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The great management theorist Peter Drucker once said, "Time is the scarcest resource, and if you don't manage it well, you won't manage anything else."
Entrepreneurs need to organize their days to ensure they are doing the right things at the right time. Of course, this requires discipline - but the reward will be less stress and a better-organized and more successful company.
"As entrepreneurs, time is the one thing you can't buy or borrow," says BDC Senior Business Advisor Rony Israel. "It's a resource that we have to manage very carefully."
Let's look at some tips on how business owners can organize their days more efficiently.
We plan the days
Before another day at the office ends, we take the time to make a detailed to-do list for the day ahead. We should create time slots for each specific task and activity that we will include in our inventory. Then, we will be ready to go the following day without stressing about what to do.
We have in mind the unexpected
We know they happen. These unforeseen events eat up our time. Let's keep in our plan one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon for extinguishing fires. But to accomplish this, we must resist the temptation to drop everything to deal with emergencies and wait until the time we have set aside to sort out such problems.
We set aside specific time for strategy
At the beginning of the year, we should set aside time in our calendar for weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual planning sessions.
• Friday afternoon is an excellent time to review what we have accomplished during the week and look ahead to next week's activities.
• The monthly and quarterly meetings are intended to examine the company's finances. We try to understand the reasons for deviations from the budget and plan how to adjust. We should also consider business operations, product development, customer feedback, employee performance, and competitor activities.
• The six-monthly sessions concern updating the strategic plan, and once a year is the time of the annual budget.
"It's important to meet these times," says Rony Israel. "Because if we don't, when the time comes for that activity, we won't be ready, we'll have to postpone it, and so our partners and we will lose time."
We are strict with distractions
Email and the phone are a constant source of distraction. Frequently checking our inbox or calling a colleague is procrastination masquerading as work. Moreover, these activities break our concentration, interfering with vital work. One more task to include in the schedule: We reserve 10 to 15 minutes per hour for emails and phone calls.
We earn from lunchtime
Many business people prefer to eat lunch at their office or go somewhere alone for a quick bite. Rony Israel reports that this is wrong. Lunch is an opportune time when we can deepen our relationships with people who are essential to our business. We can even eat daily with different people, such as employees, customers, suppliers, competitors, and potential partners.
The bottom line is that to become a successful entrepreneur, one must become a good manager first —which starts with managing ourselves. "We need to change our attitude and focus on what we have to do, not what we usually like to do," advises Rony Israel.