“Work hard, play harder” is a credo that many professionals follow nowadays, but entrepreneurs seem to just focus on the “work hard” part. I’m Naomi Burgess and this post is going to tell you why that’s a bad idea and what you should do to avoid it.
On the one hand, it’s quite understandable why business owners want to work as much as they can – they’ve put a lot of work into the business and they want to see it succeed, which is not an easy feat. On the other hand, however, working 24/7 is a lot less productive than it seems. Maintaining a good work-life balance is very important for everyone, including entrepreneurs. Trust me – you would get a lot more done if you manage your time properly than if you move into your office!
Sleep is Essential
A good starting point for managing your time and schedule properly is getting proper sleep. You might feel great on Mondays and Tuesdays, running on 4 hours of sleep but by Wednesday, you would feel irritable and exhausted and your performance levels would drop. Get your 7-8 hours per night and you’d feel better. Some tech companies even have napping pods in their offices – while that might be a bit unorthodox for you, it’s a good statement in favour of proper rest.
Delegation is the key
The next tip for good time management is delegation. I know this might be a bit tricky for a sole trader, but if you’re working in a company, you need to learn to work in a team. You’ve hired your staff for a reason, and I’m sure that they’re very good at their jobs – use your human capital and focus on your own tasks. Those tasks can include expansion plans for business development and growth, new client relations strategies and other things, depending on the size of your company and the industry in which you’re a player.
Gather Ideas from your team
Working in a team and being a team leader also means that you’re responsible for creating and fostering the company culture. In order to manage your time more effectively, I suggest that you encourage your team members to exchange ideas with each other and come up with solutions that would then be presented to you. Not only would that provide you with many diverse effective approaches, but it would also help your colleagues to learn to make decisions without asking you to approve every little thing.
Generally, planning is the key to good time management. While you can’t plan for every single detail, it is extremely helpful to prioritise your tasks and to allocate appropriate amounts of time for each part of a project. Don’t spend too much time on planning though – I am familiar with many cases where a business owner focused all their energy on planning for a time period and had no strength or inspiration to actually realise their plans. Just have a general idea of the amount of time you need to spend on a task and keep it in mind.
Expect Distractions but Don’t settle
In the world of digital technology, readily available distractions are an unfortunate disadvantage of it and are the bane of business owners, particularly those that work with digital products. You’d be surprised how much time is wasted on social networking completely unrelated to business activities, for instance. Minimise your distractions – technology can help you with that by virtue of various browser extensions and other free applications. In general, don’t be afraid to use technology in any way you can to help you with your work – you can get a lot more done in a day today than you could only a decade ago.
Breath and Have a Break
Lastly, don’t be afraid of taking a break and slowing down once in awhile. It goes without saying that eating properly during the day can make or break your working day, so don’t forget to take full advantage of your lunch break whenever you can. And don’t stay in the office too late every day of the week – remember that you have a life outside of work. Accomplishing great things as a result of your hard work is a wonderful feeling but it would feel even better if you’re not burned out by the end of the project.