Time management is extremely important for a solopreneur — or anyone trying to succeed for that matter. Here are some steps and tips to help you organize your time and get more done in less time.
1. Know the difference between what you have to do and what you want to do
There are things that you need to do that you don’t want to do — at least not right now — but they will help you attain your goals. Make a list of what you have to do each day and stick to it.
A great technique is to do the important things first; after that, you can spend time on the tasks that are more fun.
If you can organize your work so that what you need to do is what you like to do, all the better. You can do that by:
- Making sure that you are suited to your work
- Outsourcing or delegating tasks that you don’t like — or aren’t good at
Did you know that self-discipline is a predictor of success? A person’s success in his or her 30s, as measured by health, wealth and more, can be predicted by how well they can control their impulses as early as age three, according to a study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Here’s a write-up of the study in TIME magazine.
This study confirms the famous marshmallow study. Watch a cute video about it here!
2. Set priorities
Once you have your list, number the items in the order of importance. Do the tasks in order.
But priorities are bigger than lists. How about:
- Products vs. services
- Personal contact vs. reaching the world
- Personal space vs. office space
- Work vs. family
I’m sure you can think of more. but you need to think about these things in order to make the right decisions.
3. Set times and deadlines for everything
I’ve watched businesses flounder because they didn’t set deadlines for projects. Or they just let deadlines slide and justified the delay. This is a recipe for failure. Instead, set a reasonable deadline, break up the project into daily tasks, and stick to your list.
A great way to stick to a deadline is to “calendar” everything. Transfer your list to your calendar and set a specific time to do it. Be realistic; you may not get an entire project done in a day. As you work with your calendar, you’ll learn what really works. Then adjust your calendar. I like to color code my calendar:
- Orange is for tasks that can be done at any time.
- Turquoise is for appointments that are at a specific time
- Dark blue is for everything I’ve completed. I love seeing a dark blue calendar at the end of the week!
4. Time is money; don’t waste it
Your time is valuable! Wasted time is such a shame. During work hours, don’t spend time on social media that doesn’t advance your business; each and every post should have a business purpose.
5. Say no
Do you say yes to every request for help — and help for free? You need to say no to personal requests that interfere with your business and to business requests that are not profitable for you.
Here are 3 bonus steps that will help not only your business but your life.
Think about the big picture
You need to step back and decide on your big goals. Let’s say that you want to make $100,000 per year.
Why? So you don’t have to worry about money?
So you can hire help and spend more time with your family?
You need to know your big goals and why you want them. This will help keep you focused.
Sharpen the saw
This phrase is from Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (I love that book!) It means that you need to take time off for yourself so that you have more energy to fulfill your goals, just like you need to stop and sharpen the saw so that your work will go faster. When you run yourself ragged, you won’t succeed.
Steven Covey practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique. (I practice it, too.) Take time each day to re-energize yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep, too.
Be sure to appreciate what you have and those who have helped you. A little gratitude puts a positive spin on your life, even if you feel that you have a ways to go, and gives you the impetus to keep moving forward.
Get Everything Done!
I have some video training that will give you lots of tips on how to get more done in less time. It’s called Get Everything Done!
What techniques have helped you organize your time and be more productive? Leave a comment!
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