Time management is a concept understood by most, but mastered by few. Tech entrepreneurs can sometimes feel like they’re constantly working overtime, but somehow, even if they work more hours in a day, they don’t seem to be as productive as they planned to. Time management is an issue for millions of people, not just entrepreneurs. Most days, we’re the first ones up in the morning and the last ones to go to bed at night, yet we still feel like we didn’t get much done. With better time management, you can accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, and have more time for your personal activities. It is a somewhat common knowledge that tech entrepreneurs work very long hours, and can sometimes reach the point of exhaustion. This article is to provide time management advice for tech entrepreneurs who want to know how to be more productive in a shorter amount of time.
So, without further ado, here are the:
10 Tips on Time Management for Tech Entrepreneurs
Plan Your Day The Night Before
Right before you sleep, you should write down what you want to get done the following day. Not only will you sleep better with the peace of mind that you won’t forget anything, but you’ll be able to structure your hours according to the difficulty of each task on your list. I would advise that you stay away from electrical-modern organizers. I think that this is something that technology cannot replace. When you write your daily agenda down on a piece of paper, you will get the great satisfaction of crossing each item off the list after completing each task! When you keep handwritten to-do lists, you’ll notice that you’re not only becoming a time tracker that makes sure there is enough time for each item on your list, but you’ll be in a competition with yourself to get to the next task on your list. But that’s a personal preference, you can do whatever you want. Another benefit of writing your agenda the night before is you can visualize exactly how your day is going to be. And when the following day comes, every task on the list will be familiar to you and less overwhelming.
Be A Time Tracker
Always keep your eye on the time and set reminders. If you need to, wear a watch and set an alarm. This will allow you to always meet deadlines that you’ve given to yourself, and make sure that no task steals time that is dedicated to another task. By always being reminded of your next task, you can make sure that you finish every task on your to-do list by the time the day is over. A great solution for this could be to use a time management software, like Clockify. It’s very effective, and best of all, it’s free to use!
Split Your Day Into 4 Days (Benjamin Franklin Method)
Use the Ben Franklin method and split your day into 4 days. If you are awake for 18 hours in a day, then split those hours into segments of 4.5 hours. You can then focus each segment on one task or group of tasks. Since tech entrepreneurs, like most ambitious people, have a habit of cramming a week’s worth of work in one day, this approach can help you cut your day into pieces which will help you measure exactly how much you can get done. Again, you become more of a time tracker. Most importantly, by living by this schedule, you are subconsciously forcing yourself to not waste any time because you’ll feel like you don’t have much time to waste, anyway.
Group similar tasks together
Multitasking is effective only when the tasks are similar to each other. For example, you can respond to people’s emails (assuming that it is not urgent) while you are on your lunch break. If you’re like most tech entrepreneurs, you value your time as much, and sometimes more, than your lunch. This time management advice to remind you to group mindless activities together and do them simultaneously. This will help you save a ton of valuable time that could be used on more important activities.
Wake up earlier than you need to
If you usually have to wake up at 7 to make it the office at 8, then learn to wake up even earlier – between 5 AM – 6 AM. The reason for this is that you will get a head start on the day, and while everyone else is still asleep and the city’s quiet, you can dedicate this time to benefit the most important tasks on your list.
Strategize the timing of your tasks
I am sure you understand your energy cycles and your work ethic. Use it to your advantage! If you have something you need to get done and you know it’s going to require a lot of brain power and creativity, then don’t schedule that task after lunch when you’re in full-blown food coma. I would advise that you do the most important tasks that involve brain power first. And depending on your morning routine, you can complete those important tasks during the extra hours you get early in the morning.
Create a Mid-Day Routine to Revamp Your Energy
If you’ve ever experienced mid-day fatigue, especially after lunch, then you owe it to yourself to develop your own personal method to revamp your energy, so that you could get back to work with the same intensity, speed and focus that you had in the morning. Maybe you can do a couple of deep breathing exercises outside, followed by 3-minute exercise to get my heart rate up. You could wash your face with cold water, and drink water to rehydrate yourself.
1-Hour Mental Sprinting, followed by 10-Minute Relaxation
Work with 1 hour of intense focus and speed, followed with 10 minutes of relaxation. The 1 hour of focus will result in a spike in your energy and concentration, which will allow you to be more productive. After an hour of mental sprinting, you can relax and empty your mind for 10 minutes by meditating or doing mindless work (like cleaning your desk), and then repeat the cycle. This will lower your brain activity so that you can recover a little bit and not burn out. Most tech entrepreneurs are familiar with mental exhaustion and how frustrating it can be. Give your brain some time to recharge, so that you could work without getting exhausted.
Our generation has given us great tools and resources to increase our productivity, but unfortunately, it has also crippled us with an overload of distractions with social media apps, texting and unlimited internet surfing. When your completely focused on your tasks, the only times you should touch your cellphone is for work purposes. Checking Facebook, Instagram, texts, and even unnecessary email checking can take away a massive chunk of your time and your focus. Set aside some time at certain hours for checking your emails, texts, and social media accounts. For example, my times are 11 AM, 2 PM, and 5 PM.
Say “No” To Favors On Your Busiest Days
There is no need to elaborate more on this piece of advice. We have all been there and done that. In the legal profession, time is a precious little snowflake that disappears with a blink of an eye. Sometimes, even doing only one favor can throw you out of your schedule. Just beware of these time-vampires!
Turn these tips into habits. Take brief notes about what we discussed here today and keep them by you so that you can remind yourself frequently. The more you practice these tips, the sooner they will become habits. I can almost guarantee that if you turn one of these tips into a habit, you will see a tremendous change in your productivity.