So you decided to take my advice from my last blog post and you are ready to begin your own entrepreneurial journey! Hey, that’s super awesome! BUT where do you go from here? I know you are excited to put your fancy business name up in bright lights, register your business, get your website up and running and start posting on social media and most importantly selling your awesome products or services and all the fun and exciting things that come along with the newness of being an entrepreneur.
It’s all in good order and I promise I’ll get to that but I want you to stop for a quick minute and assess your time strategy. Yes, I said it, time strategy, I bet it’s not something you hear often. Well you heard it first at The Entrepreneur’s Nook.
Ok, seriously though, I know that you are still working your 9-5 job and in addition to that you still have your wife, mummy and “everything in between” duties. So let’s discuss how you can manage your time more efficiently so that your family, your job and everything in between are not compromised and most importantly you don’t get burnt out real fast.
It’s important that you build a solid foundation for your business so that you ensure that it is sustainable and your business is NOT just a one-hit wonder. The reason why coming up with a strategy for how you’ll manage your time is golden at this early stage in your journey is because you don’t want to find yourself scrambling for time and feeling overwhelmed and overworked.
I learned the hard way and you don’t have to go through it too. I jumped into launching my business head first without thinking about how I was going to manage my time and then I wore myself out and didn’t want to touch my business with a ten-foot pole. No Bueno!!! (not good in Spanish)
I found myself spending long hours into the night on my business without making huge strides. I was getting to work feeling groggy and tired and unable to give my employer 110%. No Bueno again.
When I launched my business, I felt that I would always have the time to get things done, after all it was my baby, I’d nurture it, feed it and I’d stop everything I was doing to take care of it. I had good intentions to take care of this baby but the truth was that I also had a life and whole lot of responsibilities as well.
After a couple of weeks of spending lots of time with family, catching up on tv shows and just lazing around, I noticed that my business started to slide down, so I knew I had to do something about it and that’s what I want to share with you in the hopes that you’d be able to create a time strategy as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.
Take a look at one full day in your life, including your sleeping hours and decide how many hours you can realistically carve out each day for your business. Be very frank with yourself and be ready to commit to those hours.
In my case it was either super early in the morning or right after dinner. I figured I could easily give my business two hours of my time from Monday to Thursday. I had more time for business work on Fridays and Saturdays and that’s how I was able to plan out my week.
Lunch Break-Power Hour:
How do you spend your lunch break? Catching up on sleep? Catching up on office gossip, I mean networking with colleagues, talking to your sister or friend or catching up on Facebook? All these sound appealing, but you have a business to run. Why don’t you take 2 days a week during your lunch break to do some quick business work? Set priorities and schedule your tasks or some good old brainstorming.
Note: Please do not use your employer’s equipment and supplies for your business. I am talking about using your smartphone, tablet or good old pen and paper.
Get in tune with using your calendar! In addition to soccer games, piano recitals, cheerleading practice, hair appointments and Zumba classes, be sure to schedule your business hours in with action items so that you are not spending time figuring what to work on but you know exactly what you should be doing when it’s time to switch to business mode.
This brings me to share a quote I love about scheduling and priorities by Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” It goes:
The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities
Automate like a boss:
Take advantage of tools and technology available in these days of being a millennial entrepreneur. You can automate a lot of tasks and it does not make you less hands on than the entrepreneur who chooses to do things manually.
Block out some time to batch your blog posts, social media posts and other routine tasks.
Learn to say “No”:
If you are going to become a boss, you would need to learn how to say no. I know it’s easier said than done but it will get easier, trust me on this. If it is difficult for you to say a flat out No, be sure to ask to be given some time to think about it. The reason saying No helps is that you don’t find yourself having buyer’s remorse or feeling sorry that you agreed to attend an event or participate in an event that you quite honestly had no desires for. It's time you could be spending doing productive "needle moving" work for your business.
Having a time strategy for your business should not turn you into a recluse without a life, the goal is for you to be able to manage your priorities without feeling deprived or becoming anti-social. I know finding the right balance can be a challenge, but knowing how to manage your time is a step in the right direction.
Please leave a comment and let me know which of these tip resonate with you the most.