The saying that time that is lost does not come back is probably cliche, but it is all the more true for some of us who have multiple things to do before the end of the day. No matter what we do we cannot stretch or slow down time- we have got just 24 hours a day, period. As such it is important that we maintain high levels of productivity and focus on what we do, to bring out the best in us. Time management is even more essential for startup founders, especially in the initial days when they usually have a full time or part-time job.
In this article, we will look at a few tips to improve our productivity and the daily routines/traits of successful entrepreneurs. This is in no way an exhaustive list, as such feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section.
1)Compartmentalize your day: If you have multiple things to do in a day, the best way to do them is to do them one at a time. While multitasking is good, what you are actually doing in multitasking is dividing your mental acuity among different tasks. As such you may not be able to give your best to each one of them. An alternative to multi-tasking is doing multiple things, but doing them one at a time.
One way to do so is dividing your day into different parts and taking a refreshing break between each.
2)Delegation: Delegation is a useful technique in management practices. It makes sense to retain the important tasks for yourself and assign the rest to others. Sometimes you may even find experts who can do the tasks for you in an organised manner. Even at the organisational level, many enterprises outsource their tasks to other organisations that are skilled and experienced in them.
3)Prioritise: Sometimes it is best to remove things from our to-do list. After all, we cannot afford to take too much on our plates and then squander them all. Pick up 4 to 5 most important things to do every day and focus all of your attention on them.
4)The power of habits: If our actions are the seeds then our habits are their trees. Further our habits define our personality and character. One way of optimising time is by developing our tasks into habits. That way we will be able to cultivate a certain amount of discipline required to accomplish things in our lives.
5) Maintaining schedule: One of the obvious things to do in time management is maintaining a regular schedule or to-do list. By doing so, we can make sure we do not miss any important tasks. Further we have to be able to estimate how much time each of our tasks would take. It is fine if you can complete the task earlier or if it takes slightly more time than expected, but having a rough idea will enable us to better plan our days.
6) Find your productive time: Each one of us has a particular time in day, where we find ourselves most productive. More often than not it is usually after taking a proper break. Find it and exploit it for your most important tasks.
Now let us look at the most common routines/traits of successful entrepreneurs
1)Reading: Almost every successful entrepreneur spends an average of 1-2 hours a day reading qualitative stuff. Reading on one hand enables them to stay updated with the ever changing world and on the other it is a great exercise to the brain. In fact regular reading has a range of benefits from stress reduction to greater memory. Reading develops thinking, makes us curious and keeps our brain active.
2) Making the most of setbacks: While the saying “ Learn from your mistakes” is cliche, correctly analysing failures before drawing conclusions is not. Oftentimes we attribute failure to the wrong cause and end up failing again in a similar manner. Sometimes there may be an interplay of multiple factors that led to the set back. Entrepreneurs are highly skilled at identifying the root cause/causes of problems and then correcting them. Sometimes it is advisable to take the help of a mentor or an experienced individual to guide you along the way.
3)Highly motivated: Entrepreneurs in general are highly motivated individuals, after all they set out to establish their own empires. They love what they do and don’t take it as an additional burden upon themselves .
4)Hunger for knowledge: It is okay to not know everything, but not okay to bury our curiosity. With an increase in age there is a gradual decrease in the number of questions we ask. That is because not everybody entertains questions and answers them. As an alternative we can easily fill the void with the help of the internet with a range of books, courses, online videos, podcasts and research materials. Most of us believe that learning is limited to formal education. While formal education certainly sets us on the right path, we have to continue moving forward along that path even after the end of our formal education. After all the moment we stop learning, we stop growing/developing.
5) Interesting hobbies/ daily routines: Whether it is regular exercise and meditation or pursuing a hobby, the more we engage ourselves doing meaningful things the better it is for us. Entrepreneurs have their own interests and hobbies, ranging from learning new languages to taking online courses to going for a simple hike, that helps them stay motivated and active.
6) Networking: Needless to say entrepreneurs are the best at developing their networks. Whether it is because they have been to top colleges or because they have worked for great organisations, entrepreneurs surround themselves with like minded individuals. Moving on further in their business, it even helps them in fundraising and developing their business.
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