As entrepreneurs we have many responsibilities within our daily lives. Good time management skills are a necessity to keep track of everything that needs to get done. Having good time management skills isn’t about cramming as many things into your day as you can. It is about setting and achieving your priorities. This will decrease burnout and increase how fulfilled you feel when you finally lay your head on your pillow at night. I’m not for hustle culture.
While I do work my butt off daily, I do it for a set number of hours, I make sure to eat regular meals, workout, rest and do something fun daily. I want the same for you. I became a Time Management Coach because when I was working full-time as an advertiser and had multiple side hustles, I became obsessed with figuring out how to make it all happen. Hearing so many women in my field tell me “you can’t have it all, you can’t do it all,” really frustrated me.
Not only did I figure out how to time block my schedule but I also made time for all my passions, wellness practices, and fun. This led me to starting my coaching business so I could help many other women achieve the same. I was able to then quit my full-time corporate job and work for myself with the freedom to chose when I work, who I work with and how much I make. Here are my top 6 productivity tips for entrepreneurs:
1. Set SMART goals
If you aren't setting yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily goals as a business owner, please START. Goals give us purpose and something to achieve. If your goals are large and vague you will continue a cycle of burnout. Lack of clarity is one of the number one reasons people don't achieve their goals and instead procrastinate. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Hence the acronym, S.M.A.R.T. You have to break down large tasks into bite-sized achievable ones. Carve out time in your schedule to plan out your goals and spend the time to make them crystal clear. This will 10x your effectiveness.
Example of a vague goal and a SMART goal:
Start a blog
Launch a lifestyle blog on 4/1/21 that generates $5,000 in 1 year
Not sure where to start? Write your large goal at the top of a sheet of paper then write down all the little steps needed to hit that goal. Next place a deadline for each. Then place that sheet of paper somewhere where you will review it daily then get to work.
2. Batch Work
One of the most effective way to get multiple things done in a shorter time frame is to do similar tasks. Batching is when you work on similar tasks for one area of time. When I was working full time and building my side hustles, I would set themes for my night time work. As an entrepreneur, I also set themes for my days. For instance, on Mondays I do all of my creative content creation tasks, Tuesday through Thursday I take all my client calls and on Fridays, I complete all my administrative, financial/analytical tasks. To successfully batch your work, group likeminded tasks into your day. This may look like a content creation day, a writing day, and chores day for you. Design your life as you imagine it.
3. Prioritize your daily tasks
This is the number one way to become productive and feel a high sense of achievement. When you complete the tasks that mean the most to you, you're way more inclined to feel better about what you accomplish daily. If you struggle with prioritization, ask yourself "what is the most important task I need to complete today in order to progress towards my goals?" From there, take action on your top priorities. People who accomplish three top priorities instead of 15 busy tasks are more satisfied with their lives. Commit to a specific time frame for each of your tasks and take action.
4. Focus on ONE task at a time
Turn all your notifications off and concentrate on what you have to get done. We finish 50% less when attempting to do more than one task at once. Decide on one task, then start working on it and only work on that one task. That means you have one tab open and you’re in the zone on that one thing for 60 minutes. If you finish early, take a break then work on another task. If you need more time, take a break, then dedicate more time to complete the task. It’s that simple.
5. Communicate your boundaries
Many of us feel inclined to answer emails, phone calls, and slack messages as soon as we receive them. Resist that urge. Instead communicate with people that you’re about to work on a task and you will need an hour of uninterrupted work to complete it then you’ll get back to them. Schedule in personal calls, like you do work related meetings. There’s no harm in scheduling a FaceTime date ahead of time with your best friends. Also, consider delegating tasks that your team members can take off your plate or tasks that you can have someone do for you. Some of those tasks may include grocery shopping, house cleaning, copywriting, graphic design, meal prepping, creating ads, and other administrative work.
6. Keep an achievement log
Celebrate your wins!! You don’t have to wait for other people to tell you you’re great. Tell yourself. Often. Speak to yourself as you would speak to your best friend. I highly recommend using an app like WinStreak to log your daily wins or simply jotting down your achievements in a notebook. Personally, I have an album full of screenshots of compliments and achievements. All of these reminders are the best to refer to when you have a bad day and start doubting your abilities.
Implement these tips and watch how what you accomplish daily transform. If you’re seeking personalized time management assistance, book a FREE strategy session with me. During this session, we’ll discuss how you’re currently spending your time, how you want to be spending your time, and what’s preventing you from accomplishing those goals.
Sade Jones is the CEO & Founder of The Fire Inside, where she provides time management coaching & content creation services. As a Time Management Coach, she helps ambitious full-time professionals who want to spend more time developing their side businesses, full-time entrepreneurs, and freelancers who feel overwhelmed and all over the place become organized, improve their wellness, and achieve their goals.
She was born and raised in Queens, NY and now resides in Atlanta, GA. Her mission is to empower people to take the time to pursue what sets their souls on fire. In her free time, she loves to exercise, spend time with loved ones, and travel. She has traveled to 28 countries and counting.
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