The path of an entrepreneur is anything but straightforward. It’s without a doubt one of the toughest careers you can choose. The only person who dictates what happens in your future is you. The only way to set yourself up for success is to stay focused and maximize each and every day.
That’s not always so easy though. After 3-months of solid grinding, it gets tough to keep pushing. Unfortunately, it’s not going to get any easier but there are strategies you can use to help you push through.
Here are nine ways entrepreneurs can maximize their time every day:
Get the worst thing out of the way first
Every day is filled with tasks you’d rather not do. In fact, sometimes those tasks are so bad you dread them the night before. Unfortunately, that’s just the life of an entrepreneur. The best strategy for this is to get them out of the way first thing. That way, you have the rest of the day to look forward to knowing you’ve gotten that one task completed.
Wake up early
This one is pretty straightforward. If you want more time out of your day, all you need to do is wake up earlier in the day. There’s no secret why some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time wake up as early as 4:00 am in the morning. The morning is really the only time you truly have to yourself. If you’re up, while the rest of the world is sleeping you can use that time for deep thinking and reflection. This is key to your overall mental health.
Take the time to exercise, meditate, or read before you start the day. This way you’ll be ready to attack the workday with energy and a clear head.
Don’t waste waiting time
Everyone has times throughout the day when they’re waiting on something or for someone else. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or you’re waiting to get picked up by an Uber you should strive to never waste a second. Always make sure you are set up to work remotely. Sync all your work files with your smartphone or invest in a tablet to take with you on-the-go. Use this waiting time to check emails, scan your to-do list, or simply reflect on how you can do better.
Kill two birds with one stone
Entrepreneurship is all about being creative and creating opportunities out of nothing. When you’re at your busiest you need to really think outside the box. You need to be thinking in “half-time” meaning how can you spend time doing something and get double the results?
For example, the next time you cook a meal, make twice the amount you’re normally doing and freeze the rest for later. You effectively saved yourself 30-minutes to an hour of cooking and cleaning time by using this method.
Schedule your “maintenance” days
We can’t be working all the time. Things like cleaning the house, laundry, and errands should all be scheduled on specific days. You should always strive to knock these out in one batch that way they aren’t lingering over your head.
Keep your emails concise
This one is very tricky but also one of the most effective ways to save you time. Email takes up a lot of our time already. You should always strive and keep your emails short and to the point. It’s effective for yourself and the person reading them. A general rule of thumb is to try and keep your emails under five sentences.
Create a “No Do” list
Creating to-do lists is a great way to organize what needs to get done during the day. But what about the things that you shouldn’t be doing? Many of us entrepreneurs aren’t disciplined enough to simply remember not to do these things. Do yourself a favor and try putting together a “No Do” list.
On this list, you should include things that aren’t conducive to having a productive day. Things like social media, watching tv, and happy hour on a Wednesday should all go on this list. The list mainly serves as a way to keep yourself in check. Your goal should be to get through each and every day without doing anything on that list.
Question every meeting
Entrepreneurs are taking meetings all the time. It’s important to seek out each and every opportunity that you think may be valuable to you. The problem is, it’s difficult to know if that opportunity has value. Taking a 30-minute meeting may not seem like it could do any harm, but those 30-minute meetings can really add up. If you’re taking these meetings in person you need to factor in time and costs associated with travel. Then it really adds up.
Before you take any meeting you should always question it. Do you have a plan going into it? Do you know exactly what you want to attain? If you know what success looks like from the beginning you’ll know exactly what to look for in your meeting.
Use a scheduling tool
There’s a reason why the top executives in the world all use an executive assistant. They simply don’t have time to manage their own schedules. As an entrepreneur, it’s very likely that you don’t have the capital for an assistant. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.
There are plenty of online scheduling tools that help you schedule meetings and manage your calendar on the fly. These tools have saved entrepreneurs 3-4 hours a week by taking the hassle out of scheduling meetings.
There’s no secret playbook to becoming a successful entrepreneur. It all comes down to laser focus and hard ass work. For starters make sure you’re practicing the nine strategies listed above.