Being an entrepreneur is an exhilarating and stressful experience, especially in the beginning. Many people will spend almost every waking moment on their business, which is understandable in the early stages.
However, you also need time to spend with your family and friends. Not only that, you will also need time to just enjoy your life. After all, you wouldn’t want to resent your business because of all of the time it takes up.
One easy and proven way to balance work and life is to prioritize your tasks. Prioritizing your tasks will help you save time, be organized, and most importantly, focus on what is most important. If you follow our guide, you should notice a significant change in your time management.
Without further ado, here’s the Faxburner entrepreneur’s guide to prioritizing your tasks…
Make a List
The first step to prioritizing your tasks is to make a list of everything that needs to be done. After that, you’ll need to reorder the list in order of importance with the most important tasks on top. Remove anything on the list that’s not important. Otherwise, it tends to serve as a distraction.
Tackling the most important tasks first helps you stay focused on what matters most, while reducing stress. When you get big tasks done first, you breathe a little easier, and avoid rushing through them at the end of the day.
While making a list, there are a few more things to remember: first, it’s okay if you don’t finish an entire list in a day. The next point is that you shouldn’t make your list too long. An endless list can put stress and pressure on you, which won’t help with time management.
Procrastination gets the best of us from time to time. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s important to make an effort not to get distracted with tasks that aren’t productive during the workday. For example, many people find themselves scrolling through social media or reading the news. Unless it actually pertains to critical work, don’t let it be a drain on your time.
Set Aside Time
Unfortunately, there are many interruptions that may happen in a day. If you set aside an hour or two each day to attend to them, rather than allowing time for interruptions whenever they occur – it can really help. Use this time to check and answer emails, return phone calls, or talk to employees if needed. Let your employees know the time that you set aside for these tasks, as it can help them prioritize their tasks as well.
Group Similar Tasks, Or Not
If you have multiple tasks that are alike, consider grouping them together or setting aside one block of time to complete them. It’s often better to keep your mind focused than to jump back and forth, and having to get back into the groove.
Like most rules, there are exceptions. So if you feel that too much of one type of task is causing burnout, it’s perfectly understandable to give your brain a break, and come back with a fresh perspective.
Multitasking is a mistake. It inevitably results in reduced focus and lower quality work. Your brain needs to be engaged in the one task at hand. What’s interesting is people tend to multi-task thinking it saves them time. Often, it does the opposite, requiring you to go back and fix what could have been handled properly the first time.
Know Your Strengths & Delegate
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, it’s just a part of life. That is why if you have employees, you need to delegate some of your tasks to them. Know your strengths and build on them instead of struggling with tasks you are not good with.
Factor in Energy
Everyone has peak energy levels at different times of the day. We all tend to have valleys as well. Factor in your energy as you prioritize tasks, so you can get into a zone during the most critical tasks. This is another reason to start your day with more important work. We’re more likely to peak early and flag late.
Without a doubt, starting a new business can be stressful and overwhelming to many people. If you’re just starting out and you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Try not to overload yourself with tasks; take it day by day and only finish what you can.
Be reasonable with yourself and your time. There’s no shame in not being able to finish an overabundance of work.
There’s one thing that always deserves priority. Sleep. Your productivity throughout the day depends on it. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t function properly and your work suffers in many ways. Sleeping less may leave you more hours in the day, but every hour will be compromised.
Summing Up How to Prioritize Tasks
Setting priorities is an absolutely vital part of being productive and being successful. Like anything, there are some important rules to follow to ensure that you do a good job of setting priorities and organizing your day. Follow the tips above to get to the most important tasks, with the greatest focus, and the optimal chances for entrepreneurial success.