How to Manage Your Time Like a Pro
For all the self-employed folks (along with the rest of us), here's how to maximize your productivity ROI.
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Being an entrepreneur can mean tons of distractions and things that seemingly want to crave your attention, and before you complete one task, another is waiting for its turn. While time flies by unnoticed, at the end of the day, sometimes we question ourselves as to what we really achieved?
As someone running a business, it's important to devote your time to specific activities such as people happiness, current evaluations, and future strategies, legal compliances, and other things without which a business cannot grow or worse, will be decimated in the long run; it's basically a rabbit hole, and there's usually no end in sight.
While I agree that hustle is essential, it's not possible for all entrepreneurs to work 100 hour weeks (especially if you're married and/or have kids). In all honesty, it's a standard that has been set as a stereotype for entrepreneurs; and it's not just because of time commitment but also for the fact that there can only be a finite number of decisions that one can take, termed by psychologists as Ego Depletion. It's the same reason why people in the Silicon Valley prefer to use the same combination of blue jeans and a grey t-shirt to work every day — to avoid one decision when can be used later in the day!
Hence with the limited amount of time that we all have, below is a set of key points I keep in mind to squeeze out every last drop of my productivity on a daily basis (and do it consistently).
Plan Your Personal Goals Alongside Your Professional Ones
If you're an entrepreneur, your professional life cannot be separated from your own. If you aim to achieve success, it has to be holistic and before you plan anything to make sure that you keep enough room for your personal goals as well.
It could be that you want to go for a workcation or plan that surprise trip for your girlfriend/better half or you want to get fit/lose weight. Keep these goals as a part of your overall vital points you want to achieve.
Know Your Limits but Get out Of Your Comfort Zone
It's important to know where you stand and to where do you want to reach out next. While it's true that one should "aim for the stars" but in today's hyper-connected world, setting targets that are too lofty looking at people who have made it big could result in loss of confidence, stress and even depression.
Once you're more clear where you stand, make it a point to move out of your comfort zone — consistently and with persistence: day in and day out. The only way to grow as an entrepreneur and as a person holistically is to push your boundaries and then get ready for some more.
Plan Your Year, Quarter, Month and Week
Unless you have a goal in sight, you will never reach your full potential. The key is to then break it down into smaller goals. Don't over plan for each day or hour (which is honestly not possible), but state ballpark goals which you want to achieve in the particular time frame.
When writing goals, tag them with colors or some other way to identify if they are personal or not and use different colors for the professional ones such as hiring, writing, public speaking, technology, etc.
Finally, Measure, Measure, and Measure Some More
"What gets measured gets done." It's an age-old saying, and I can't stress it enough. Every day, week, month, quarter and year — it's essential to retrospect (just like we have retrospective meetings in our agile meetings) to understand what was expected, what was achieved and how can you do better going forward.
Only when you measure, introspect and learn from your mistakes, can you actually take a step ahead.
Concluding, it's essential to plan, measure and improve on a daily basis with persistence. Do this, and you will surely achieve your dreams. All the best!
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