If you ask most entrepreneurs what their greatest struggle is, most will say not having enough time. For those running a small business or trying to break free from the 9-to-5 grind, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.
Tasks spill over from one evening into the next, and you either find yourself working round the clock, losing your weekends, or losing motivation because you’re overworked and burnt out.
Working hard doesn’t mean sacrificing your entire schedule to your career. In fact, those who find the greatest success know how to delegate their tasks and prioritize their to-do lists. They strive to reduce the amount of time spent working so they can enjoy their lives.
These 7 tips are what some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs do to get their jobs done, reach their goals, and exceed their own expectations.
1. Time Block Your Schedule
Time blocking creates intention throughout your day by allocating specific portions of time for certain tasks. It prevents you from rushing from one thing to the next, or from losing track of the clock and running too tight on deadlines.
There are several variations to time blocking, and you can make it as defined or loose as you’d like.
For example, if you have multiple ventures underway, you can theme your days around specific ones to improve focus and productivity. Mondays and Wednesdays can be for side-hustle #1, Tuesdays and Thursdays for side-hustle #2, etc.
What’s most important is choosing the ideal format for you.
You need a time-blocking solution that simplifies your schedule so managing your calendar doesn’t become a job in and of itself. Bullet journals and planners, like the Rocketbook Fusion, offer an open space for you to quickly draw out, revise and manage your schedule.
2. Perform Tasks Based on Priority, Not Ease
A common productivity mistake is choosing to do what’s easiest before anything else. Although freeing up more time to work on your big-ticket items is helpful, it can quickly make you lose focus.
Prioritization ensures that the most important and most valuable tasks are always at the top of your schedule. You confront them first thing each day with the most energy and clarity possible. Working through these tasks, however challenging they may be, can actually increase your motivation.
Rather than having to dread a huge project at the end of the day, you can wrap up your schedule by completing a small list of easy tasks instead.
3. Use a Physical Planner
There is no shortage of time management apps, digital schedules, and spreadsheets to micromanage your day. But with everything locked into a screen, our brains begin to feel uninspired.
Have you ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling on your laptop, only to switch to your phone and do the exact same thing?
Break the endless loop, unlock your creative potential, and reduce distractions by opting for paper.
There are plenty of journals and planners designed to be efficient and eco-friendly. The Rocketbook Fusion, for example, has reusable pages that you simply wipe clean with water. It also features easy-to-edit templates that can connect to cloud services and streamline your schedule across devices. (While this particular link is an affiliate, I would not recommend unless I didn't love it and find it useful).
4. Say No to Multitasking
Multitasking may be a sought-after skill, but in reality, it’s a myth. People who multitask well are still less efficient than those who focus on one task at a time. It turns out that multitasking as we know it is really just rapidly shifting attention between two or more activities.
This, in turn, makes you more prone to errors, distractions, and burnout.
You may worry you won’t be able to achieve as much if you don’t try to juggle multiple things at once. However, by time blocking and prioritizing first, you can create more room in your schedule. Planning ahead and delegating tasks can actually allow you to do more in less time.
5. Set Time Limits for Decisions
You don’t want indecision to delay your success or deter your growth. When you have to make a decision, the right call will ultimately fall to your instinct. Even with all the information available, you can only deliberate for so long before you overthink your options and miss out on opportunities because of it.
Indecisiveness has some benefits, but it ultimately creates self-doubt. The goal is to build trust in your decision-making process, which will help you make choices more quickly, and with greater confidence.
It can be intimidating to start making quick decisions, but as you grow more confident and learn to trust your gut, your workflow will improve, and you’ll find yourself taking more rewarding risks as a result.
6. Outsource When You Need To
Outsourcing is available to everyone thanks to the booming freelance market. By 2025, half of the American workforce will be freelancers. This means accessing high-quality services is becoming more affordable and accessible for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Sometimes, just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean you should. It may set you back precious hours when your time could be spent better elsewhere.
Things like tax prep, invoicing, billing, and marketing can all be handed off to a pro. You can also choose what degree of outsourcing you’re comfortable with. In some cases, you may only need to have someone handle a few tasks while you focus on the big picture.
For example, you can come up with your Facebook marketing campaign or Instagram content while a social media manager posts, chooses hashtags, and replies to comments.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are all around us, both on our screens and in our work environments. From coworkers to social media, there is always something vying for our attention.
In order to optimize your productivity, you need to cut out as much white noise as you can. This means setting boundaries and sticking to them no matter what.
If you’ve fallen into the habit of procrastinating when you’re stressed, eliminating distractions will be difficult at first. Luckily, time blocking and scheduling can help make this easier. By setting a timer for say, 25 minutes, you can practice working with your complete attention on a task.
As time goes on, you’ll find yourself less vulnerable to being sidetracked and accomplishing more than you ever thought possible.
For more tips and resources for productivity join our free network, The Millionaires Community, dedicated to building a strong community of successful entrepreneurs and providing resources to make passive income action strategies easily available to all.