Having an overloaded calendar may seem like a characteristic of successful entrepreneurship, but just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re handling your time efficiently. Although this always-connected era encourages us to pack in as much as possible, that’s precisely the sort of pressure you must avoid to stay focused on your most valuable tasks.
People who do a poor job of managing their schedules aren’t just chronically late, they’re also painfully unproductive. As more of our daily tasks are automated or handled by computers, thinking critically about where you spend your time will make or break your success.
If any of the following sound familiar, then it’s time to change the way you work:
#1. You don’t have clear goals
Measurable goals shape the way we plan our days and prioritize tasks. But even more importantly, they give us something to work towards: a crucial source of motivation that prevents burnout and boosts inspiration. Starting with a big-picture goal and reverse engineering it into time-based and specific milestones will make it much easier to maintain work-life balance.
It’s tempting to focus on financial goals since they are some of the most specific and time-bound, especially if you’re launching a startup business. However, these goals are usually out of your control. Instead, focus on activity goals and, eventually, these will translate into financial rewards.
#2. You’re working too much overtime
Putting in extra hours is an issue with people across all levels of responsibility, but entrepreneurs tasked with making their own decisions and accountable only to themselves often suffer the most. Burnout becomes an inevitability and the quality of their work plummets.
Although there are plenty of events that you have no control over, you can free up a significant chunk of time simply by managing your time more aggressively. Try starting every day by turning off any apps or devices that can distract you, picking one ‘Most Important Task’ and dedicating 2-3 hours to work on it before anything else can steal your attention.
#3. You aren’t delegating work
Running from one task to another isn’t always a bad thing...unless they’re worth less than your hourly rate or not within the bounds of your core competencies. You simply cannot do it all.
Entrepreneurs fall into this trap because they think they’re saving money or because they don’t trust anyone else to do the job for them. But in a best-case scenario, they succeed, the business grows, and then there’s more work for them to juggle or quickly outsource than before.
For example, if you’re spending several hours every month on managing your IT, it’s only going to become a bigger problem the longer you put off delegation. Outsource your technology strategy and maintenance to a local managed services provider early for long-term dividends.
#4. You’re using too many apps
You’ve probably encountered people who use dozens of different apps for tracking their productivity, maintaining their calendars, organizing alerts, and collaborating with people online. You may have even viewed their technophilia with jealousy.
The truth is that each additional app decreases the value of all the others. Technology bloat is a real problem and you’ll eventually spend so much time updating, configuring, and switching between apps that you’ll never get anything done. As a general rule, keep your app portfolio to a minimum, and make sure that all your software works seamlessly together.
Umbrella Managed Systems provides expert technology guidance and support to businesses in Kansas. Call us today to find out more.