Effective Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Most people waste a lot of time by not having a productive system in place for managing their time. In this article, we’re going to go over three of the most popular, proven and effective systems for managing time as an entrepreneur.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

=> The Getting Things Done (GTD) System

Note: The GTD system is a gigantic methodology in and of itself. To really understand the ins and outs of the system, get a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen.

The GTD system involves basically making sure that there is nothing on your mind that isn’t written down somewhere.

Anytime you have a thought that entails a task or action you need to take, you write it down. At the end of the day, everything you’ve written down is put into some sort of task-tracking device.

This eliminates the “vague sense that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing” because you know exactly what’s on your plate at any given time.

You sit down once a week with all your tasks, actions and projects and sort out all your tasks into categories, divided by where you can accomplish the task. For example, you might sort your categories into At Office, At Home, At Store, Online and At Phone.

Anytime you’re at the office, you can just open your At Office list and do any one of the tasks that you’ve sorted into that task file.

This is a grossly simplified version of a very complex and powerful system. Again, to learn the ins and outs, either purchase the original book or Google Getting Things Done for a more in-depth explanation.

=> The Pomodoro System

The Pomodoro system seeks to eliminate time wasting that often comes with checking email, wandering online and other such activities that aren’t actually productive.

A Pomodoro is a time unit of 20 minutes. Once you start a Pomodoro, you cannot stop. A Pomodoro is pure work, with no email or bathroom breaks in between.

In short, once you start a Pomodoro, you’re working for 20 minutes straight. Start a timer and don’t stop actually doing your work for 20 minutes.

Track how many Pomodoros you accomplished during the day. That’s a better gauge of your efficiency than the amount of hours you spent in front of a computer.

=> The Steven Covey System

The Steven Covey system ranks tasks by two scales: Whether the task is important or not important, and whether the task is urgent or not urgent.

A task that’s urgent but not important might be answering a ringing phone from a friend. It feels like you must do it now, but it’s probably not that important.

A task that’s important but not urgent might be finding your life purpose, spending time with your kids or managing your finances. They’re important, but there seems to be no immediate pressure to perform the task.

Steven Covey asserts that we tend to spend too much time on things that are urgent but not important and not enough time on things that are important but not urgent.

To remedy this, rank your task list by how important asks are and how urgent they appear to be. Put an emphasis on getting important tasks done, even at the expense of tasks that seem urgent right now.

These are three very different systems for managing your time as an entrepreneur. Each system has avid followers that swear by it. Which system will work for you? Do a bit more research into each system and try them out for yourself. The improvements can be dramatic.

Finding Inspiration and Motivation Every Day

Even if you absolutely love your business, it can be difficult to find daily inspiration and motivation. However, when you can wake up each day excited and ready to go, your business and your personal life will thrive. There are tremendous benefits to finding inspiration and motivation every day. Here’s how to get it done:

#1 Gratitude – Gratitude accomplishes amazing things. One way to wake up motivated and inspired is to create a habit of gratitude. Journal the things you’re grateful for at the end of every day. Or wake up and before you get out of bed, journal what you’re grateful for today. Create a habit of gratitude and you’ll establish a positive and energetic mindset. There really is so much to be grateful for.

#2 Set small goals – Long-term goals are great. However, when a goal is far off in the future, it’s tough to find motivation to achieve them. However, smaller goals can be inspiring. You can set smaller daily or weekly goals to spur inspiration and motivation. Remember to set goals that get you excited. If you’re not a money-motivated person, for example, then a monetary goal isn’t going to motivate you.

#3 Do what you love first – It’s easy to get into a ritual rut. You wake in the morning, have your coffee, check your email and start working. The thing you love to do most is often down on your priority list. This makes starting your day less than exhilarating. However, if you rearrange your daily routine and do what you love first, then getting out of bed is easy and exciting.

#4 Affirmations – Mindset is powerful. An affirmation is a positive statement that helps you create inspiration and motivation. Affirmations help reaffirm and inspire a positive mindset. Determine what’s preventing you from feeling motivated and inspired each day and create an affirmation that supports change.

#5 Reward yourself – Some days are just tough to get through. Instead of trying to avoid them or forcing yourself to push through them, reward yourself. Rewards help you stay focused on the end result and the silver lining. Additionally, a reward doesn’t have to be huge. Sometimes a simple reward like your favorite coffee drink at the local coffee shop can be enough to help you stay positive and inspired all day long.

#6 Surround yourself – One great way to stay inspired and motivated is to surround yourself with inspiration. Listen to inspiring music. Create a home office that you enjoy spending time in. Surround yourself with the things you love. It’ll make each and every day so much more enjoyable.

#7 Take time off – When most people think about taking time off, they look at annual vacations. However, it’s important to take more time off than just a week or two a year. Consider taking time off each week or month. Even a few hours or a day or two can really make a difference. It gives you time to recharge and find that original source of inspiration and motivation.

Building and growing a business is difficult. Finding inspiration and motivation can make the difference between a struggling business and discontent to a thriving business and joy. Use these seven tips to help find inspiration and motivation each and every day.

Four Ways to Combat Stress and Negativity

Stress is one of the most notorious reasons for hampering growth and productivity. It’s common to almost every human as it comes with having the ability to feel. It’s an accessory of emotions that will always be a part of our lives.

On the other hand, negativity also plays a factor in hindering the maximization of our true talents. It brings a person down many notches from his/her optimum performance level. Also, negativity is often associated with fear and a weak will. It’s oftentimes caused by the fear of failing or past traumatic experiences.

Stress and negativity combined can cause a terrifying effect on your personal and professional life. Granted that they may be offshoots of these two major roles in your life, this doesn’t mean you are powerless against them. Fortunately for you, there are ways to combat these TOGETHER.

  • Surround yourself with positive-minded people:  Spending the majority of your time with people who are as stressed and negative as you would absolutely do nothing to help you. Though, you may understand each other’s plight, it’s basically limited to just that. It doesn’t give you any room to break free from the chains of stress and negativity. Surrounding yourself with positive-minded people will enable you to gain more confidence to convey your ideas with more conviction as you are backed up by your newly found positive outlook.
  • Have fun: Everyone needs a break once in a while. If you feel that the weight you’re carrying is too heavy already, try to escape for a day or two and take some time out alone. Get a massage, ride a rollercoaster, lie down and watch TV the whole day. This can help you clear things up, recharge and get things back on track. If your lifestyle or career does not enable you to escape for days at a time, try to do compact your relaxation time by taking 15-30 minutes a day doing things you genuinely like to do and make you truly happy.
  • Write! Fortunately for us, we live in a digital world now. We don’t have to lug notebooks all the time just for us to be able to jot things down on a regular basis. Try to write a personal blog that only you can see and list down the things that stress you out and the past experiences that has negatively affected you. Knowing the things that stress you out is one of the most important things you need to do in order to win the battle. In any case, once you’ve written them down, carefully think about how you’re going to tackle these problems or root causes. Then, write them down too and track your progress as time goes on. Do it at your own pace and I’m pretty sure, you’ll have the battle won pretty soon. As an added bonus, you get to hone your writing skills too if through this, you get to express yourself freely.
  • Let go: This is undeniably one of the hardest things to do but it’s one of the most effective. Letting go involves purging one’s emotional attachments to painful past experiences or current stressful ones. This erases bitterness, hostility, anger and more importantly, stress. This can enable you to be more open to forgiveness (if any is needed) and to optimism, which is one of the vital factors in succeeding. Stressful and negative things burden your emotions and letting them go will definitely make you feel lighter and better.

Without stress and negativity, you can focus more on the things you value the most. You can take risks and still appreciate life (or your profession) for its beauty and value even if you fail. You can now reach your goals without any hitch or excuse. Win the battle against stress and negativity and you have a pretty good chance of succeeding in your personal and business life.

Try these methods out. Things can only get better from here. 🙂