10 Nov 5 Time Management Solutions for Creative Business Owners
So, you’ve answered the call to adventure and have taken the first steps on the heroic quest that is becoming an entrepreneur. You’ve gathered up your figurative sword and shield and you’re ready to take on the big bad world like a boss – your own boss, specifically. Unfortunately, like any good hero, you will and have already come up against some obstacles blocking your path. A major one? A giant three-headed dragon is more commonly known as time management. In order to help you slay this beast and become the true champion of your tale, we’ve compiled a list of common time management issues and how to beat them with style. Let’s go.
Problem 1 – “There Are Not Enough Hours in the Day”
Does the road less travelled seem to run out of daylight faster than you’d like? Well, considering its winter and your entrepreneurial path is basically in a dense winter forest, that’s not surprising. Don’t fear though! We’ve all been there. All you need is something to help you see where you are.
Solution: Keep track of your productivity. You might find places where you can become more efficient or things you can cut out to make more time. Check our Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and try out the Covey Time Management Matrix as a starting point.
Once you get into the grove of understanding how you spend your time, you can then implement time blocking. This involves blocking out parts of your schedule to work on recurring tasks. This will help give yourself structure and keep yourself on track.
Problem 2 – Procrastination
Yeah, I mean, you could go straight to your high priority tasks. But why would you when you could scroll through Instagram for the 8th time today? Sound familiar? You probably suffer from some procrastination issues like, well, most of us.
Solution: Break your to-do items up into chunks and reward yourself with something you love. Listening to your favourite song, going for a walk around the block, meditating for 5 – 10 minutes, having a cup of your favourite herbal tea! (Don’t make your reward food, this will create a whole other problem and unsupportive habit for your success!). This makes what you need to do less scary and more fulfilling as you get stuff done. Just make sure to actually do something rewarding and restorative on your breaks! (In other words, don’t just swipe around mindlessly on Tinder or window shop on Amazon)
Problem 3 – Focus Issues
Related to procrastination, do you struggle to stay on task? Is your brain the equivalent of one of those monkeys that bangs the cymbals? Does the slightest breeze or noise obliterate your concentration? If so, this is becoming more and more relatable, especially and more so because of our distracting times of or push notifications.
Regardless of whether you live on your smartphone or prefer not to, focus issues can indeed be beaten.
The solution: It seems simple but try to block out what’s bothering you! Turn off your phone, cover up outside sounds with music, feed your noisy cat before she screams as loud as possible, etc. You know, the usual stuff.
Problem 4 – Under Estimating Task Time
Does complete any task takes longer than you think? Do you always insist you can save a complete that report in an hour when it takes six? You might have a problem estimating how much time different tasks take. A lot of people struggle with this though, so don’t feel bad. Want to know how to fix it?
Solution: Time yourself – just make sure it’s on one of your good days! You can then use this as a benchmark for future instances of the same task and you’ll then be able to estimate things better, block out your time more efficiently, and finish things faster! Also, if you have to blindly estimate for a new task, always assume it will take longer than you think! Double the time is a good starting place. Be sure to set mini-milestones for the task too to help keep you motivated and on track. It will help to stop the task feeling overwhelming and support your focus to keep going with it.
Problem 5 – Too Stressed to Be Your Best
Setting out on your heroic entrepreneurial journey can be absolutely daunting. You are forced into completely new territory with unknown and constant adversity. Not only this, but you’re expected to conquer it all with few resources and do it effortlessly. It’s a lot and it’s only natural that you are stressed out. But too much of this stress ensures you’re not at the top of your game. And by the way, you’ll need to be at the top of your game to take your reward.
Solution: Always make sure you’re taking time for you. It’s hard to prioritize yourself when it feels like you’re already behind, but you have to. Don’t burn the candle at both ends! Take a break, talk to a friend, treat yourself to a movie – just do something for you. After all, you can’t slay a dragon with a dull sword.
A great ‘antidote’ for procrastination and distractions, along with the tips mentioned above, is to work from a dedicated, professional workspace.
Are we biased? Heck yeah! We stand by the belief that getting out of the house and going to a place that is meant for work, coupled with the serotonin enhancing element of seeing and interacting with other friendly human beings, also working on their businesses, has a huge impact on productivity and well being.
Nothing stands in the way of business success like not being part of an environment that supports growth. You will find that at any Mainyard Studios workspace.