Creative ways to make time to grow your business

5 Time management tips for entrepreneurs

One of the most common traits shared by entrepreneurs is that they don’t know how to manage time wisely. A survey  by New York Enterprise found that small business owners work twice as many hours as employees, with a quarter of entrepreneurs saying they put in an average of 60 hours each week.

Often, entrepreneurs become so wrapped up in the detail of their business that their business stagnates – despite them working increasingly long hours. Their home life gets disrupted, they suffer mood swings, and eventually they start to loath the business they once loved.

If this sounds familiar, then you need to read on. Managing your time more effectively will help you be more effective. As Ken Andrukow says in the Black Diamond Podcast ‘Effective Time Management’, “A workaholic is just somebody who doesn’t know how to manage their time.” 

In this article, we share a few tips to help you manage your time better. And that’s going to help you grow your business.

Time management tip #1: Plan ahead

Talking to Eric Carlson about his transition from employee to successful entrepreneur and co-founder of 10XFactory, it’s clear that he highly values his time. He agrees with us that “time is probably the most valuable asset”. Which is why it’s crucial that you set goals.

If you don’t set goals for your business, and plan how to achieve those goals, your business will be dictated by outside forces. “I used to let the world dictate what I’m doing,says Ken Andrukow. “You end up chasing your tail. Now I’m intentional about the type of work I do and when.

So, set your big rocks. Break them down into smaller milestones, and make sure that you work toward these by planning your week.

Time management tip #2: Listen to your own productivity

We all have our own productivity clock. Times of the day when we work better doing admin stuff, and other times when we work better in meetings or on ‘actual work’. Figure out when you’re most productive – and which tasks you’re most productive with – at different times of the day. Figure out why that is. For example, you might be highly energized after going for a jog or after a short workout in the gym.

When you figure out your most productive periods, slot the work into these and become habitual about it. 

Time management tip #3: Take time out to re-energize

Your brain is a muscle, and it suffers from fatigue when it’s overworked just like other muscles in your body. The only way to keep it in top shape is to take time out. This could be between tasks – for example, by working in short sprints with a short break between those sprints as described in the Pomodoro Technique

You also need to set aside time to fully re-energize. Ken advises that you become intentional about what you do. “When you are intentional about what you do, and do the things you love to do, it doesn’t feel like working, he says, but you must have enough time in each week to intentionally rejuvenate and fill back up.

Time management tip #4: Spend a day being creative for your business

Imagine you only work for three days a week. You’ve had time off to re-energize. You’re raring to go. Make the first day back behind your desk one in which you spend your time creatively. Work on items that require more attention to become revenue generators in the future. Then the next two days, that’s when you should be working on those things that generate revenue now.

You may not be able to get down to three or four days a week like Ken right now, but you must ensure that a good proportion of your time is spent on creating and not simply doing. That’s what will help you free more time and grow your business in the direction you want it to go.

Time management tip #5: Learn to delegate

Here’s another area where entrepreneurs tend to fail. They think they must do everything in their business. You really don’t. Others will be more experienced than you in certain aspects of your business. And why do the things that you don’t like to do?

Reach out to your network, find people who have the right skills and are willing to help. Ask for referrals, hire freelancers or contractors. Whatever it takes, free your time so that you can use it more effectively and so that your business is conducted more effectively.

Your time is unique

Just like your business, your need for time is unique. When we work with clients, we provide guidelines to structure your week, but it’s important to learn what works for you, and how you become most productive – how your time is most effective. As Ken sums up:

Decide what you want, and organize time to get it. You can be on a beach working for three hours. You can work from anywhere at any time, but you must be intentional to be valuable.

Over to you. How do your days pan out? Do you suffer from a lack of time? What techniques have you tried to help manage your time more effectively? Do you think you could work three and a half days each week and continue to grow your business, like Ken does? No? Why not? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below, and we’ll try to address them in future articles and Black Diamond podcasts.

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