Manage Your Time as an Entrepreneur
The entrepreneurial life demands constant attention, thinking and planning. In many ways entrepreneurs live some of the most hectic lives since they need to balance a number of responsibilities while wearing many hats. Perhaps the biggest difficulty with entrepreneurial life is that it doesn’t function like a traditional full-time job. While many people only spend eight hours a day on their work, entrepreneurs never get to clock out.
That’s why time is such an important commodity for business owners. It can seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish your goals, and you could find yourself and your business lacking even though you’re working as hard as you can.
While all entrepreneurs must have some experience with time management, the top entrepreneurs are going to manage their time as efficiently as they manage their business. To improve your time management skills, the four quadrants of time management is an excellent place to start.
The Four Quadrants of Time Management
The four quadrants of time management divide all events, people and actions into four distinct categories. The first category, Q1, is for the most important and urgent items. For example, if your number one client requires your product by the end of the day, it would likely be considered both important and urgent.
The second category, Q2, is for items that are important but not urgent. As an example, getting ample sleep, eating well and staying healthy is important. However, it should not be so urgent that it dictates your schedule.
The third category, Q3, is for items that are not important but urgent. Q3 can best be described as interruptions since they only serve to disrupt what you’re currently working toward.
Lastly, Q4 is for items that are not urgent and not important. All items that fall under Q4 should be cut out of your routine immediately.
Not only should your business be run following the four quadrants, but your personal life should be as well. Entrepreneurs often don’t have much time to sacrifice, so cutting out time wasters and disturbances would be beneficial.
Understanding Your Needs
The most important thing to recognize on the four quadrants is that items will fall under different categories for different people. As an example, going to the movies to see a new film could prove to be not important and not urgent to you, placing the item in Q4. However, a movie critic would find the same film to be both important and urgent since their business depends on it, therefore placing the movie in Q1.
As an entrepreneur, time management is going to be necessary. Take the time to think about what you do during the day and place them in the according quadrants. If something is in Q3, be sure to ignore it and say no when it pops up. If you do anything in Q4, cut it out immediately. Businesses don’t have time for waste, and neither should your personal life.