your own potential income. When you work for yourself, time literally is money, and you
want to make sure you’re spending it in the best possible way.
So how do you stay focused? Here are some techniques to keep yourself on-task, when there’s essentially no one around to keep you accountable.
1. Take some time to ease
yourself into the day. Don’t get out of bed and sit down at the
computer straight away. You’ll find it more difficult to stay on task if you jump
right in. (READ “Seven Minutes in Heaven” for ways to relax when your time is limited.)
2. Take breaks during the day. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, and
without a set “lunch hour” or break, you’ll feel guilty stepping away.
But remember that keeping yourself refreshed and motivated makes your
working time more productive, so don’t be afraid to take a (reasonable)
meal or relaxation break. You’ve earned it!
3. Make lists. A great list to have is ABC. A: As soon as possible; B: Before end of day: C: can wait. Once it’s on the paper, stick do it and
you will get to it when you are done working.
4. Stay organized. A messy work area is a great excuse not to get
work done. At the end of your “work day” or right before you take a
break, tidy up so that when you sit down and start to work, your
area is always clear.
5. Work in an area where you feel relaxed, creative, and charged with
entrepreneurial spirit! This could be your laptop on your porch with a
mug of herbal tea, or in an office you’ve painted and decorated to feel
like a beach cottage. It could be at a cafe or in the library, or at the
kitchen table. Wherever you feel your most creative and energized is
where you should set up shop.
6. Set goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Make sure that there is
always a task or project to be working toward completing, even abstract
things, so you are always using your time purposefully.
7. Set time limits. Example: If your goal is “write a blog post to
promote my business,” you should set a reasonable time limit for that
goal, like “one hour.” This helps you avoid wasting time pretending to
work. If it’s not done, move on, and come back to it later.
Most important of all, ENJOY YOURSELF! Remember: You are your own boss! You’re working
for YOU now! This is what you wanted, and you’ve achieved it. Don’t lose
sight of why you wanted to work for yourself. Chances are, it was to
make more time and money for your family or other priorities, so make sure that
you are doing just that!
Do you have any additional time management tips to add to this list?