One thing I learned very early on when I became a business owner is that there never seems like enough time in a day to get everything done. Entrepreneurs are a special breed. You have a 24/7 job. If you are like me, your mind rarely shifts from your business. Some of my greatest ideas and strategies come to me between two and four in the morning. Surprisingly I have learned from talking to other entrepreneurs that I am not alone. I recently spoke with an entrepreneur in London and marveled at the commonalities in how we work, which is pretty much non-stop.
Knowing that your job as a small business owner requires you to wear many hats and work long hours you may ask yourself, how can I keep up with this pace? Burnout is always just around the corner. So how do you keep up the pace? What do you do to make sure that you are at peak levels?
Here are four tips that you can use to keep yourself on track.
Every well laid plan is usually interrupted with unforeseen issues. Not every issue will need you to drop everything. Gauge if it is a “911 emergency” or a small task that you address at a later time. If you can, delegate low priority issues to others who can get the job done. If you can’t delegate, then add it to your calendar to work on at a different time.
Take a look at your planned activities for each day and put them in order of importance. Things that are a must do should be taken care of first. Use task lists to keep you on track. Schedule structured time to work on similar tasks. For example block out time for sales activities, networking, client service, strategy and planning or email follow-up . Put it on your calendar so you don’t double book yourself.
There are a lot of planned and unplanned events that can affect your day. Keeping organized is a great way to stay focused. Entrepreneurs juggle so many parts of the business. Using tools to keep your organized is a great way to keep on track. Use your calendar or day planner, CRM or other business management systems to keep things organized.
Ask for Help:
There really are no silly questions so don’t be afraid to ask. Reach out to fellow entrepreneurs in your network. Chances are they have faced the challenge that you are dealing with or know someone who has. Organize a dinner or lunch club with a few of your closet fellow entrepreneurs and use the hour as a time for collaboration. Bring topics or challenges to the group and use the feedback to help resolve the issue. Not only is this a good way to strengthen relationships but it also is a great tool for getting advice from people who know what you are going through.
Have “Me” Time:
Don’t forget to carve out time for yourself. One way to cut the risk of burnout is to take time to step away and even unplug. It may seem like a daunting task to step away from social media, phone calls and emails. However, taking time for yourself to spend alone or with family and friends is a great way to rejuvenate and rest the mind so you are ready to dive right back in.
In a world of smart phones, emails, social media, client demands and employee management you must keep it all very carefully orchestrated to cut the feeling of being overwhelmed. There is not one sure-fire way to keep up as an entrepreneur but taking steps to keep you on track will be valuable in helping keep up with the entrepreneurs pace.