Being an entrepreneur can be extremely hectic especially if you have not yet mastered the art of time management. The real question is, can time actually be managed? We asked the members at Collective Ventures to give us their tips on how they successfully manage their daily tasks and to do lists. Everyone agreed that the key component to efficient time management is to write things down in a calendar and to set deadlines according to the level of importance.
Marty Elberg, attorney and award-winning Bucket List Coach opened up the discussion by saying,“First of all, you can’t manage time. There are only 24 hours of the day and that is the same for everybody. So you actually have to manage yourself into time.” His secret to staying on top of things is to put everything into his digital calendar where he has the option to move and slide the tasks from one time slot to the other. “My whole life is planned out for the next 10 months,” he added. His final tip is to take 10 minutes at the end of the day to stop everything that you are doing and write down the three most important things that you must accomplish tomorrow. Not ten; not two, but three.
Nathan Heber and Brock Donelly from Boatyard write down tasks and to-do lists every day. They designate time slots for their actions, turn off cell phones and focus until things get done. Nathan, CEO, says that, “in order to accomplish work/life balance, I strive to be more careful about the times when I start the work day and when I leave.” Brock, Business Developer, manages his time by planning out his yearly vacations. This helps him stay focused and motivates him to get things done so that he can relax on his trips and doesn’t have to worry about if he forgot to get anything done. Nathan shared that there are new functions on GoogleCalendar that allow you to add tasks and create to-do lists. He says, “pick three and knock them out in one day. It is an amazing feeling to click and see it disappear.”
Jorge Lafosse, SEO Consultant at Search Eclipse has developed a very particular method to staying on top of his tasks and to do lists. “I put three main tasks in the calendar and choose them by the level of impact that it will have in my life. If it is not going to change my life in 10 days then it is just a filler in the calendar.” When asked about how he prioritizes the tasks, he said that he breaks it down into two categories: income or time with family. He also does not agree with mental notes and believes that everything should be written on paper. “When you write things down, you are literally dumping out the information out of your brain and creating peace of mind.”
Rachael Markovic, Project Manager at DB Collective shared that her biggest challenge is “knowing when the day is over and knowing when to pause.” It is extremely important to choose a time to clock out physically and mentally in order to get things done efficiently. “There is always something that needs to be done tomorrow. Sometimes I leave my laptop at the office to prevent myself from working at home, “ she added. Aaron Eapen, Manager, suggests to give yourself an earlier deadline so that things get done in time. He shared that time management is something that he is working on and that he sees himself improving daily.
The truth is that you can create as many check- lists as you want and plan your entire life, but only you can hold yourself accountable for following through with your plans. My tip is, write down your to-do list first and then write “complete to-do list” in BIG BOLD LETTERS. Write as many reminders as you need, everywhere if possible until you can mark the task as complete.. Remember that in reality, we cannot manage time but we can manage ourselves unto time by choosing three important tasks to do daily, writing them down, knocking them out, and then clocking out physically and mentally.