Time Management Principals, achieving more with less

Time management principals

When people first start a small business it is a time of anticipation, excitement and usually, you have to be prepared to spend an insane amount of hours at your business and basically give up your life…

But I don’t know a single entrepreneur who wanted to start a business to be totally consumed by it, and avalanche him/herself with work. Most of the time, work for work sake (W4W) is not the reason you’ve started the business. The goal of course is to make money or even better: Make money to create wealth and freedom!

This is the right moment to talk to you about the time management principals. Because I want you to be running your business, not the business running you!

Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back. -Harvey Mackay-

If you don’t start your biz with the right mentality, chances are you’re going to end up building a business that requires you to work ridiculous hours to keep the cash flowing in.

I can tell you from personal experience that, while you might last a few years, this ain’t fun over the long haul. No matter how much you love what you do, it’s a recipe for burn-out.

So, how to do it right? Just follow the time management principals and you’ll be fine.

  1. To do list

    To-Do Lists are prioritized lists of all the tasks that you need to carry out. They list everything that you have to do, with the most important tasks at the top of the list, and the least important tasks at the bottom. Simply mark the important stuff with an “A” and work your way down to “F” for the least important thing. Promise yourself to do this:

    • You remember to carry out all necessary tasks.
    • You tackle the most important jobs first, and do not waste time on trivial tasks.
    • You do not get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.

    While this sounds like a simple thing to do, it's when people start to use To-Do Lists properly that they often make their first personal productivity/time management principals breakthrough, and start to make a real success of their business/career.

  2. Take on critical tasks only

    It is easy to fall into the trap of doing everything yourself. As an entrepreneur you are creative, resourceful and used of TCB (taking care of business).

    Sometimes you could be struggling with tasks you aren’t good or fast at, like bookkeeping or other tedious tasks. It's easy to waste time and money and typically you don’t get the quality result you need. It’s more effective to focus on what you’re best at and what makes you money or grows your business- like delivering services, doing sales and marketing and putting together business growth strategies—then outsource the other tasks.

    If you use your newfound time wisely, you’ll quickly make enough to cover the costs of outsourcing.

  3. Apply the 80-20 rule, achieving more with less

    Also known as the Pareto principle, it states that for many events, roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time. Or 80% of company profits come from 20% of the products and customers.

    When applying the time management principals, ask yourself these two questions frequently:

    1. Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?

    2. Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?

    The goal here is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.

  4. 9 to 5 is dead

    Don’t work as though you should be doing something between 9am and 5pm. Working from 9 to 5 is not the goal here… It’s simply a structure most people use, whether it is necessary or not.

    If you really apply the time management principals, it is impossible that you want to work from 9 to 5. You’ll have time to spend with your family, play golf, go shopping and basically feel a lot happier!

    You know, the world has agreed to shuffle papers between 9-5 and since you’re trapped in the office for that period of time, you are compelled to create activities to fill that time. Most entrepreneurs where employees once, and can’t help themselves falling into the 9-5 trap when working in their own business.

    You don’t need 8 hours a day to become a millionaire, let alone to have the means to live like one… Eight hours a week is often excessive... But I don’t expect you to believe me just yet. Work smarter, not harder! That’s the motto I live by.

  5. Disconnect

    It’s hard to get anything done if you’re constantly distracted by phone calls and emails. Luckily, unless you’re a doctor on call, few things are so important that they can’t wait a couple of hours, or even a day or two.

    So re-acquaint yourself with the wonders of voice mail and only answer your emails 1-2 times a day. DO NOT check email and voice mail first thing in the morning. Take care of another pressing project first. Also, turn off the phone and emails from dinnertime on.

    For more information on how to handle email, check out the time management advice page. You'll find handy email templates and a wealth of information on how to deal with email in just 20 minutes a day. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done when you really apply these time management principals and aren’t always at everyone’s disposal.

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