When you’re an entrepreneur, the final responsibility always rests with you. No one else is going to tell you how many hours to put in during the course of a day, or which project is the highest priority, or whether a client is worth putting more energy into. You can easily get exhausted purely through the constant hard work of decision-making.
On top of that, being an entrepreneur– as opposed to any old business owner– means you’re fighting an uphill battle, learning from your mistakes as you make them, trying to carve out a niche for yourself and your new business. This can be a dizzying prospect when you own all the risk (as well as reward). But out of everything you’re juggling– money, focus, clients, trust, energy– there’s one resource that is the most precious, and the most irreplaceable.
You can’t buy time. You can’t change time, or hack it so that it moves the way you want. But time, famously, is money, which means time can’t be created, but it can be turned into other things– basically what we’re saying is that using your time efficiently is the number one most important thing as an entrepreneur.
Organizing your us of time can, ironically, land on the backburner simply because you have so much else to do! You have to go to meetings, manage outreach, grow your brand, travel to sites….but all of that will be easier if you put time management first. So how do you get organized as an entrepreneur? Start here.
Review Your Goals
You want to ensure you articulate those goals. What is most important to you? Do you want to expand your business into a new region by next year? Do you want to reach a certain steady income annually? Or do you want to find a balance between expanding your business and having time to yourself? Reminding yourself of why you’re doing all this will energize you and allow you to steer your business in the direction that matters most to you.
Put Everything in Your Calendar
You want to be using a single, synced calendar– Google Calendar is a popular one since it’ll automatically be plucking items from your email and putting them in your schedule. Even simple tasks that you’d normally just stick on your to-do list– pick a day in the week when you’ll turn your attentions towards that task. Then you can plan your schedule to ensure things are ordered by deadline, and you won’t be stressing about the big list of things you need to do that week– you can relax a bit and focus on only what you need to do that day.
Use the Right Tools
That means using tools like Clear, which allows you to quickly organize ideas which pop into your head (or a similar app). One of the best time-saving tools is a social media management tool, which allows you to develop a strategy and schedule posts and outreach for the week or even (tentatively) the month, so you don’t have to go manage those profiles every single day.
Delegating is one of the most important tools an entrepreneur can learn. It requires a few things: admitting when you don’t have the required skills; building a team that will fill in any skill gaps you have; and then (most importantly) trusting your team to take care of a task as you would– or even better. You need to be able to teach people how to conceptualize their work and approach the business so that when you take a day off (which you should!), the place will keep running. It’s tough, but it’s crucial.
That’s it. Looks pretty simple, doesn’t it? Essentially, though, it comes down to prioritizing tasks and using the resources available– whether that be management tools, a calendar, or the people around you.