There’s a saying that running a business is 85% mindset, and 15% strategy. This saying exists because it is so common and easy to fall into the trap of overthinking and second guessing your decisions…especially as a new business owner. And when this happens, it is harder to manage your time, and in business, time is money.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who understand the importance of “working smarter, not harder”. These entrepreneurs are not only masters at time management, but they understand the importance of rest and refueling so that they have ample time to be inspired and more focused in creating content or resources for their business.
Becoming the master of your time isn’t just about being productive, it is about protecting your health and happiness as an entrepreneur. It’s about enjoying the best parts of entrepreneurship, like time freedom and being in control of how you schedule your day.
So what can you do to master your time and strengthen your mind? Follow these five steps!
#1 Remember to Breathe
Entrepreneurship is both rewarding and demanding, and it’s very common for stress to build up throughout the day. When this happens, not only does it take a toll on your health, but on your productivity, too. Remember to focus on breathing deeply throughout your day. This type of breathing promotes a relaxation response and helps you feel more calm, present, and centered. This has a tremendous effect on your day because when you feel calm, everything going on around you feels less stressful. You can handle the bumps in the road, deadlines, and anything else that comes your way, with greater ease.
#2 Complete a “Brain Dump”
Getting everything out of your head and on to paper is a great way to relieve stress and set you up to be more productive. Being a new entrepreneur means you’re learning to blend work life and personal life…because there’s no such thing as work-life balance…it’s all LIFE! Create a list of everything on your mind – include work tasks, family responsibilities, personal care, and activities that fuel you. Be specific and don’t leave anything out. Next, write down the top 3 tasks you want to accomplish for the day. They should be “Big Picture” things like revenue-generating tasks, creative content creation, movement and meditation, and building relationships. Also, it’s usually the most helpful and best use of your time to do the most challenging task first.
#3 Time Block
When you use a tool like Google Calendar or Asana, you’re much more likely to complete the task. Also, it helps you to be more realistic about the amount of time needed to finish a specific task. Using one of these tools, you can break your project down into manageable chunks of time. For example, if you need to create your social media posts for the week or month, you can break it into pieces like, select days, create images or graphics, and write captions. Most projects you work on will have multiple parts, so it is less stressful and better use of your time to break projects into parts and assign them to specific times of your daily schedule.
#4 Delegate and Automate
Yes, being an entrepreneur means that you wear many hats, but it doesn’t mean you have to wear EVERY hat. After the first few months of being an entrepreneur, you will notice the tasks at which you excel, and the ones that you begrudgingly complete each day or week. When you delegate and/or automate tasks that you don’t enjoy doing, you’re actually freeing yourself to work in your zone of genius, which leads to greater workflow states. Work will feel easier and you will have a greater sense of calm and accomplishment.
#5 Release Perfection
You know perfection doesn’t exist, yet as a new entrepreneur you will still try to shoot for “perfect” – the perfect social media post, the perfect new lead magnet, the perfect email, and the list goes on. But remember, “Done is better than perfect.” Time is tricky, and it might not always be or feel perfect. Let go of the need to be perfectly scheduled and perfectly productive every day. You are human, and as a new entrepreneur, you might be working as a “solopreneur” for much of your first year or two of business. You need to be realistic about your time, be gentle with yourself, and stay positive. Supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health as a new entrepreneur is vitally important.
Remember, no matter how efficient your current strategy is, there’s always room for improvement. As an entrepreneur, you should always be evaluating what is working well, and what isn’t working well. Also, never stop learning and improving upon yourself – whether it be your professional capacity, or regarding business and personal development, time management, and living a better life. Always pay attention to tasks that take you too long, or require your attention far too often, and try to optimize or simplify them.
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