Essential Time Management Skills for Entrepreneurs

July 25, 2014 | Jennifer Goodwyn

Between managing finances and hiring new talent, running a small business can be a juggling act. Entrepreneurs must make important decisions about the company's future without neglecting the day-to-day minutiae of running a small business. Although the typical employee gets paid regardless of what they do (or don't do), things are a bit different for an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, one wrong decision or overlooked detail can crumble the business; therefore, understanding how to manage time is crucial. No matter who you are, you have 24 hours a day to accomplish tasks, and with these tips, you can best utilize the time you have to juggle the list of tasks you're faced with each day.

Time Blocks

Scheduling time blocks throughout your day is an effective way to manage time – when properly followed, time blocks make meeting goals and accomplishing tasks seem easier than ever before. Although it may seem silly to schedule time with the family, as an entrepreneur it's sometimes a necessary evil. If you find yourself wondering where your week went, it might be a good idea for you to take a closer look at it. If you find yourself running out of time, track everything you do (from waking up to falling asleep) over the course of a week. It may seem like a waste of time, but doing so will help you find out which projects and which people are sucking up the most of your time.

The List

Many successful entrepreneurs wouldn't be where they are without using lists. The practice of writing items out in order of priority may seem like an old-school tactic, but it's a time management method that's proven to work. Everything from picking up dry cleaning to creating invoices should be included on your list; some entrepreneurs use rolling lists, where everything from the previous day that hasn't been completed is added as a top priority to the next day's list. As an added benefit, consider making tomorrow's list in the evening before you leave work when tasks are still fresh on your mind.

Take Advantage of New Trends

Whether the trend is new or just new to you, entrepreneurs should do their best to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, both technological and otherwise. Whether it is understanding why renting virtual offices are so popular or using mobile apps to do business transactions and help your business flourish, 

chances are trends and technology can help take your business to the next level. Why gas driving to a client's office or time writing long-winded emails when a quick video conference can accomplish the exact same thing? Additionally, many successful entrepreneurs recommend using technology to outsource; outsourcing is most valuable for project-based tasks, such as accounting, PR, graphic design, or web development.

 Learn to Delegate

Chances are, successful entrepreneurs have mastered the art of delegation. It's much easier to manage your own time when you have a team around you that you trust and who understand all aspects of your business. But, in order to take the pressure off yourself, you must learn how to best use your staff. The ideal way to delegate tasks would be to have your team work on tasks like interacting with clients and managing accounts. In doing so, you'll have more time to focus on developing markets, reviewing finances, and improving strategies.