You’ve done it. You’ve taken the plunge and become your own boss. You no longer work for anyone and no one works for you. You now get to make all of the decisions without anyone else interfering. It’s your company and you’re the boss.
One of the things that solo entrepreneurs find out soon after setting up shop is that there’s a lot of work to do and that they are the only one around to do it. Some prefer to do everything themselves, others hire people to do some of the more mundane jobs or the ones for which they have little knowledge or talent. Still others would prefer to hire some help but find they can’t afford to when they’re just starting out. How can one person manage to do everything? Time management skills are just as important for the lone entrepreneur as they are for the business with thousands of employees. Prioritizing is a necessary component of effective time management. You may have different priorities every day but it is necessary to identify what they are.
Schedule Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks
Obviously, there are some tasks you will have to do on a daily basis and each day should start with a fresh to do list. Depending on your business, though, there are probably several tasks that you can do on a weekly basis and some that you can do on a monthly basis. It may take trial and error to figure out what these tasks are and to schedule them accordingly.
Daily tasks may include checking your email and replying back to clients or others but try to keep checking email to a minimum of no more than two or three times over the course of the day. You might be surprised at how much time can be wasted perusing email over the course of a day. If you have a subscription list that you send emails to on a daily basis, consider using one of the many products or services that can automate that for you, such as an auto responder program or service. Speaking of email, when you do check your email, manage it immediately even if you don’t answer it immediately. That is, either delete it or move it to an appropriate folder where you can easily find it when you need to. There is no greater time waster than spending time looking for something. The folders you create will depend on your individual needs, of course, but everyone should have a to do folder in their email.
Social media can be another time suck. You want to schedule so much time – 15 minutes/30 minutes or whatever – and then get off. Don’t get caught up in everything that you don’t get any work done. Social media can be great for building your business – but it can also be a large deterrent to you and your time management.
As you build your business, you may decide to hire someone to help you with some aspects of your business needs. The Internet is rich with individuals who work as virtual assistants or who work in some aspect that you will find helpful. There are various job boards, auction sites, and forums that you can use to find assistance, many of which cost very little or are free. Manage your time and your money wisely and you will grow your business at a steady rate.