Every busy entrepreneur knows that efficiency is their best friend. If you fail to maximize your efficiency, you’ll struggle to accomplish all your tasks in a day. This translates to being unproductive – and we all know how obsessed entrepreneurs are with productivity!
Looking for some tips? Here are 11 time-saving hacks for busy entrepreneurs:
1. Plan your day the night before
Every day is a new day. That said, when’s the proper time to plan for your day? Most people plan their day in the morning, or even worse they plan it on the fly.
If you want to wake up every day with a clear plan of attack I suggest preparing the night before. All it takes is 10-20 minutes to plan your day before you fall asleep. When you wake up all you need to do is take a look at the schedule and go get it done!
2. Take breaks
We get it, you’re an entrepreneur so you need to be working 24/7. The truth is nobody can operate at their full potential for an entire day. We simply need to take breaks.
The best approach is to schedule breaks into your day so they don’t disrupt your workflow. For example, I take three 10-minute breaks every day. I even schedule them on my calendar so I don’t book a meeting during my break time.
3. Wake up earlier
If you wake up earlier, you’ll get more done during the day. It’s that simple. Not to mention, the early mornings are the only time of the day you’ll truly have to yourself. This is the perfect time for deep thinking and reflection. For busy entrepreneurs, this is an extremely important practice.
If you’re not a morning person this one may be tough, but it doesn’t mean you should forego it. Try taking it one step at a time. Shoot for your ideal time to rise, preferably around 5:30 – 6:00AM and slowly work towards that by waking up 10 – 15 minutes earlier each week. Eventually, your body will adjust to the new time and you’ll never have to look back.
4. Handle the most difficult tasks first
Staying efficient throughout the day is all about balancing your energy. That said, should you be saving your hardest tasks for the end of the day? The answer is a definite no.
If you want your day to run smoothly, it’s always best to tackle your most difficult tasks first. That way you have the rest of your day to look forward to!
5. Set timers
If you constantly find yourself daydreaming while trying to complete tasks you may consider using timers. Setting a timer keeps you focused and gives you incentive to work faster. You’ll understand you have no time to waste and it’ll serve as a reminder to stop daydreaming and get back to work!
6. Banish your smartphone
Smartphones are the best and worst thing for our productivity. Sure they allow us to constantly stay connected and work remotely. However, they’re also a dark hole when it comes to the endless distractions.
The best strategy here is to turn your smartphone on silent and leave it more than an arms length away. This way you won’t impulsively check Instagram every 10 minutes to check in on our friends.
7. Try an audiobook during your commute
Entrepreneurs know that knowledge is power. One of the best ways to broaden your knowledge is to read books. Unfortunately, reading tends to take up a lot of our time. A great alternative is to try an audiobook or podcast during your commute hours. This way you can continue to obtain knowledge during hours of the day that would otherwise be wasted.
8. Get rid of multitasking
Multitasking is just plain bad. It gives us the misconception that we’re finishing multiple tasks at once. In reality, we’re taking longer to complete each task than if we were to handle them individually. Your brain simply cannot focus on two things at the same time. Focus on one single task and only move on to the next once it’s completed.
9. Batch small tasks
A great time management strategy to use is the idea of time blocking. Time blocking is when you block off certain chunks of time on your calendar to accomplish certain tasks. This way you allot specific hours of the day for certain jobs, rather than tackling everything at once.
The idea here is that you batch similar tasks together and block out specific times on your schedule to accomplish them. When it comes to your smaller more trivial tasks, it’s always best to batch those in the same block.
10. Stop being a perfectionist
Many of us struggle with the idea that we always need to be perfect. Whether it’s a simple sales proposal or an investor presentation we’re always trying to make it better. The truth is, there’s a point where it’s good enough and any extra effort is a waste of time.
Is the investor really going to care what font you use? Do you think they’ll invest based on the images you used on your marketing slide? The answer is usually no, and it’s important to recognize this no matter what you’re putting together.
11. Make decisions right away
Every successful entrepreneur can attest to the fact that decision making is one of the most important skills to have. Every top CEO in the world makes 10 decisions a day that many lose sleep just thinking about. The reason why they’ve put themselves in such a top position is because of their ability to make a decision right away and live with the consequences.
The worst thing you can do is spend hours and hours looming over a decision and playing out every possible outcome. Take a few minutes to think things over, weigh the pros and cons, then make your choice. Sure some will be the wrong decision, but those are when we learn the most.
If you’re a busy entrepreneur, make sure you try some of the time-saving hacks listed above so you can get more out of your day!