As developing entrepreneurs, we are always looking for ways to save time, make more money, and increase productivity. Many entrepreneurs are heard to say, “If I only had more time, I could get more done.”
But this is a misnomer. Everyone has the same amount of time as everyone else. Well, at least we have the same amount of time within a given day, week, or month, that is.
Let’s Get Philosophical
How we spend the time is the important thing. To let this fact resonate, let’s think for a minute and answer this question: Have you ever attended the funeral of an older person who perhaps lived to the ripe old age of 99? They had kids, grandkids, and a good career that they devote their life to, perhaps. They made lots of money and were able to leave much of it to their kids and grandchildren.
How do you feel after that funeral? You may feel sad at the loss of the person, especially if you knew them personally, but you also felt a sense of satisfaction that this person lived a long, full life.
Now let’s think back to a funeral of a young person, perhaps a 17-year-old teenager who died tragically in a DUI accident. These are sobering thoughts, but you’ll see the point shortly. That young person who died at 17 may have been an innocent victim. Or they may have been the one driving. It doesn’t matter in this case. All that matters is that they died too young. We feel a sense of loss that is sometimes greater in one sense: they just didn’t have enough time. They didn’t have time to grow up and get a job and develop a fulfilling career or contribute to society. They didn’t get to get married and have children and watch them grow. They didn’t know the pain and the joys of life that come from the day-to-day experience that the older person did.
In short, we feel cheated that they didn’t get to grow old.
Why? It is because the first case involved someone who had years and years of time.
In the second instance, this person only had a few years. But what if you learned that the older man wasted his time, treated his family badly, and lost a fortune? What if you learn that the young person volunteered at a clinic for the blind, gave their time to poor children, and made a million dollars at age 17? Would that change your view?
If so, you get my point. It’s not how much time we have; it’s what we do with it. In life, as in business, it is the productive use of our time, not the amount of time itself, that determines our end.
Aristotle said it like this: “The life unexamined it not worth living.”
It is the way we use the time every day that leads to the acquisition of long-term goals.
What we are talking about is forming habits that help us focus on the important things while weeding out those things that are not so important.
The 5-Minute Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success
Here is a five-minute daily task workout that you can do that will keep you in tuned to the important things so that you never waste another day in working toward your goals:
1. Focus on one habit at a time. (The Daily Entrepreneur: 33 Success Habits for Small Business Owners)by S.J. Scott. This eBook and audiobook talk about how important it is to get into a routine of positive habits that will lead to a higher degree of success and productivity. The author points out that you don’t want to change too many things at once but to address one change at a time so that you can view the results.
2. Keep a goals list. Always keep a record of what your goals are and keep it handy. It’s best to put it on your mobile devices with the use of some notepad application or another app that allows you to access it quickly and easily. You can also keep it on your desktop in a PDF file or Windows stick-it note and write it down on a simple notepad.
3. Direct your daily “to do” tasks toward your goal. Remember to focus on your goals daily in the back of your mind and get into the habit of creating tasks that will lead you to your goal. This is the only real way that you will ever reach the goals that you have set for yourself. It is by doing the detailed day-to-day tasks that we must do every day that leads us to our goal.
4. Devote some time every day to furthering your skills.– Do you take some time each day to read, watch videos, or attend webinars that will help you increase your skills? Perhaps you have to download an app that increases your productivity or tracks your time on task? Any of these ideas area great and will help the budding entrepreneur to improve your skills. Any education that you provide for yourself will lead you closer to your goals. The more you improve your skills, the more you can charge for your services and the more value you bring to your market.
5. Innovate and create.– No matter how successful you already are, think about how you can bring a higher level of innovation and creativity to your business. Whether it is scanning the horizon for new clients or B2B partners or writing a book or creating a new product line, all of these activities are important to reach higher as an entrepreneur. Always look for opportunities that could lead to more revenue or expanding your business.
6. Evaluate and track your progress.– One of the most important things that you can do once you have your goals and tasks worked out is to track your progress. This can be done in some ways, including time-tracking apps and productivity tools, as well as checking off tasks from your “to do” lists. The important thing is to keep on top of what you are doing and monitor your progress as you go so that you can adjust your plan to stay on track.
These are five tips that you can use when you need some inspiration. This list is, by no means, complete. It’s just a few ideas we thought might help entrepreneurs while you are planning your new year’s resolutions and goals for your business.
Customize your Plan
In the end, it has to be yours. You should think about these things but create your list of tasks that will lead you closer to your goals. These are general ideas. Take these ideas and develop them further so that they fit your personal goals for your business in the future.
Remember, you’ll get there a step at a time. But it is the daily habits, tasks, and actions that you take that will get you there. We hope you have a prosperous 2017 and that you share this post with others so that they, too, can benefit from some of these ideas.