Time is of the essence, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. Due to the numerous moving parts involved in running a business (e.g., taxes, products, logistics, etc.), wasted time is not an option. How you plan to spend your time, however, is your responsibility.
You want to find direction to follow, so you can strike a balance between work and your personal life. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to keep your life organized.
Here are some ways to organize your calendar and make better organization-related choices along the way.
Don’t just schedule your day for tomorrow; plot out your week’s to-do list. If you have more time to spare, schedule your next week. It may sound excessive, but a deep-structure helps you remain productive and focused.
To start, book all of your daily activities into your calendar — this includes both your professional and personal tasks. Next, plan out the time you’ll need for each activity. This allows you to create time blocks. Always use the in-between time block productively.
For example, in between breaks, you can read, reflect, or clean-out your inbox.
You can also create a zero-based calendar. This type of calendar encourages you to account for every second of your day. If something isn’t scheduled on the calendar, it doesn’t deserve your attention.
Strategy Over Opportunity
Chasing every opportunity will spread you too thin. Everything from time, money, and attention is short in supply, especially if you’re just starting your business. The supply becomes shorter when you run the business.
Use your calendar to make sure you focus more on strategy. Spend most of your time and energy on activities that align with your company’s strategic plan and core values, both of which are defined by the internal team and your customers’ needs.
Time Blocking: To-Do Lists
To-do lists can become an asset to your schedules, but they can also be a source of disappointment and stress. If you review your to-do list and see that you’ve only crossed out a couple of items, how would you feel?
Instead of relying on to-do lists, build time blocks into your calendars. These are chunks of time used for particular tasks. For example, block out five hours of the morning for your tasks, an hour to organize your closet, and the entire afternoon for meetings. Organizing your time (not your tasks) encourages you to prioritize, eliminate multitasking, and reduce distractions.
Start by identifying your most productive period so you can block out the time for a specific activity. Track how long these tasks take so you can complete them and allocate enough time. Also, create a better schedule around these blocks and stick to them.
Use the Right Tools
Stay on top of your game by using the right tools. Make sure your toolbox has the following:
- Scheduling tool
- Calendar app (e.g., Microsoft Calendar or Google Calendar)
- Note-taking apps
- Time-tracking software
- Note-tracking apps
Time is a precious commodity for entrepreneurs. Make the most out of it by keeping your calendar organized.