Entrepreneurship is a journey. We’ve talked in prior blogs about the fact that you need to make your business reflect you. We’ve talked some about time blocking and other methods of making sure that time reflects your personality and your style, and that your business reflects you. One thing a lot of entrepreneurs need to work on is time management. Obviously, we have goals and objectives. Without careful oversight, what could be a small project could fill all the available time, and could become very challenging, and could fill up your life. We, as entrepreneurs, tend to be very dedicated to our businesses and love our businesses, so we don’t think about our time at work as working, so we’re not as careful about marshaling our time as perhaps somebody who is working from 9am to 5pm for a corporation. We need to think about how we’re going to deal with it all, how we’re going to make sure we manage everything. A couple of things I’ve learned over the years:
#1 Travel Tips. I love going on trips, so if I’m traveling to a particular location for a conference or event, I will look up people I know in the area, and I’ll spend one additional day in that location. This is a win-win. I’m already traveling. I’m already investing the time to get to the airport, to do the trip, and to rent the car, etc. If I can add one more day on, a lot of travel overhead does not have to be repeated. I don’t have to check in to another hotel. I don’t need to rent another car. I don’t need to book another flight. It gives me leverage to get to know more people, and to expand the relationships. Think about tacking a day on.
#2 Group Trips Geographically. Similarly, when I’m in town, when I’m working locally, I try to group my trips geographically. This is simple, but in my early days, I wasn’t as careful about my calendar. Now, I group things geographically, and make things make more sense. I try not to overreact. I try to put things in a proper place.
#3 Prioritizing. That’s another key to being organized. How important is the meeting? How much inconvenience is it worth? A lot of us don’t like to say no, but there’s a very strong power to being able to say no, to tell people, “I can’t do that,” or at least defer certain meetings. If you know it’s not as high a value, you can defer it.
#4 The Telephone is Your Friend. Nowadays, we seem to have two polar extremes with a lot of people. Either everything is on the internet, or everything is done in person. The telephone is a nice middle ground. It’s worked for so many years in business, and I think it’s due for a revival. I think we need to pick up the phone and stay close to some people by telephone calls rather than in-person meetings, or strictly e-mail. It’s a nice middle ground that’s often under-utilized.
What have you done to manage your time? How are you making sure that you’re being the most productive possible? How are you getting the most done in the shortest period of time? How are you growing your business? Please share with us in the comments below. We’ll enjoy discussing them with you.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/Photographer marsy.
About the Author
Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.yourbusinessspeaker.com), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at email@example.com or (214) 418-0258.
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