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Plenty of tasks, not enough time? How Entrepreneurs Prioritize Their Time for a Productive Day

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Not enough time? This is one of the most common complaints of the people who are working hard to run their businesses, but the truth is we all got the same twenty-four-hour day. So, how some people (Entrepreneurs) utilize their time perfectly, while some fail to manage.

For Entrepreneurs, time is money. To get the business running, they need to put in additional effort. They do clever work adequately to make the most of a day.

No one can add extra hours to their twenty-four-hour day but can be skillful enough to prioritize their essential tasks. Wondering how? Take some tips from these self-made entrepreneurs. What different things do they do, and most importantly, how do they do it?

We talked to few entrepreneurs, and this is what they need to say when it comes to prioritizing the important task in the dealt time.

Let’s jump in to make your day productive and creative.

Manage Your Work Schedule With Daily Calendar

The age of virtual meetings has caused jam-packed calendars, leaving little-to-no time to actually do work. Be in control of your calendar, always. Take proactive measures, like blocking half of your daily calendar for admin, in order to prevent falling victim to 8 hour days of non-stop Zoom meetings. Prioritize your tasks, assign due dates for yourself, and complete your tasks on time by slotting them into your calendar’s admin blocks. This ensures you set aside adequate time for meetings, and most importantly, enough time for you to stay on top of your workload. You never want to feel like you’re playing catch up; as an entrepreneur, you need to stay one step ahead at all times! Dr. Jonathan Snow, Founder of The Snow Agency

Establishing the Right Mindset is very Important!

As an entrepreneur (and quite frankly, as a human), there will always be more to do than is possible to do—every day. The first step is accepting that you can not do everything. And because you can’t do everything, prioritization becomes incredibly important because you have to focus the short hours you have on the most important and impactful tasks and projects. The mindset must necessarily shift from “do all the things” to “ensure the things I did today were more important than the things I didn’t do.” Tactically, this means that I employ a few key strategies to ensure I’m focused on the right things. 1) I work from a date-based task system and only assign myself those items that I can realistically accomplish on any given day. 2) I block my time on my calendar, so I know what I should be doing at any given moment, and 3) I spend 10 minutes every evening planning the following day and 30 minutes every Friday planning the following week. By planning in advance, I’m able to execute without my in-the-moment wants affecting my judgment. I’m able to future-proof my own judgment and need for motivation by planning in advance. Alexis Haselberger, Productivity, Time Management, and Leadership Coach

Noting down all your Reminders, According to Date Keeps You Productive

I prioritize my time with the help of a simple grid notebook organized by date, where I jot down task lists, notes from calls, reminders, and all my to-dos. From day-to-day reminders to long-term professional plans, all my ideas are written in that notebook. For me, physically writing down my thoughts keeps the ownership of my tasks in my hands and helps me determine which are the most time-sensitive in the grand scheme of all my projects. At the end of every day, I also write down a ranked list of to-dos in that notebook for the next morning, which only takes a few minutes and helps me avoid a common morning productivity trip of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Akhila Satish, CEO of Meseekna

Exercise is must in the Morning to Enhance Your Work-productivity 

I use Google Calendar to organize my tasks and schedule my day. I am busy with tasks that help me stay focused and subject most of the day. Personally, I prefer to check the box as I proceed because it allows me to get a good dopamine effect when doing important work, which helps me deal with the rest of the list. The early morning is crucial for me and is the cornerstone to having sustained energy throughout the course of the day. Because productivity requires energy and mental clarity. And one of the best ways to increase your energy and mental clarity is through exercise early in the morning. For me, this means working out in the gym. To you, it should mean anything that gets your body moving – walking, running, biking, yoga, weight training, etc. Your mind and body are your greatest assets. Take care of it, and you can take care of more. Jesse Thé, president & CEO of Tauria 

Visualizing your Dreams while Working, Helps You stay on Track

I love making my days count. Sometimes it can seem as if we have all the time in the world, but our lives go by quickly, and too many people face that deathbed regrets that they didn’t live the life they wanted for themselves. I often imagine that deathbed place in order to inspire and encourage myself to live fully right now and to set goals that can be chunked down into smaller timeframes. I remind myself with every small task how it fits into the bigger goal and, more importantly, to the WHY of my life. If I need to send an email to someone, I might procrastinate if I don’t feel like it. UNLESS I remind myself that email is the next step in making a dream come true. Remembering the big why and the big dreams helps me stay on track and make every day count! When my small daily tasks are connected to those bigger dreams, I feel more JOYFUL because I know I am progressing toward something meaningful. Nothing is out of context, and I trust every step. Sherry Belul, Simply Celebrate

Sunday calls for Planning Your Workweek and Reviewing task lists

I use many different techniques to prioritize and stay organized during the workday, the most important of which is spending time reviewing task lists and planning out my work week every Sunday night. I do this every Sunday no matter what else is going on in my life because it helps me wake up Monday morning ready to tackle the week. I prioritize the tasks of most importance: deadlines and anything time-sensitive come first, followed by long-term projects and, finally, new business development. Then, I make each task an event on Google Calendar with reminders to prompt me to complete the work on a specific day at a specific time. At mid-week, I reassess whether I’ve kept on task and re-prioritize if needed based on new deadlines or my ability to keep up with the work. Don’t beat yourself up if you run behind schedule. With a solid plan for self-accountability, you’ll be able to get back on track quickly. Lorie Anderson, Parenting blogger at MomInformed.

Try to plan Your Next Day Routine, a Day Prior 

You can be productive without sacrificing your sleep. Go with the natural flow of your day to create realistic routines rather than trying to stick to a strict schedule. Block your time in 2-3 hour blocks so you’ll have more flexibility and buffer time built into your day. And try to incorporate planning for the next day into your evening routine. Planning your day when you have the least amount of energy will help you be more realistic about what you can get done so you won’t go to bed feeling defeated because you didn’t finish everything on your list. Lacresha Sims, Productivity strategist 

Develop a weekly Schedule Rather Than Writing a Daily Task List

For most entrepreneurs, there are no true “emergencies.” Develop a weekly schedule rather than writing a daily list of too many things to accomplish, which can feel overwhelming. Each day should be set up in 15-minute increments, never one hour. How many daily meetings and tasks are dragged out to fill a full hour when they could be done in much less time? Then, it’s key to establish what the priorities really are. Take care of those first. In between, always schedule 15 minutes for yourself to let your mind unwind. You’ll find that with even a short window of downtime, you’ll be able to perform much more efficiently when you tackle your next to-do item. Karen Boyer, Point Blank Consultant

Check Emails only at Scheduled Times

I can get 100s of emails per day. If I checked my inbox every time I receive an email, I would be interrupted 100s of times per day. This is extremely efficient and stressful. It’s much better to schedule times during the day when you will check and respond to emails. I recommend doing it from 10 am to 11 am, and then from 4 pm to 5 pm. If someone has a real urgency to contact you, then they can call you. Nick H / Felipe V, Your Coffee & Tea Essentials

Follow The 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle)

80% of outcomes (or profits) come from 20% of our efforts. For example, a business or entrepreneur should identify where most of the revenue comes from. Oftentimes, it is from a small number of high-quality clients. This means the other 80% of clients (and thus 80% of the effort) yield little revenue or good outcomes. So it’s much more efficient to focus on these high-quality clients, put in 20% of the effort, yet receive 80% of the revenue/outcome. Nick H / Felipe V, Your Coffee & Tea Essentials

Respect Your Calendar, Organize the Day & Follow Through!  

At 8:45 pm, I put my phone down and plan out the following day without distractions. I review my calendar and set out everything I’ll need to get right to work in the morning. Then I read a little and journal to help quiet the mind chatter before I turn the lights out. When I stick to my night routine, I can wake up early consistently to exercise and meditate before I launch my day. After planning, follow-through is key. Stick to the calendar. Block out your time and do not veer from the plan. If you know you only have a certain amount of time to complete a task, you’ll be more motivated to focus on it. Do not let meetings run over. Set aside enough time for each meeting and work through them efficiently, so the day doesn’t get away from you. This routine ensures that I am running the day instead of the day running me. Jessica Dennehy, Founder of PivotandSlay

Cleaning up the Mess, Prepares you for a Better Tomorrow

Having a clear understanding of my priorities helps me manage my time better. From my top 3 priorities: family, myself, and my business, I can quickly shift what is more important to me on a daily basis and make sure that I cover all those areas regularly. For me, a successful day starts the night before with an evening routine that keeps me worry-free and well-rested. Some of the activities I do the night before to save me some time the following day includes:

  • Tidying up the house.
  • Loading and running the dishwasher.
  • Instructing the kids to clean up the toys.
  • Selecting clothes for the next day.
  • Pre-packing lunches.
  • Setting up the coffee machine.
  • Checking the menu planner for the next day
  • Getting what we will need for dinner out of the freezer.

Every Sunday, when I plan my week, I make sure I can fit everything that makes me happy into the schedule. First, I add the obligations that must be done on a specific day and time—for example, kids’ school drop-off and pick-up, meetings, classes, work, etc. After that, I add essential activities to me, like workouts, date nights, self-care, fun activities with the kids. Lastly, I will block time for house chores, meal planning, grocery shopping, budgeting, etc. I also allow enough flexibility in my schedule so that I have time to be spontaneous and do things that arise at the last minute. Di Ter Avest, Professional Organizer

Focus on Doing, One thing at One time, Avoid Multitasking

These are my top 4 tips on how to prioritize your time: First, you need to plan your week, and not just going with the flow. If you want to get things done, put them on your calendar. Schedule 1 hour per week to sit down and plan your next week. As Dale Carnegie said: “One hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing”. Second, once you have planned and scheduled everything, start tracking your days. This is one of the first things I highly recommend to entrepreneurs because it brings more awareness to what they do and starts noticing patterns. We cannot improve what we don’t know, so we’d better make sure to know where we are standing for us to improve. Third, avoid multitasking. People think that multitasking is a superpower when the truth is that it only prevents us from focusing. If you want to increase your productivity and make the most out of your time, you need to focus on one thing at a time and give your 100% to it. And last but not least, have breaks. Yes, resting time, time-off. All of that is productive. We are not machines that can work 24/7, and even they need to reset to update the systems. When we take breaks, we are allowing our brains to breathe, to see new things, and by doing so we are going to work better, with more energy, and happier. Alejandra Marqués, Time Management & Goal Achievement Mentor

Make a Crystal Clear “big picture” of Your Dreams

As an entrepreneur whose business is teaching busy moms how to take back their time so they can crush their goals and lose the mom guilt, I not only need to understand productivity concepts, but I need to practice them myself. That means ruthlessly prioritizing my tasks each day and focusing exclusively on must-do items before I touch anything else. To own your day, you must be crystal clear from a “big picture” level on what your personal and professional goals are. I recommend having a maximum of three annual goals for both your personal and professional lives.  Once you know what those are, you can back into what you need to accomplish on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to achieve those goals. From there, I plan my time intentionally. Every Sunday, I do a mental dump to get the to-do list in my head out on paper. Next, I label each item as something I must, should, or would merely like to do. As a general rule, if the item counts as self-care or supports one of my annual goals, it’s a “must do.” Once I’ve assigned priorities, I simply block my time accordingly. I don’t try to find room on my calendar for the “should dos” or “would like to dos” until I’ve calendared the most important items. To ensure I’ll actually honor my time blocks each day, I minimize distractions using the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my smartphone. I am also very intentional about when I calendar certain tasks.  For example, I never put pressure on myself to complete important tasks during the hours of 6 AM through 8 AM because I know my children will need me. The same is true for the hours of 6 PM through 9 PM. Nicole Oden, Founder & Creator, Your Ideal Mom Life

Keep the Important Things On the Top of My To-do-list

  • Mondays are my ‘grind day.’ I usually start earlier on Mondays and work longer, so I get the week started right. I am fresh from the weekend and want to make sure I stay on top of things, so a productive first day of the week can really help me get ahead of things.
  • On Mondays and throughout the week, I always create my to-do list the night before when things are fresh and clear. This makes sure I get to the most important things first thing in the morning and don’t waste time.
  • I get rid of distractions, so I don’t waste time on things that aren’t effective and productive. I get rid of my phone when working on important tasks and work myself hard in order to make the most out of hours available.
  • As a co-founder, I have improved at delegating tasks and creating a team environment. If multiple things need to be done and I don’t have enough time, I take the necessary steps to find people who can help me succeed. Your team is an asset that can be used to make the most out of each day. Lindsey Allard, CEO, and Co-Founder of PlaybookUX

Building the Right Mindset Is Important for a Beautiful day

As a professional artist and self-employed entrepreneur, I have regained and acquired valuable skills since I started my business. The most important is the fusion of mindset and everyday structure. The morning routine paints the colors of an entire day. I wake up early and do a set of exercises, meditation, and journal writing as a good prelude to the day of tasks.

On Sunday evening, I sketch my weekly tasks, which reduces stress and allows me to envision ways my week can evolve. This is my daily morning mind mapping foundation when I select between 5 and 7 daily tasks, depending on their intensity and complexity. I stopped using to-do lists as they were counterproductive and continued to add too much work. Today, I practice a visual mind map where the tasks are drawn in color, and once I have completed a task, I cross it with a marker. A task is depicted with one or two words and a small symbol or drawing. It is joyful, creative, more focused, and sharper. I also implemented an importance-urgency tool where tasks are placed on a mind map depending on the scale: important and urgent, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, not important, not urgent. It makes creating much easier!

It is essential to take short breaks every 45-60 minutes to walk to the kitchen, drink a glass of water, stretch my body, daydream, observe trees, play with my cats, or dance to a song. Making each part of my day important makes me clearer in my intentions and in harmony with my achievements. I acknowledge that all has its own flow, that I need to relax and let the goods evolve. Ivana Filip, Multidisciplinary Artist

A Long-Term Vision Is Important to Achieving Success

The key to properly prioritizing your time is to get really clear on your long-term objectives. Once you have a very clear idea about your long-term goals, I recommend mapping out everything that needs to happen to achieve them. This will give you the road map to your long-term success. From here, identify the order in which your tasks need to be completed. Once I have an evident vision as to what needs to be done, I will break my tasks up into chunks so that I know what I need to accomplish each day to stay on track with my deadlines. It’s important to set time-bound deadlines for how long you are allowed to work on certain tasks to don’t spend all day working on only one of the five things you need to complete. Getting clear on your long-term goals and breaking things into smaller steps helps you know what activities will align with the outcome/goal you want to accomplish! Try to be real with yourself about how much you can actually accomplish in a day, and if you don’t get everything done, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, try to reflect on your day and pinpoint where your time could have been spent more wisely. Lina Rowan, Holistic Wellness Coach and Founder of Manifest Alignment

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