Imagine having a specific amount of money every midnight but you will have to spend them in the next 24 hours because you will lose what’s left by nighttime. What will you do with the money? How will you waste or make use of it? That’s what time is. You only have 24 hours a day and you have to use it wisely because the next day will be another set of 24 hours.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, there will always be a point when you feel that there is not enough time even when you have control over it. By being able to manage time wisely, you ensure that you are using each second wisely for your business improvement and for your personal and professional development.
But how can you really manage your time efficiently when you’re working for yourself?
Know your zone and adhere to it.
Whether you’re aiming for four hours of work daily or a four-day workweek, you need to set a schedule for attending to projects and other work-related matters especially when your clients are scattered all over the world. Just because you’re in control of your time as a freelancer or entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean that you need to attend to business matters 24/7. You need to rest, too, you know?
While responding to client emails immediately may be beneficial to your business relationships, one way to avoid the temptation of sacrificing your personal time is to include in your online profile where you are located and what your time zone is. In this way, clients will have an idea that you may not be immediately available to respond to their query.
Invest in the right tools that will streamline processes.
You may think that doing the accounting tasks can save you money and lets you understand more of your operations, but if they’re not part of your main business, you might as well invest on efficient tools and systems that will save you time. In fact, it will further earn you more money because you will have more time to focus on developing your business and improving your products or services. Assess the trivial work-related processes that you spend a lot of time on and see if there’s a quicker way to do them when you invest in specific tools.
Understand that time management styles differ from one person to another.
There are many time management tips that you can read, but the most important tip is to apply what best suits your working style and personality. Just because a system works for one person, it doesn’t automatically mean that it applies to you. Some people can work well with a paperless life, only using their gadgets and computer, while others feel more productive and efficient with the traditional planners and calendars. While it’s good to know as many techniques as possible, you should experiment with them and mix some processes together so that you can find a system that works for you.
Focus first on how to organize your life.
Efficient management of time is a skill that you can apply to both your professional and personal lives. But before you can gain the skill, you need to sharpen your ability to organize your life or prioritize the things that matters. Being disorganized is your quickest way to wasting your time which you could have used to be productive for your career and business. To help you with organizing your life, there are various mobile phone apps that you can use such as calendars, to-do lists, budget trackers and personal reminders.
How do you assess your time management skills? What system do you practice to make your work more efficient and productive? What’s the greatest obstacle to efficient time management for you and how do you deal with it? Share to us your stories through the comments below.