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Productivity: 7 Ways to Save Time as an Entrepreneur

Cramped desk in busy office

Time management is critical for entrepreneurs. 

In a 5-day work week, you’re expected to close deals, manage teams, attend meetings, and attract investors. If you miss even a small task, then you might see a dip in your business’s revenue. 

Every hour is important and that’s why you have to stay productive to keep your eCommerce business up and running. 

So, how do you save time as an entrepreneur?

In this article, we’ll suggest 7 simple tips to manage your time wisely, so you can accomplish everything on your to-do list. 

1. Change your mindset with the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule is a principle that claims 80% of results come from 20% of the effort you put in. This means that you should focus on the top 20% of tasks that will impact your goals. 

Ranking tasks based on their level of priority will help you complete urgent and impactful tasks first.  

Week Plan, a productivity tool, lets users classify tasks through a priority matrix. Anything that’s urgent and important falls under the “Do It Now” category. 

If a task is not urgent, you can leave them on your to-do list until time opens up on your schedule. 

No entrepreneur has the time to monitor everything. The key is to focus on the tasks that matter most to achieve your desired results at a faster pace. 

2. Automate tasks

Some repetitive tasks can just eat your day away. 

Thanks to modern technology, you can now rely on email automation, AI, and chatbots to carry out repetitive processes, freeing up your time.

For example, Bank of America launched the Erica chatbot that lets users automate transactions. It offers the ability to request balance inquiries or bills, schedule bank appointments,  make purchases, and send money to friends through the platform. 

Customers can interact with Erica with voice commands, texting, and selecting options. As Erica learns more about the user, it can provide more personalized help and enable faster financial transactions. 

This means you can allocate more manpower to important tasks that actually require human resources. 

3. Use time tracking software

These days it’s easy to visit Reddit, Facebook, or Twitter for a short break. But when you spot something interesting, these breaks become a lot longer than they should. 

In fact, a study found that people spend an average of 3 hours daily on their smartphones. A majority of these users even check their phones every 15 minutes.

Fortunately, time tracking software such as Rescue Time can track time spent on the Internet. This can help you determine how much time you’re wasting so you can eliminate unproductive habits. 

4. Delegate tasks 

While some entrepreneurs struggle to give up control over their ‘baby,’ the fastest way to make time is to delegate tasks to your employees. 

First, identify tasks that can be accomplished by members of your team to get items off your list. 

Then, use a project management tool like Asana, ClickUp, or Trello to assign tasks and to improve collaboration. These tools can provide an overview of your team’s current activities so you can easily perform follow-ups or monitor team progress. 

If you don’t want to implement a completely new tool, start with a plain and simple project plan to map out our projects.

If you’re hiring multiple employees, you can make the management process easy and save time using a human resource management system

However, you might not have the workload or the budget yet to hire full-time employees. 

If you’re not ready to hire permanent staff, you can also turn to Clearvoice, Toptal, or Freelancer.com to hire freelance writers, designers, and virtual assistants. 

Be aware, though, freelancers may not work in the same time-zone, often have unpredictable hours, and might not be contactable via your internal company communications. 

Learn some tips to manage remote teams more efficiently to make your life easier. 

To keep in touch with your team and discuss tasks without wasting time, consider using web conference tools that allow you to contact your employees and see them in real-time. 

5. Use time blocks

If you struggle to work continuously, time blocks may be the perfect solution. This involves dedicating a chunk of time for a specific task, so you might have meetings 1:00 pm-2:00 pm, but focus on answering emails 10:00-11:00 am. 

During the time block, you will only focus on a specific activity and avoid transitioning to other tasks. This method enables you to focus on urgent tasks and move to less important tasks at a later time. 

Assign your time blocks based on the high priority tasks in your calendar. In-between time blocks, take a short break to recharge and decide if there’s a new direction you need to focus your time and effort. 

6. Batch similar tasks 

Transitioning from one task to another may make you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything significant. If you try to do everything at once, it seems like you’re just juggling activities to stay busy. 

Batching, which involves doing similar activities for a day, may help you concentrate and boost productivity.

Here’s how it could work:

  • Mondays – reviewing and following up on deliverables from the past week 
  • Tuesdays – meetings with teams and video meetings with investors 
  • Wednesdays – writing a business plan and reviewing marketing plans and sales reports
  • Thursdays – brainstorm small business ideas

Batching helps you stay in the zone because you don’t have to rapidly switch gears from one activity to the next. Instead, you can pay attention to a specific task and finish once you’ve made significant progress. 

You don’t have to switch between different tabs or head to different departments every day. Instead, you can finish weekly meetings or projects in one fell swoop instead of allotting odd times throughout the week for each task type.  

7. Take a break 

Entrepreneurs know that every second counts. Sadly, when you work on high priority tasks for hours on end, you’re also prone to burnout. 

No one can work every waking moment of the day. 

Give yourself time to relax and recharge. Watch your favorite Netflix shows, go to sleep, hang out with friends and family, and allot time to chill. 

Taking a break will help you feel refreshed and boost your productivity for upcoming tasks. 

Make it a habit

You won’t be able to save a huge chunk of time overnight. 

Make these productive tips a part of your daily habit for maximum effectiveness: 

  1. Prioritize the most important tasks and delegate everything else to your employees
  2. Batch similar tasks instead of jumping from one task to another
  3. Use a time tracking software to figure out your biggest time wasters
  4. Leverage chatbots and the latest technologies to perform mundane tasks at a faster pace
  5. Don’t forget to take a break so you can recharge and keep conquering every issue that comes your way 

How are you saving time as an entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments below.

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Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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