11 Best Time Saving Tips for Ambitious Entrepreneurs
Sarah Mae (SMae) |
As busy and ambitious entrepreneurs, we never have “enough time” and always seem to be adding more things to our endless to-do lists. Time is by far our most valuable resource; yet, the thing about time is that we have no real control over it (unless, of course, you’re Dr. Strange).
So, if you can’t control time, what CAN you do? You can implement strategies to be more efficient and mindful of how you use it.
I have tried many of the best time saving tips over the years and I want to share with you what works for me and my businesses. While I don’t have a time stone, these strategies have saved me hours in my businesses. By becoming more aware of where I’m spending and wasting my time, I’ve learned how to set priorities in my personal life and biz so I can focus on what’s really important – less work, more life!
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- My Best Time Saving Tips for Ambitious Entrepreneurs!
- #1 – Have a Consistent Morning Routine
- #2 – Plan Ahead with the Sharpie Rule
- #3 – Schedule Life & Downtime Too!
- #4 – Manage Your Energy
- #5 – Only Think “2 Steps Ahead”
- #6 – Create a Productive Environment
- #7 – Batch Tasks
- #8 – Use the Pomodoro Technique
- #9 – Just Start
- #10 – Done is Better Than Perfect
- #11 – Jot Down Your Wins
- Wrapping Up
My Best Time Saving Tips for Ambitious Entrepreneurs!
#1 – Have a Consistent Morning Routine
Having a consistent morning routine ensures that you start the day off stress-free and get some wins in early to set your day up for success. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mornings. Create a routine with a list of things you’re committed to doing to start your days. I like to have a cold shower, make the bed, move my body, meditate, eat breakfast, and plan my day.
#2 – Plan Ahead with the Sharpie Rule
Planning deliberately ahead of time allows you to decide how you want to spend your life instead of reacting to whatever is going on around you. The best way to plan ahead is to make a list of all the things that you’ll get done in the day. Next, take those things and plug them into your schedule. The key here is that this schedule is written in sharpie, which means you cannot change it. So you need to be realistic when you’re scheduling tasks. It helps to underpromise and overdeliver with yourself, so if you think it will take an hour, schedule an hour and a half!
#3 – Schedule Life & Downtime Too!
You’ve got tons of plans with to-do lists upon to-do lists for your biz, but what about all the other areas of your life, do you plan those too? My husband and I plan our weekly date night ahead of time and schedule it in our calendars. When we don’t do this it does not happen. Likewise, it’s so easy to get to 6PM and realize you haven’t moved all day. BUT, it’s so important to take breaks for productivity, Your brain simply cannot focus effectively all day long!
#4 – Manage Your Energy
This is one of the most overlooked and best time saving tips I have. Back when I first started to look for ways to increase my productivity the first thing I did was optimize my nutrition and build movement into my days. A nutritious smoothie or snack and a short midday walk will give you energy and improve your focus throughout the day. No more 3PM slumps or lazy afternoons.
#5 – Only Think “2 Steps Ahead”
Instead of holding your entire to-do list in your head, only focus on the next two things and forget about the rest. While writing this blog post my next two steps were: (1) Write Emails and (2) Play with my dog. I find this helpful because as ambitious entrepreneurs it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things. Yet, it can also be a challenge to be present and not think ahead at all, so allowing 2 steps ahead is a nice balance I’ve found.
#6 – Create a Productive Environment
The environment around you has a huge impact on your productivity and behaviour. The mood that is set with your decor, the images on the walls around you, the state of your desk, all these things affect you and can be used to your advantage. The key here is to make sure there are few distractions. I like to work with “Do Not Disturb” on my tech.
#7 – Batch Tasks
Contrary to what we like to believe, research shows that multitasking doesn’t work. The amount of energy you spend trying to switch tasks reduces your productivity significantly. Instead, take your to-do list and batch the tasks that are similar. I like to do this with my content. I will batch plan a few weeks of content, then I will batch write blog posts, then I will batch create emails and graphics. This helps me stay focused and I get more done faster.
#8 – Use the Pomodoro Technique
With the Pomodoro technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break, then repeat. So if you have allocated 3 hours to complete a task, you would do 6 Pomodoro rounds. If you struggle with having a realistic estimate of how long tasks are going to take, then using this technique to allocate a specific amount of time for a task will help. What if it isn’t finished? I hear you ask. The unsatisfying answer is, that nothing is ever 100% finished. You launch and make improvements as you go, or schedule more time for it later. What you don’t do is ignore the Sharpie Rule.
Work will expand to the time you give itParkinson’s Law
#9 – Just Start
Nine times out of ten the problem busy ambitious entrepreneurs face is just getting started. This is a classic form of procrastination, where you use the pressure of leaving things to the last minute to alleviate feeling any discomfort. The result is mediocre work that just reinforces your beliefs that the task is too hard etc. Yet, when you find yourself avoiding a task it’s usually just because you’re unclear about what needs to happen. So for each task that you’re putting off, use the “3D Lens”: Discover, Decide, or Do. Either you get more information, make a choice, or take an action. Looking at your resistance through the 3D lens will move you forward.
#10 – Done is Better Than Perfect
Perfectionism is a biz+life balance killer. Contrary to what we tell ourselves, no one actually wants or expects perfection from us but ourselves. In order for your customers and clients to feel seen, heard, and valued, they need to know that you’re a real person and not a perfectly curated clone. They need to see themselves in your challenges and share in your joys. Without this, you come across as inauthentic, your “perfection” becoming the very “imperfection” that you’re trying to avoid. So get that blog post written, launch your website, and start that masterclass. Just SHOW UP, you can always (and will) make adjustments later.
#11 – Jot Down Your Wins
This one is too important to leave off this list! At the end of your day jot down at least three things you accomplished. We spend so much time focusing on all the things we have yet to do, that we forget how far we have come. Writing out your wins will help you feel satisfied with your day. Read them in the morning as well so you can build off of the momentum.
There you have it! 11 of my best time saving tips for ambitious entrepreneurs!
I hope they’re helpful and that they give you back more time so you can create the biz+life balance you crave and deserve.
P.S. Are we connected on Instagram? No? Well new friend, let’s fix that now! Come hang out on my favourite social media platform. Follow for inspiration and send me a DM to let me know we’re connected.