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Pt4 - Managing Your Time Wisely as a Start-up Founder

Updated: May 30


Photo of a n old clock

As a start-up founder, it's important to recognise that you can't do everything yourself. You are probably wondering if you even have time to read this! - You do...

Introduction:

Time is one of the most valuable resources for any start-up founder. With the numerous responsibilities that come with running a new business (you are probably wondering if you even have time to read this! - You do...), it's essential to manage your time effectively to stay productive and focused on your goals. In this blog post, we will explore strategies for effective time management, helping you to maximise your productivity and avoid burnout. By managing your time wisely, you can achieve a better work-life balance, allowing more time to spend with family and on personal goals.


Join me with 'Managing Your Time Wisely as a Start-up Founder' from our five-part blog series. See HERE for the cornerstone blog.



1. Prioritise Tasks Based on Impact:

Not all tasks are created equal. Some have a significant impact on your business goals, while others are less important. Learning to prioritise tasks effectively can make a huge difference in your productivity. It's definitely harder than we think! I hope this article can explain how we might know what to prioritise.


A. Use the Eisenhower Matrix:

The Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool for prioritising tasks based on their urgency and importance. It helps you decide which tasks to focus on, which to delegate, and which to eliminate.


  • Urgent and Important: Do these tasks immediately.

  • Important but Not Urgent: Schedule these tasks for later.

  • Urgent but Not Important: Delegate these tasks to others.

  • Not Urgent and Not Important: Eliminate or postpone these tasks.


Example:

As a start-up founder, an urgent and important task might be responding to a critical client inquiry, while an important but not urgent task could be planning your marketing strategy for the next quarter or designing a new LinkedIn banner!



A graph showing the Eisenhower Matrix



2. Implement Focused Work Sessions:

Distractions can significantly hamper your productivity. Implementing focused work sessions can help you maintain concentration and get more done in less time. I get it, some people can do this and some people can't. I really fluctuate between my focus stages so it's good for us to be aware of when we may be more productive. Whether you are a morning person or evening person it's important to know at what times of the day you can get the best out of yourself.


A. Try the Pomodoro Technique:

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves working in focused intervals, typically 25 minutes, followed by a short break. This technique helps maintain focus and prevents burnout.


Example:

Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a high-priority task without interruptions. After the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break before starting the next session - a good excuse to go and wipe the kitchen down or go for a quick walk round the block.




3. Delegate and Outsource Tasks:

As a start-up founder, it's important to recognise that you can't do everything yourself. Delegating and outsourcing non-core activities can free up your time for more strategic tasks. It's extremely common to speak to new business entrepreneurs who are struggling to cope with all of the tasks at once. I get it, how on earth can anyone do everything all at once. We all share that thought so if we can delegate and get support each other on that, we not only build new relationships but we also save our time for where we can be most valuable - probably in the areas that make us money.


A. Outsource Non-Core Activities:

Consider hiring freelancers or virtual assistants to handle tasks that are not central to your business, such as administrative work, social media management, or customer service. Taking support and help where it presents itself can significantly lighten your load. If it's super early on and no cash is there to get that support we could ask ourselves is there an MVP (minimum Viable Product) version of what we are trying to achieve, until we gain more time and stability?


Example:

If managing your social media accounts is taking up too much of your time, hire a virtual assistant to handle the posting and engagement, allowing you to focus on more critical business activities. Or, just drop to one a week. It's fine, nobody will judge you. It's the consistency that people will catch on to so try just one post a week.




4. Use Time Management Tools:

Staying organised and keeping track of your tasks and deadlines is crucial for effective time management. Utilise various tools and software to help manage your time efficiently.


A. Calendars and To-Do Lists:

Use digital calendars and to-do lists to plan your day, week, and month. Tools like Google Calendar, Trello, or Asana can help you stay organised and ensure you don't miss important deadlines.


Example:

Create a daily to-do list with tasks prioritised using the Eisenhower Matrix. Schedule time blocks in your calendar for focused work sessions, meetings, and breaks.




5. Schedule Regular Breaks:

I know this gets boring for people to hear, because we all know its true but taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout. Working non-stop can lead to fatigue and decreased efficiency. Everyone agrees it's good for us to do but some of us don't look after ourselves as much as we should be. If you’re looking to run this business for the long-term then try putting in the steps to create your self-boundaries now.


A. Plan Breaks Throughout Your Day:

Build short breaks into your work schedule to rest and recharge. Step away from your desk, take a walk, or do something enjoyable to clear your mind.


Example:

After completing a Pomodoro session, take a 5-minute break to stretch, grab a coffee, or take a quick walk. Schedule longer breaks or a lunch break in the middle of your workday to relax and refresh.


Conclusion:

Managing your time wisely is critical for startup success. By prioritising tasks, implementing focused work sessions, delegating non-core activities, using time management tools, and scheduling regular breaks, you can maximise your productivity and achieve a better work-life balance. Remember, the goal is not just to work hard but to work smart, allowing you to enjoy more time with your family and personal pursuits.



 


Are you ready to take your start-up to the next level? Schedule a 20-minute consultation with me to discuss your business and the problems we're solving. Let's put some structure into your current processes and find some manageable solutions that work for you. 


Jack Dicker,

Founder of CoWorking Devon










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