As entrepreneurs, most of us struggle with our days blowing out. It’s awesome to be able to restructure our schedule on a whim, but it’s also difficult to stay on track without a boss or manager ordering our days for us. I don’t always take my own advice, but when I do, I get a LOT done.
“What is easy to do, is also easy not to do.” ~Zig Ziglar
These three keys aren’t rocket science, but they’ll rocket you productivity to the max. Check it out.
1. Complete Your HARDEST Task First
We LOVE to lie to ourselves and think “I’ll work on that in the afternoon,” or “I’m a night owl, I’ll finish it up in the evening.” People still get stuff done that way, but highly successful people do their hardest task first.
Four reasons why:
A. They get their crucial result out of the way because they know their days tend to morph–especially entrepreneurs–and they want to make sure the toughie is out of the way.
B. They save valuable time and energy. (You don’t worry about it all day.)
C. They don’t have time to build up excuses and build walls of procrastination
D. It helps start out the day with good endorphins and feelings of accomplishment!
2. Research Last
If you’ve ever been on a computer, you know what I’m talking about. Most entrepreneurial jobs require a fair amount of research, BUT . . . it’s easy to find yourself researching delivery rates on direct mailers one minute and learning Rhett and Link’s rap battles the next! Save your bunny trail hopping for the afternoon lull, or the evening. First, make sure those tough crucial results are wrapped up.
3. Create a Schedule
“But I’m an entrepreneur! I don’t have a schedule!”
I know. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change.
I’m not talking the regular 9am-5pm trap we escaped for 5am-11pm freedom, but structure is still extremely valuable. A little structure here and there will give you measuring points to track your success and make sure your day is not getting away from you. With lots of tasks to do and huge amounts of creativity, entrepreneurs can often start their days with great hopes but finish wondering. . . “why on earth did I spend 3 hours ?”
The cool thing is, your schedule can be whatever you want, and it can change whenever you want. At least you have a plan.
When my current schedule stops working for me, I’ll create a new schedule, but at least I know what time I’m getting up, what time I work out, and what time I go to bed (which so far, has been nothing but a good idea).
Your schedule can be simple, like mine, with only three key structuring points. Even though the rest of your day is completely subject to change, I bet you will find it helpful to have those little scheduling habits that keep you on track.
Do you have any tips for managing yourself?