Being an entrepreneur is not an easy journey. Indeed it requires loads of hard work — from managing employees, planning towards the future of the company, to attending numerous meetings. Entrepreneurs can’t deny the unending workload that comes to their desk daily and honestly, with such responsibilities and tasks, it’s easy to fall prey to some deadly mistakes made by entrepreneurs.
However, successful entrepreneurs have learnt the importance of working smarter, instead of harder. They have been able to create lifestyle changes, adopt concrete daily routines and create structures that enable them to thrive despite their busy schedules.
Here are 6 tips that will help the busy entrepreneur to successfully run through their endless tasks.
1. Set Goals & Plan
In order to achieve any task at hand, it’s important to set goals and plan ahead. Start by setting goals that sync with your values and mission, and then create a list of everything you need to do in line with those goals. It’s important to be as detailed as possible in order to conceptualize your tasks and determine your priorities. When there are goals and plans attached to them, then dreams are achieved easily.
2. Prioritize Your Work
Most entrepreneurs get distracted in the shock that comes with just staring at a long list of things to do. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the amount of work at hand, determine your most important tasks and start working towards them first. What tasks would bring the utmost fulfilment when complete? What workload will help make the others run faster? Which ones have strict deadlines?
Write down the three most important tasks you need to complete daily, weekly and monthly. Consider putting each task into segments A, B, C and D, depending on your daily schedule. Tasks that are segmented make it easier to achieve those goals that seem daunting.
3. Write out Steps and Times for Each Task
Once you’re done prioritizing, it’s important to determine the steps that will lead you to achieve each goal. This helps to effectively achieve one minor task at a time, instead of trying to do different things all at once.
When you’re done assigning minor tasks for each goal, create a time structure for each of them. For example, if you’re writing a blog post, you can decide to allocate 1 hour to it. Set your alarm at 1 hour intervals to ensure that you maintain your focus on one task at a time until it’s finished. Don’t get trapped in the realm of multitasking, but instead be determined to finish one project at a time in order to produce the best results.
4. Delegate and Outsource
One important startup lesson I learnt from Sara Blakely, founder of the billion dollar company, Spanx, is the importance of delegating and hiring your weaknesses once you get the chance.
Let’s be clear, being a successful entrepreneur requires hard work and sometimes most people get emotionally attached to their work that they forget the importance of outsourcing or having a great support team.
Depending on your skills and experiences, decide on the duties that can be done effectively by other people. For example, if you’re not good at graphic design, it would save you time and emotions when you outsource it to a graphic designer that can handle the work effectively. It’s much more productive to call in experts than to try and fix everything by yourself.
Instead of spending time on duties that can be easily delegated to someone else, save time by focusing on other important revenue generating processes.
5. Develop the Habit of Discipline
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to create habits that lead you towards your mission and business driven tasks. One consistent habit of procrastination by the owner of a company can literally affect the entire team. Make up your mind to create positive habits that drive you towards your goals. From waking up early to cutting out certain things, habits or people that distract you from your ultimate goals. I highly recommend the book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, it will help you to start forming the right habits by discarding frivolities and/or replacing them with things that actually help you thrive.
6. Ignore Unnecessary Distractions
The world is filled with all sorts of distractions, especially in this social media age where everything happens at our finger tips. The less distraction you have, the more you’re able to focus and get more work done. On a more practical note, when working on important tasks, take off everything from mobile phone notifications to everything related to social media.
In order to create a consistent productive and fruitful work life, it’s important for entrepreneurs to apply certain steps that could help them successfully manage their workload. Prioritizing, setting goals and achieving them, doesn’t have to be daunting. It takes determination, smart work and openness towards delegation to create better productive levels of work as an entrepreneur.
Starting and running a successful business is a lot of work, but by diligently following the guidelines above, you can be sure of a better output towards your work.