Entrepreneurs and business owners are required to wear an array of different hats. There are a lot of responsibilities to juggle and, at times, it can be overwhelming. There’s not only the day-to-day maintenance of the business to consider but the pursuit of new projects and opportunities to encourage growth. And let’s not forget about personal development.
A number of successful entrepreneurs have cited various “secrets” that help them manage their time, energy and personal priorities. For example:
- Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) chooses to wear a simple daily wardrobe consisting of a grey t-shirt, hoody and jeans minimise day-to-day decision making.
- Elon musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) schedules his tasks into 5-minute blocks to squeeze the most out of every day.
- Warren Buffett (investor and philanthropist) aims to spend about 80% of his time reading to gain knowledge and further his education.Do
I can only assume that these techniques are part of a larger system that allows them to maintain a successful business life.
Having a firm grasp on my own system of routines, tools and resources — or my “operating system” as I like to call it — is incredibly important in the day-to-day running of my business. It allows me to concentrate on what’s truly important, to constantly reflect and improve, and to remain focused on my main goal — growing and developing my business.
I take the time to check in on my operating system every week — without fail. Which areas require the most attention this week? Is there a more streamlined workflow I can implement? Do I need to add or remove anything? Are there tools that will make these tasks easier?
In short, how can I maximise efficiency and productivity with the time, energy and resources currently at my disposal?
Whilst many of the elements that make up my operating system will change as my business grows and evolves, one task that will always play an important role is goal-setting. Checking in on my business goals is something that I do every single day — no matter how many other tasks are vying for my time. That way, I never lose sight of the bigger picture.
When it comes to tackling individual tasks, I use a simple to-do list and calendar. Without careful management, to-do lists can quickly become unfocused and unachievable. For that reason, I limit my list to only three items at any one time and schedule these tasks into specific time blocks in my calendar. I can’t tell you how much this has improved my productivity!
My to-do list has also become an incredibly useful tool for recruitment — a vital part of my role as CEO while the business continues to grow. Looking carefully at the items on my to-list gives me a good idea of whether I should be recruiting and what kind of talent I should be looking for. What am I spending too much time on that isn’t generating income? Are there any areas that deserve more time and attention? Which tasks could I outsource or delegate?