10 Time Management Habits for Entrepreneurs

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Being an entrepreneur is a 24 hour, 7 days a week job, and yet there still isn’t enough time.

Time is an interesting “thing” because it’s one of the only things we have no control over. All we can do is our best to not lose or waste time.

That can be difficult if you’re an entrepreneur.

Success doesn’t happen over night which means that a lot of time goes into building a business. On top of that, we still have to live our lives.

So how exactly do you use time wisely while still trying to accomplish all the things? Simply put, it takes time!

Here are 10 time management habits for entrepreneurs!

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1. The 10 Minute Plan

A while back I was listening to my favorite screenwriting podcast Draft Zero, and the topic of focus came up. The specific question revolved around how to get focused on writing when your mind is distracted by everything else.

The podcaster gave a great response. He said that if you can focus on anything for 10 solid minutes, your brain and body will tune everything out and keep you focused for a long period of time.

I don’t know if there is a science behind this or not, but it has worked for me numerous times.

As entrepreneurs, we have dozens of things to do each day. Sometimes sitting down to work is overwhelming simply because of the amount of things that need to be done.

I don’t know about you, but I have wasted precious time trying to work while unable to focus in on what I’m doing.

That all changed when I heard about the 10 minute task trick.

Now, when I’m feeling unfocused I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and I force myself to work on one tasks. By the end of those 10 minutes my mind has settled down and I’m ready to work.

Taking 10 minutes to focus really is a great time management habit for entrepreneurs no matter how busy you are.

2. Prioritize Your Tasks

Not all tasks are created equally. That might be hard to believe when you’re an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs have so much to do every single day that everything starts to feel like a top priority.

The truth is some things can wait.

Enter one of the most popular time management habits for entrepreneurs: the to-do list.

However, it’s important to realize that while some tasks might need to be completed that day, others can wait until the following day, later in the week, or they can be put aside altogether.

Not everything should be seen as an A task. Some things are simply B and C tasks.

I like to take a few minutes on Sunday evenings to make a dump list of everything I need to do that week. Then, I put them in order from most important to least important.

Some items end up being tied for most important, which is completely fine.

Once my list is done and my most important tasks are marked, I eliminate anything that can be completed in a different week.

To help with your tasks building, I have created a Weekly Task List for you to have! Download it for free!

3. Break Up Bigger Tasks Into Smaller Tasks

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful business.

Some tasks take weeks and even months to accomplish. However, nothing wastes time quite like trying to tackle a big task all at once.

That will only lead to frustration, burnout, and oftentimes an incomplete job.

Instead, break your larger tasks into smaller ones that ultimately add up to your big task.

Sometimes slow and steady is the best way to tackle a large project.

Recommended: How to Plan Your Work Week in a Few Easy Steps

4. Stay Up Late or Wake Up Early

How many times have you heard that successful people wake up at 4 am or 5 am to start their day?

I tried that. It did NOT work for me.

For awhile I felt like I was doing something wrong. After all, it seemed that so many entrepreneurs did their best work in the early morning hours.

But what about staying up late?

If you think about it, it’s the same thing as waking up early. If I stay up until midnight each night working, it’s the same as someone waking up at 5:00 am and working for three hours before they go to work.

I really am not a fan of the idea that all entrepreneurs need to wake up early in order to be successful. Instead, I believe in doing what works for you. Early or late.

Nights OR mornings can be your secret superpower. It doesn’t matter which one, but you need to pick one.

The secret is to find out when you work best, nights or mornings, and utilize that time to your advantage.

5. Organize in Advance

Quick story time.

One time my husband and I went to a baseball game for our date night. By the time we got home it was 1:00 am. We were exhausted.

Before I could go to bed, I needed to do one quick thing. The only problem, I couldn’t find the piece of paper I needed in order to complete my quick 5-minute (but extremely important) task.

We turned the house upside down looking for that piece of paper. Around 2:30 am we finally called it quits and went to bed.

The next morning I spent a few hours getting all my paperwork organized. That mishap made me learn my lesson. Now, I like to use Sunday nights to make sure everything is organized for the upcoming week.

I know that being organized isn’t for everyone. In fact, you might be rolling your eyes thinking, “I’m a free spirit”.

I’m a free spirit also, but as entrepreneurs, we don’t have time, or in my case, we don’t have slee to waste.

We might be working nonstop, but no one plans to spend precious minutes (or hours) looking for things, constantly stepping over a messy office, or letting important documents pile up. 

Organization helps you succeed and is a valuable time management habit for entrepreneurs.

If you feel like your workspace is unorganized, take a day (or two), and get that place clean. Organize everything from your drawers, to your files, to your paperclips. 

Let the next time you sit down to work, and every time after that, be at a clean and organized workspace.

Recommended: Things You Should Do to Stay Organized Every Month

6. Schedule Breaks

Believe it or not, scheduling office hours are excellent time management habits for entrepreneurs.

While office hours help make sure you show up to do your work, it also allows you the ability to take scheduled breaks.

Everyone needs a break, even if you might be reluctant to stop what you’re working on.

Breaks provide a clear mind to help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or mentally exhausted with your work.

During your break don’t just stay at your desk and scroll through your social media. Instead, get up and move around.

Use your break time to stretch, drink water, eat a snack, communicate with your loved ones, or even exercise.

If you don’t take breaks, you will experience a burnout. There’s no need for that to happen!

7. Work First, Have Fun Later

The only way you’re guaranteed to have good time management habits as an entrepreneur is if you constantly show up and work on your business.

This might be a hard adjustment at first because it involves you saying no.

You’ll have to say no to social media, friends, TV, and any other distractions. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work.

I’m not saying to give up your life and never have fun. What I’m saying is that it takes time to grow a business so you have to be willing to give your business your time.

Know when to indulge in the fun and when to focus.

8. Don’t Leave Simple Tasks Incomplete

Do you ever start things, easy things, and dont finish them until later?

I’ll give you an example. I used to be notorious at checking my emails and then not responding. Sometimes it would take me days to crawl back through my emails, rereading everything to see what I still needed to respond to.

Talk about a waste of time.

Now, I make sure that when I start working on something simple, such as emails, I finish it all in one sitting.

9. Put Your Blinders Up

It’s easy to see what other entrepreneurs are working on and feel behind with your own endeavors. I get it. Seeing someone elses success can be distracting.

When I first started my blog, I wanted to go from A to C without focusing on B. This happened because I was too focused on other peoples journey and not my own.

Skipping steps wasted a lot of my time and money and only doubled my workload down the line. I’ve since learned not to focus on what other people are doing because it can be distracting and disheartening.

Now, I admire people from a distance so that I don’t lose sight of my journey.  

Recommended: Should You Quit Your Day Job to Start a Business

10. Automate and Delegate

I used to think I could do everything. Now that I’m older I know that’s far from the truth.

Besides, as an entrepreneur there are just too many things to do to have time for everything. That’s why automating and delegating tasks is valuable.

I like to automate things I do on a regular basis such as creating email responses, graphics templates, and a weekly schedule full of work that is batched.

Things that I delegate are tasks that are better handled by a professional. Recently, I hired a company to do the paperwork for a trademark I needed.

I could have done this myself, but it would have taken me hours and hours. Instead, I delegated that task and saved plenty of time.

So there you have it, the top 10 time management habits for entrepreneurs. Which one was your favorite? I’d love to hear from you!

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