One of the biggest differences between successful and failed entrepreneurs is their ability to manage their time. A common problem is that a person starts off with a small business. Perhaps they only employ themselves, or a few people. They are very productive. But as their business grows, their schedule becomes more and more hectic. They find themselves unable to find time for everything they need to. “It’s crazy,” you’ll hear them complain, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”.
But of course, there are enough hours. More than enough. The reality is that these people just aren’t evolving fast enough to cope with a change in their circumstances. It’s a hard thing to do, and one that has to be learned. That’s why Justin Cobb encourages budding entrepreneurs to shadow someone else who is successful in their field. What are some of the things that an entrepreneur can do to turn those ‘not enough hours’ into enough?
If you have no plan for your time, then you are guaranteed to be wasting it. You’ll also be reacting, rather than staying ahead. Every hour of your day should have a clear plan for what you’ll be doing. Don’t sit and stare at your email inbox all day. Set a time several times a day where you check it and respond to important emails. Realize that the only wasted time is unplanned time. You should even plan when you’ll choose to ‘waste time’. There’s a big difference between consciously choosing to take a break in the middle of the day and do something fun, and feeling like you just have to later in the day because you’re so ‘stressed out’.
Your time is limited, and trying to do too much, or trying to do everything with no support, just won’t work. Let go of the time you’ve wasted in the past, and try to consciously make sure not to do so in the future. If you only have eight hours a day, and you have ten hours’ worth of work, then you need to delegate, not work harder. Say you can only close two accounts in a day, and you work every day, then you can close about 500 accounts a year. If you need to close 2000 accounts, it’s time for you to hire someone.
The biggest thing to remember is that it’s all about being present and honest with yourself about what your capabilities are. Then you can learn to be more productive.