Entrepreneurs Skills (Series 1, 2/100): Time management

To get things done and be productive in our day, every day, we have to have a solid time management technique that works, for us.

Different entrepreneurs might have different techniques. The most important thing is to know which one works for you and stick with it. The most important thing is to finish your task in a good enough way. No perfection is needed. Actually perfecting your result is counter-productive. I have been there, and I quit!

So time is a limited resource, we all know that. We have a limited amount of time every day. So we must take advantage of it in the best way. This is why it’s important to allocate enough time for each task and do your best to finish the task on time. Yes, sometimes we miss it, but I am speaking in general here.

As a future online entrepreneur, it’s important to start training yourself on time management to be productive and creative, so you don’t stress out or even burn out. Here are what I learned:

Planning

As Jim Rohn says, “Don’t start your day before it’s finished”. He means to plan your day first hour in the morning. Plan your week, the first day of the week. Plan your month, the first day of the month.

Start by planning your day first, when you learn this skill, start to plan your week, and later you can plan your month. Always start with step 1 and be patient to learn the skill and master it.

Every new important skill counts for your future entrepreneurial journey.

Learn to apply, not to learn

Do you ever find yourself, consuming video after video after video, without actually doing anything with them? Well, probably this needs to change. Your time is precious and limited, your time is valuable. Invest it in what you need now to move one step further on your journey.

It’s tempting to start learning about investment, how to invest in stocks, real estate, and gold, but if we are still in a 9 to 5 job, maybe it’s a better idea to jump to the next step which is, becoming, self-employed.

So I would argue that the most important lessons for you, right now, are around moving from the corporate world to being self-employed. Right?

U&I, U but not I, Not U but I, Not U nor I

U is for urgent and I is for Important.

What is Urgent & Important, needs to be done, now. Urgent but not important, you can delegate it. Not urgent but important, can wait for the coming day. Not Urgent nor Important, can be happily ignored, unless you are bored, you have nothing important to do. But rarely, this is the case.

Use your digital calendar

One time, I was working with a prospect and he brought his agenda, no it wasn’t on a phone or iPad or pc. It was on paper. I find it really difficult to schedule my tasks, meetings, and reminders on paper. I have to constantly check the notebook. But I use instead my digital calendar. I put the tasks in and forget it, and if I want a reminder, easy, peasy…

Wow, this is a great use of technology.

The last thing you need is to overload your head. You have enough tasks between, marketing, customer relationships, sales, contract…

Use technology to your advantage.

It’s also attention management

Time management is important, but also we have to be careful about how we are spending our attention. In today’s digital world, it’s the attention game. Every company, brand, or marketer is trying to get your attention even for a few seconds so you become aware of their product, and hopefully, you buy it.

Be careful how you are spending your attention.

It’s great to manage your time, but don’t forget to make the most of that time by giving it your fullest attention.

Single task far better than multi-task

Do you ever find yourself doing multiple tasks at a time. Working on a problem, sending an email, replying to your smartphone notification?

Studies showed that by focusing on 1 task and getting it done, it’s far better than doing multiple ones and not getting any of them done.

Track what you do every hour

I recently started to note what I am going to do every hour and pay attention if I am finishing it or not.

Now I have a long term goal (10, 5, 1 year), and short term goal (1 month, 1 week, 1 day, 1 hour).

If I hit my hourly goal, I know that I am on the right track. This will lead to accomplishing the daily goal, then the weekly one…

If you are not accomplishing your daily goal, check why and adjust.

Focus on finishing the day’s main tasks

Every day is important. In every day you have some main tasks. They are top priorities. Those have to be finished early in the morning before anything else.

Don’t let distractions change your plan, unless….

Sometimes we are distracted by a phone call or and email, sometimes we change our plans to fit those distractions in.

It’s important to qualify if this distraction is worth your time or not and if not, simply say no. Don’t let anything or anyone waste your precious time.

When I receive a salesy call or a cold call, I immediately say no thank you, within 30 seconds, I hang up.

I respect my time, everyone else should respect it too.

Good is enough, Perfect is bad

I started to do things good enough. Before I was a perfectionist. The world doesn’t need perfect, perfect wastes your time, it wastes your life. Good is enough. Actually, it is more than enough.

Take a break to reflect

Executing on your tasks is important but taking some time out to reflect is of ultimate importance. Why? well because we need to learn from our mistakes. So it’s a good idea to take 15 mins per day and reflect on your day and how it went.

What were your successes, what caused your failures, what lessons did you learn and what will you apply the next day?

3 priorities per day, MAX

It’s tempting to put a lot of food on our plate when we are very hungry but what will happen?

We end up not eating everything and probably forgetting about the nutriments that are really important to our body.

Same thing in time management. Put 3 priorities per day, these are the top ones, the ones that will move the needle forward in your business and your life. Focus on them, nothing else matters… for now.

Start with high value money activity

After reading the “Miracle Morning” book by Hal Elrod, I start my day now with high life time value activities like meditation, reading, exercising.

After that immediately I start with high-value money activity. Those are the activities that will directly put money in my bank account. Coaching a client, creating an ad campaign, creating a blog post, creating a video for my Youtube channel, or a post for my Facebook public page.

Once the most important activities, money wise, are done, I have more peace of mind for the rest of the day.

Thank you for reading,

As always, share with us your main take away from this blog, by commenting below.

All the best,

Elie Abboud

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