Time is the entrepreneur’s most valuable asset – valuable
because there is so little of it.
There is never enough time to do everything we feel needs to
be done. There never will be – accept it.
All we can do is make the most of every hour we have.
That means taking control of one’s schedule and not reacting
to events as they occur. Easier said than done, of course, but there are
practical measures you can take that will give you better control of your time,
your workload, your business, and your life.
1 Take a couple of
minutes at the start of every day to make a “To Do” list for that day. Simply
quantifying your workload makes it easier. Prioritise ruthlessly. Cross off
items as you complete them – you will find that doing so gives a nice little
psychological boost. Do not expect to complete your list every day – simply
carry over what is left as the basis of tomorrow’s list – but you will see
2 Set aside some
quiet time. Tell your secretary – if you have one – that you are not to be
disturbed. Take the telephone off the hook. Ignore all casual callers. Let your
friends, colleagues, and regular contacts know that you will be unavailable for
a certain period every day. Use that time to think and to catch up with your
3 Live a balanced
life. It is all too easy to spend every waking hour down the office. Indeed,
over short busy periods it may be unavoidable. However, getting into the habit
over longer periods is both counter-productive and a sign of bad management. A
balanced lifestyle enables a leader to keep a proper sense of proportion which
encourages them to make the most of every hour at work.
4 Be strict in your
time-keeping. Never be late for appointments and make it clear that you expect
the same courtesy of others. Also give an idea at the start of a meeting how
long you expect it to take and end it promptly at the designated time – earlier
if you can.
5 Eat and sleep
properly, and take moderate exercise. An hour of work with your brain in gear
is worth two or three if you are tired or bloated.