When was the last time you interacted with an entrepreneur and heard them saying “I don’t have much going on”? Probably never.
In the business world, we often talk about maximizing resources like time. Yet we work in ways that suggest we don’t truly understand just how valuable time is.
Time management is the only thing that makes or breaks your company. To manage your time effectively, you cannot just work a lot; you have to focus your work on the objective that are most important to your company.
The first step to do that? Identifying where your time in doing work is wasted. These areas are some common problems:
1. Manually following up on emails
Why not to opt for automation to your calendar? Many of entrepreneurs admit they spend too much time in looking after email. Manage only critical messages yourself, and let technology take care of the follow-ups.
Email automation allows you to take those “Just checking in” messages off your schedule. Set your desired frequency and trigger events. Send follow-ups every few days to keep sales leads hot and check-in with candidates for open roles.
2. Stucking yourself on social media.
For many entrepreneurs, brand-building is a task that needs to be handled by the business owner. Social media is a great branding tool.
Before you log in, have a goal in mind. Whether you want to reach a new audience or respond to comments on your company page, set a timer. If you simply want to queue up some posts, save time by batching them with a social media scheduling service. It’s more efficient to spend three hours once a week scheduling posts than 20 minutes here and there.
3. Not taking breaks
Entrepreneurs are habituated for working long hours and being “always on.” But as said, an empty lantern provides no light.
Like it or not, you have to take time away from work to manage the other important areas of your life. Work breaks into your schedule. Take longer rests as well. Spend some of your time with family, learn many new skills, and get yourself out in nature. Whatever fills your cup, do it wholeheartedly and without guilt.
4. Having an open-door policy
As a founder, one of the most important things you can do is listen. Your teammates need to know you’re there for them. Your investors need you to listen to them, as do your customers.
If you’re not careful about how much time you are spending, you’ll spend your whole day talking about feedback and strategy. It’s important to set boundaries for unscheduled conversations. You have work to do, and much of it requires your undivided attention. Set specific times to respond to emails. Let callers leave a voicemail. If it’s truly an emergency, you can call them right back. It’s OK to close your door.
5. Associate just to network
Networking has a lot of benefits for entrepreneurs. Going to all event without a reason is a huge time waster. Because these events takes place after business hours, they cut into your valuable time off.
Going to an irrelevant conference or social event can be just as wasteful as getting stuck on social media. Be selective about the events you attend. Get as much detail as you can about who will be there and what you may gain from going. Although there’s nothing wrong with making new friends or helping others, not all opportunities are created equal.
As an entrepreneur, you simply can’t afford to spend a single minute on something that isn’t going to benefit your business. If you’re guilty of any of these time wasters, know that you’re not alone — but also know that now is a great time to change.
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