What I can tell about entrepreneurship, running a business and juggling out with attending University could go out probably worse than expected for most of them if not handled properly. As a senior Electronics Engineer from the University of Mumbai and running my own blog, from the beginning what I have learned is that if I needed to succeed in both the education and business field simultaneously, I need to chalk out a plan.
From what I have seen, the most valuable asset for young entrepreneurs is their Time. Time is more valuable for these people who have nothing to lose but their time. So it is more than an essential for young entrepreneurs to rather not waste their time and manage it efficiently. Some of the now most successful companies were started out by young entrepreneurs including Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin; and all these people had in common was their huge reserves of time. These people are now what they are today because of how they used their time back then.
What is the need of time-management
We human are mortals, and we have to do everything in the time we got. We have to buy a new house, raise a family, get lots of work done (professional and personal). On a daily basis, we have so many tasks to accomplish, and from an entrepreneur journey, we have to various things like write a proposal, reply to emails, meet people, mentor team, carry out tasks, get social, attend events and what not. The point is, by the end of the day, we are responsible for finishing the tasks we have, and we have limited amount of time every day. Time-management is directly related to our productivity, and if achieve our smaller goals in time, we will achieve bigger goals sooner.
Time-management helps us to get more work done in due time, and we can focus on becoming better than what we are now. We divide time in small chunks, and assign it according to priority of tasks needed to be done first. At the same time, we apply lean management, and save time by avoiding things which are non-productive or non-essential. Ex: Spending hours on Facebook, Watching televisions and so on.
Once you start monitoring your time, you will start making most out of your time. So first thing, you have to decide if you really need time-management, and once you get an answer to “WHY?”, you are ready to improve your productivity by working on your time-management skills.
All you need is to get more done in a less time. And that is not possible without a flawless system. So, you need to make a flawless-yet-flexible system to get successful both in your personal and in your business line. Below are the 10 Time management tips for young entrepreneurs. Your time is valuable and limited, so make it count.
Tips to Help you Make Most out of Your Time
Make the most of your Resources
Resources, resources, resources is everything. Its everything about how well you use your resources that make or break your time. Being a young entrepreneur, you must probably have been enrolled into a school or college by now. Now school and college is also an unexpected source of resource for your business. Make the most of your school and college resources for your business.
You can make use of your education institution as a testing ground for your business idea, that’s what at least Facebook got right. You can get mentor-ship from entrepreneurial professors in your college. You could also meetup with your potential future employee or a co-founder. Lookout for resources and make the most of them.
“That is something we’ve definitely exemplified. When you have limited resources, you constantly have to be really creative about the way you can make things work.”
– Morgan Newman, IdeaPaint
This might have been said a hundred of times, but still people get it wrong. It’s all because they don’t understand what that it exactly means. Working smarter is working efficiently and to get the most work done while you are at it. While I’m working, I’m not exchanging emails with friends, chatting, or checking out Instagram. The Internet is designed in such a way so as to distract you, and the only way to not surrender to it is by abstaining. Keep your work first and the rest next. That doesn’t mean you need to go underground, but still don’t go wasting your time doing things which would prove not to be fruitful.
It is a Sprint, Not a Marathon
Many people I have met say that you need to go slow and take things as a marathon. I say No. In young entrepreneurship, the only thing you’ve got is time, and you shouldn’t be wasting it whatsoever. You should move fast, break things, fail fast and get up faster. From what I can tell, short and uninterrupted bursts of concentration are the key to producing your best work. Get your self a timer, or a stopwatch. Set it out for 45 minutes or 1 hour, depending on you. Start your work and do not get up or get distracted until you hear the buzzer. You will be amazed by the amount of work you end up doing. This technique is also called as ‘Pomodoro technique’, which includes 25 minutes of high intensity work followed by breaks of 10 minutes.
Its all about Priorities
Priorities make and break things. The things that you prioritize are unique to yourself. First and foremost, take a look at your to-do list and find the items that are the most important and that should be done immediately. These tasks would need to be done sooner and probably with a deadline nearing. These are your high priority tasks and the ones you need to focus on. Most entrepreneurs can effectively work on two or three important tasks at a time.
Front-load your week. Say for example, you need a task completed on Friday, make yourself a reminder to work on it on Monday or Tuesday morning. Front-loading the tasks is an effective way and you will finish your work before time, saving you some extra time.
Greed is good
Now that you have all your priorities right, its time to get selfish. I believe in, A liitle bit of selfish is good. I find it that the tasks of others could be a little burdening while being a young entrepreneur. I find it pretty hard to find time for others’ errands in this busy schedule. So, sometimes it is good to be a bit selfish and get your things done first. It is so because when you get your things done in your time, you find yourself in a better position to help others with their errands. So, your work comes first. Always.
Learn to delegate
You must learn the art of delegating more of your work. This thing actually takes your role and output to a completely new level. Know yourself well first, and the things that you do well yourself. And now give away what you feel is not good at to others. As an entrepreneur,the ability to delegate is the true mark of a leader. Although I am not much of a Football(US)/Rugby(UK) fan, I particularly find the role of a Quarterback more interesting. You can actually learn a lot from it.
For a quarterback on a football field, there’s a lot riding on his ability to call plays and lead the team toward the goal line, but they wont go too far without blockers to clear the path and someone to throw the ball to down field. Sometimes you might often feel you are the only one who can get the job done, it is when you need to find trustworthy people to take care of time-consuming tasks so you can remain focused on making the big picture.
Beware of time-thieves
The more successful an entrepreneur you become, your time will become more of value to you. So make sure you put necessary stopgap, or your time will flow away like sand from the gaps of your fingers. Guard your time against potential time-thieves. Make the most of your resources and technology to save time. With the advancements in technology, there is an increase in distractions. Keep yourself away from distractions and make the best use of technology.
Make sure all of your communications are to the point and concise, value others time also. You will not only be able to reclaim countless hours of productivity but also make sure people give their very best while on your time.
Find yourself a mentor
Find yourself a great mentor. Buddy up with your local entrepreneur or a business leader with some record of achievements to be your business mentor. The advantage of having a mentor is that it will help you understand the risks and challenges of business life, and provide a platform to share your thoughts, for your ideas and might help you find investors for your company.
For more on How you can find yourself a mentor, you can learn more about it from here:
If you don’t manage to figure out where all the week went, it’s time to take a closer look at it. Set out some time during weekends to reflect on your past week. Everything you do since waking up to going back to bed, track it hour-by-hour for a few weeks. I know this is sobering, but trust me it will get you more productivity. You’ll likely see the kinks in your calendar, so you can act accordingly.
Your health first
Again, be selfish and put yourself first. Your physical and mental well-being first. Sometimes things are over whelming and don’t go the way you supposed them to, regardless of how organized and enthusiastic you are. Never be afraid to take a step back from your work and do whatever relaxes you. Whatever that relaxes you, make the most of your opportunities to invigorate yourself and balance your responsibilities with relaxation.
You will be success and access in life, when you are taking care of every important aspect of life, and health is most-important of it. One thing which I highly recommend you is, meditate daily. 10 minutes a day is good enough to train your mind. You should take advantage of Headspace (also available as iPhone app), which will strategically help you to meditate. All it requires is 10 minute of your time daily.
We have all been raised among stories of Internet billionaires and wealthy young actors. Sometimes when you look up to them it can all be a bit demotivating. Never let the success of others lose your today’s peace, don’t let that lose your confidence.
Keep on reminding yourself that you’re not competing against anyone but yourself. Be the better version of yourself and don’t play the comparison game. Regular vigorous exercise will give you more energy, better concentration and a good night’s sleep.
Being a young entrepreneur you are now ripe with time and make sure you make the most of it. So, how do you manage your time being a young entrepreneur shuffling between college and business? Share your thoughts and comments below.
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