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Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

Burnout is a big challenge for entrepreneurs. When you’re your own boss, it can be tempting to try to squeeze in five business days’ worth of work into just one day. The next thing you know, your boundless energy has turned into a constant dread of overwhelm. Here’s a few tips on how to avoid straying over to the dark side of entrepreneurship. 

  1. Break it down. Eating an elephant all at once is just a recipe for epic heartburn. By breaking down big client work and projects into manageable pieces, you can gain a clearer sense of which tasks will need to take precedence and how to best spread them across a time horizon. Project management tools like Smartsheet can help you register individual tasks, set timetables for completion and track progress as you go.

  2. Prioritize
    Not every task is equal when it comes to project work, and your time is precious. It can be difficult to discern how best to spend your valuable time and energy until you’ve done the work of laying out your project tasks. Once you have a sense of what items are critical to move a project forward, and which are just filler work, you can focus your attention on only those tasks that are most deserving of your time.

  3. Just say no. 
    Sometimes the best way to get out of a fix is not get into one in the first place. The drive for cash flow and growth may result in hasty decisions that can put you in a bind when you realize that the exciting client work you took on is eating up your current capacity or, even worse, exceeding your capacity. Before taking on new work, do your due diligence on capacity check to make sure that you have the resources you need to be successful. And don’t be afraid to say no to opportunity that just doesn’t make any business sense.

  4. Delegate and delegate often
    Never underestimate the power of sharing – sharing tasks, deadlines, scheduling and yes, sharing revenue. Adding on virtual assistants, part-time help, and subcontractors can make a big difference in both the long-term stability of your new venture and your mental health. While this support will represent additional cost to your business, if you plan it right, you can assign tasks that keep you from tackling critical, value-add project work. A great virtual assistant, for example, can free up valuable time by helping to manage your calendar and taking on time-suck activities. 
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