When you work a nine to five it doesn’t matter if it takes you five minutes or five hours to do a presentation, you’re still getting paid. (Although your boss might wonder what’s taking you so long!) But as an entrepreneur it’s important to use your time effectively and maximize your income. Time really is money in this case.
Making a list of everything you need to do is a good start. But cutting out the the things you DON’T is just as important.
Cross these time wasters off your list to get more done:
It might seem quick and easy to just send an e-mail, but sometimes it can be a pain waiting around for someone to respond -- and sometimes people forget and never do! Before you send an email, think about whether it can be sorted with a quick phone call. Get it off your plate and move on. Especially in time sensitive situations when you need to get the ball rolling. For some other ways to clean up your inbox, check out my online course Take Back Your Inbox.
It’s great to be eager and take on as much as possible, but there comes a point when enough is enough. When you take on too many projects at once, it often results in nothing getting done. By prioritizing your tasks (with a to-do list!) you’ll be able to focus and plan out what task to do when, to make sure it gets accomplished. Plus, I don’t believe in multi-tasking, it’s impossible. Look at all the items on your to-do list and assign them weight. How important are they to complete today, this week, this month? Take the really important ones and stick them on a daily list. That way you know what you should be focusing on.
3. Social Media.
We're probably all most guilty of wasting time on the Internet. Quickly checking your notifications on Facebook or Twitter can lead to hours of wasted time. It’s natural to click from one thing to the next and end up with no progress on your work at the end of the day. If you find yourself guilty of this, there’s an app called SelfControl that lets you block specific websites for up to 24 hours. I also like to use social media browsing as a reward for getting a task done. It makes scrolling through your old roommate's trip to Bali even sweeter!
Need to know where the nearest stationery store is? Don’t waste your time searching through Google. Get “Siri” in iPhone or “OK Google” on Galaxy to do the hard work for you. Just ask. Also make sure you know all your keyboard shortcuts. Tech experts say they can save you two seconds per minute. While it may not seem like a lot believe me, it can add up! When the clock never stops ticking, even the smallest things make a difference.
Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for scheduling seven minute meetings. Yep, that’s it -- just seven minutes. He says it forces people to be really succinct and make every second count. As a TV producer, I think this is a great way to chunk out your time. If you give someone an hour to complete a task, they will take an hour. But give them seven minutes to fill you in on a pending project and they’ll take just seven minutes!