Being an entrepreneur means you’re always juggling multiple responsibilities. Whether it’s chasing payments, generating leads, or administrative tasks your job is never done. Getting organized helps busy entrepreneurs like yourself manage the growing complexities that come with being in business.
Here are five tips to help you get organized and tackle all the tasks on your to-do lists:
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Utilize Digital Tools Whenever Possible
Hopefully, you’re already using digital tools for managing your business’s goals, projects, and tasks. Try to find digital tools to manage the time-consuming administrative aspects of running your business. As the adage says, “work smarter, not harder!” Digital tools are a busy entrepreneur’s best friend.
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For example, a digital voicemail service can use voice recognition technology to transcribe messages and send them to you via email or text message. This saves you minutes in your day to listen to and write down voicemail content. You can even set your phone to read your voicemail text messages while you’re driving.
Another useful digital tool is electronic invoicing software. If you’re still using manual invoicing methods, it’s time to switch. Ariba points out several benefits of using e-invoicing software. These include fewer errors, improved cash management, stronger contract compliance, faster processing, and web-based access to status updates. Clients prefer an easy way to view and pay their invoices. This also means that your clients will more reliably pay invoices on time and will improve your cash flow.
Differentiate Between Tasks and Goals
If you’re not achieving your goals – or if you’re achieving them too quickly – your goals might be too vague or too specific or they might actually be tasks. Sometimes the difference between goals and tasks is confusing. For instance, acquiring 10 new leads by the end of the week is a goal, but making the phone calls to get those leads is a task. The calls are tasks, while the ultimate purpose of making the calls, such as building a new client base, is your goal. As a general rule, tasks are things that can be completed in several hours and goals are more long-term. Goals are usually the end result, not an action.
Busy Entrepreneurs Delegate
You might be the only person who bothers to clean the glass plate in the microwave, but that doesn’t mean you should be cleaning the kitchen in your office. That is a job a busy entrepreneur must delegate. Peter Economy from Inc.com recommends taking the time to plan your delegation strategy. Make sure you delegate tasks to the right people. Engage employees who get things done according to your company standards. Make sure each person taking on a task is reliable.
Don’t delegate everything. For instance, don’t delegate tasks like performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, and sensitive matters. However, calling clients to make payment arrangements, getting a booth at an upcoming trade show, and organizing a fundraiser are all examples of tasks you should delegate.
Most importantly, give people enough authority to complete the tasks you delegate. Don’t leave people hanging without the ability to make decisions to spend a little money, consult with others, or represent your company when needed. Delegating tasks will result in more engaged and productive employees and more time for the important work that only you can complete.
It is impossible to get everything you want to accomplish done in one day. There will always be leftover tasks on your list when you go to bed. The key, according to multiple entrepreneurs, is making sure the leftover tasks aren’t priority tasks that did not meet deadlines.
Rather than making a long list of tasks and plowing through them one-by-one, look at your tasks for the day, week, and even the whole month and prioritize them. This helps you handle the tasks that are critically linked to time-sensitive goals quickly. The rest can wait.
Time is Limited, Even for Busy Entrepreneurs
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but that doesn’t mean you have 24 hours to get work done. Time is limited and it’s crucial to strictly manage your work hours for each day.
Start limiting other people’s access to you during your working hours. Don’t take unscheduled phone calls. These waste precious time and can distract you from your prioritized tasks. Schedule your tasks to be performed at a specific time. Then, keep track of your time. This will help you identify ways to increase your efficiency.
Once you organize your time and prioritize your tasks, you will experience a reduction in stress and an increase in productivity. In fact, you will ultimately have more free time to spend however you wish.