Entrepreneurs constantly focus on being as efficient and effective with their time as possible. Time management is a topic covered by many keynote speakers and small business coaches. Unfortunately, time management is a myth. Time can not be managed. It ticks away second by second, hour by hour. It is never controlled and you never get it back.
What you can control and manage are your tasks. Life is busy. Business is busy. Entrepreneurs are notoriously famous for taking on too much and then beating themselves up when it all does not get completed. When, where and how you complete tasks as well as understanding why this is important will turn you into a entrepreneurial task management rockstar. Here are a few things I have implemented into my life and business to improve my task management.
- What’s important now? This is a question I frequently ask myself and others. In a meeting, a phone call, a sales call, a morning leadership session, I ask, what constitutes success for right now? I was guilty for a long time of entering an engagement such as a company meeting and trying to cover what was important three months from now while ignoring what was important for that meeting that ended in 30 minutes. Are you trying to cover too much?
- Why is it important now? Assuming you determine what is important now, ask why? What is the drive behind completing and addressing what constitutes success? Being clear on why you are doing what you are doing and when it is important allows you to filter tasks and boil them down to an order of importance.
- Instead of a task list, schedule your tasks. I recently got into the habit of scheduling my tasks just like they were appointments. A growing list of tasks always overwhelms me as well as many other entrepreneurs that I coach and speak with. Once I started scheduling my tasks, I felt a strong sense of control of my time, and was no longer overwhelmed in business.
What is important now in your business? Not next week, not tomorrow, but right now? Why is it important? Will it generate revenue and profit? Will it build culture? When are you completing these tasks? Are you scheduling or being overwhelmed by a task list?
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