Taking the jump from employee to entrepreneur comes with its challenges. When you are responsible for a new business, everything feels like a priority and the urge to flit between tasks is strong.
Learning to assess what’s ahead of you and manage your priorities is vital for success. If you consider yourself an ‘entrepreneur’, then you’ll be no stranger to taking risks. But poor planning of your workload will lead to a lack of structure that is more than a risk to your Business model.
Avoid falling at the first hurdle. Below, read how to get more out of your time, set boundaries and plan for entrepreneurial success.
Get your priorities sorted
At the beginning of the week, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that’s in front of us. And we have a tendency to push aside our most difficult tasks to gently coast along our day. When the truth is, avoiding unpleasant tasks is the ultimate productivity killer. They won’t go away.
Tackle your workload head on and set priorities for the coming week ahead. Think strategically. What needs completing to move your business into its next stage? What loose ends need tying up? Sort the important from the not so important and take immediate action to limit your chances of procrastination.
Break any daunting tasks down into smaller chunks to eliminate overwhelm. ‘Eat your Frog’ first thing each day. Mark Twain is an American philosopher and author of ‘Eat That Frog’. He explains that the ‘frog’ represents our most challenging task. It’s the task that seems difficult at first, pulls us out of our comfort zone and one that we procrastinate from doing. Twain once said ‘your frog is the biggest, most important task. It is also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life.’ So what are you waiting for? Prioritise the things that matter the most and reach your goal at a quicker pace.
Plan by day, week, month
It goes without saying, to be a successful entrepreneur you need to plan ahead. Planning is an important aspect of success, especially in business. And planning ahead gives us the confidence to take risks and knock down doors leading to future opportunities.
When running a business, you must assess your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Why? Well, recent studies show that every 1 minute you spend planning, you will gain 10 in execution. For example, ask yourself what you need to achieve. Make a list, sketch a mind map, draw a Venn diagram, develop a plan in a way that works for you. Start blocking out your time and assign it to tasks. Set deadlines for each task and be hard on yourself. With strict deadlines to stick to, you’ll always be motivated to take action.
Planning in advance helps to identify the leanest route to your end goals. You will learn to identify the actions that can wait, and what needs doing now to drive the business forward.
Remember to switch off
While it’s important to be productive, we must not let our work consume us. With the ‘entrepreneur’ status comes the pressure of having to work morning, noon and night. Everyone else may seem to be doing it. But studies show that those who work more than 11 hours per day, put themselves at risk of developing depression and burnout. Keep in mind the traditional 8 hour day and make it a priority of yours to unplug, walk away from the desk and switch off. It doesn’t have to be the traditional 9 ‘til 5.
Recognise your peak productive periods, and work to those. Set yourself boundaries for when to call it a day, and agree not to answer calls or respond to emails after a certain time.
Use this time as an opportunity to recharge your batteries and try to separate work from your personal life. As with most things in life, moderation is key. Leave your work at work, and make sure maintaining a healthy work/life balance is at the top of your to-do’s. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.