Have you ever noticed some people are able to stay organized while getting a massive quantity of work accomplished, while others appear to be busy but never actually produce results? Time management is the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. We can have all of the best ideas in the world, but if we do not have a system to get our tasks completed, we will fail.
Here are six rules for getting your most important tasks finished each day:
Related: The Secret to Mastering Productivity
1. Keep a day timer.
If you don’t know where you are supposed to be and when you are supposed to be there, how will you ever get anything accomplished? Keep a day timer so you know where you are supposed to be and when. Whether this system is in a tangible, printed version or on your mobile device, by having a day timer you can stay organized throughout the day.
2. Have a to-do list.
If you can’t remember what you need to do, it becomes hard to accomplish anything. Your to-do list should include items that need to be accomplished for the month, the week and each day. You must then ask yourself how much time you need to block off to achieve each task. Time blocking allows you to minimize distractions and to maximize your efficiency as you work to complete this list. By creating and maintaining one central “to-do list,” you will increase the amount of tasks you will complete throughout the day.
3. Avoid distractions.
With all of the electronic devices at your disposal and being plugged into social media, you are bound to get distracted. To avoid going down the rabbit hole, you must set aside a specific time to complete certain tasks.
I coach countless entrepreneurs who used to run through their days answering every email, text message and social-media request immediately and treating all things with the same sense of urgency. Nothing can kill concentration more than working on an important task and stopping every five minutes to respond to the latest email or text that is sent to you. By time blocking you not only decrease the time it takes to complete each task but your quality of work will increase.
4. Write your big ideas in a "dream catcher" book.
You never know when you will have that once in a lifetime big idea that has the potential to change the way you do business or launch the creation of a new business. You should keep a “dream catcher book” or journal with you at all times so you can “catch” the idea the very moment that the thought comes to you. Writing ideas down will save you time when you are ready to launch your next business idea and enable you to move on to the next project instead of getting caught daydreaming the afternoon away.
5. Be careful who mentors you.
When someone starts to give you advice, look at the fruit they have in that area of their life before you blindly accept their opinions as truth. Who are you letting speak into your life about your business? Find a mentor who has been successful in the area you want to achieve more success in and listen to them. A mentor guiding you will save you from spending the majority of your time making mistakes and having to re-correct your course of action.
6. Don’t let your emotions get in the way.
It's important not to allow your emotions to get in the way of your motions. To be successful in the workplace, you have to be able to set aside your emotions and to focus on the action steps you need to take. Otherwise, you may get in a cycle of procrastination, because you really don't feel like tackling a project, task or talking to a person. And this could slow down the momentum of your business. Decide to do the things you need to do even when you don’t want to do them and you will go from barely surviving to thriving in business. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of your business and slow down your progress.