Time management is crucial because we have never ending to-do list. It should be called self-management because that’s the foremost skill we need to have as a solo entrepreneur. We must know how to manage ourselves.
“Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient?” – Timothy Ferris
The New York Times bestselling author Timothy Ferris’ Book – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
The question every solo entrepreneur have – How to get more done every day and move from surviving to thriving?
After long time I have something to share with bloggers, freelancers and specially for solopreneurs because they are the ones who struggle with procrastination, information overload and analysis paralysis.
They are the ones who have huge to-do list and chronic problem of unproductivity and time management. Solopreneurs think they have less time and many jobs to accomplish.
When I came to know about Steven Covey’s urgent vs important quadrant metric I thought this is a best time management solution but it was lacking something.
Today we have internet and we can use softwares and services to manage most of our tasks. We can now hire an expert from anywhere because of outsourcing and power of internet.
Today I came across a mindset which really changed my mind on time management and todo list management, actually I should say self-management.
So without further ado, I am going to list down 4 things which you should ask yourself to kill your to-do list and maximize your time so you could focus on your vision and manage your resources effectively.
1 – Elimination | Stop doing which can be eliminated |
By eliminating most of your unnecessary tasks which are lagging you behind you can make your to-do list breath. This technique makes you focused on core areas which help you in long-run.
By this you work on tasks which makes other tasks unnecessary and save tone of time for your long-term mission.
Whenever you see any task on your to-do list ask yourself can I eliminate it, if yes? Then eliminate it and move on to your next task.
2 – Automate | Use CRMs, Software, Plugins to automate your tasks |
Automation is two sided sword automation can create a blunder if executed incorrectly. There are plenty of CRMs for solopreneurs and freelancers which can help in simplifying, streamlining and automating business.
For example – Social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can automate your social media so you could focus more on important aspects of your freelancing and blogging business.
In my next blog post I am going to cover Free and Paid CRMs for solopreneurs which can help you decide which CRM fits your requirement.
An excel or Google sheet can work as a perfect CRM or project management.
3 – Delegate | Outsource or ask someone else to do it |
Our to-do list piles up every day specially because of first quadrant which are urgent and important tasks.
These tasks needs immediate attention but you should not be the first and foremost person to perform these tasks.
The best solution is delegation.
If you have in-house employees you can delegate your tasks or you can hire someone who can work as your virtual assistant. To get most of your employees is to teach them how to do tasks or outsource your tasks to freelancers.
For example if you have any data-entry job you can hire any remote worker who can get take care of this. Tasks like calendar management, responding to emails, etc could be handled by virtual assistants.
4 – Simplify | Simplify your tasks so you can automate or delegate the tasks |
Complexity is the first and foremost thing which makes us run away from our tasks which results in procrastination.
Streamlining our process makes whole process less complex and helps you in outsourcing and delegation.
If we can simplify our tasks we can make our task and life easier.
For example instead of storing excel sheets on our computer hard drive we can use Google sheets to access them anywhere anytime and make them shareable.
So the goal is to get more from limited resources and time by focusing on effectiveness. Efficiency and perfection will add up as you perform this productivity rituals.
If we can breakdown tasks into small chunks, it’s better to track progress.
So what is magic sauce to manage our time?
Now, you know the secret. It’s organizing today for tomorrow. You must train your mind to focus on things (2nd quadrant) which helps achieve your long-term goals.
This is how you buy time and manage resources.
So let me revise 4 questions to boost your productivity.
So before jumping on your to-do list and start working on your never ending less effective and low value tasks start asking few questions to yourself.
Can I eliminate this?
Can I automate this?
Can I delegate this?
Can I simplify this?
If all of the answers are “No”. Then start working on your tasks and get things done.
I have created an infographic which can lead you to decide your first task and prioritizing your to-do list.
Please let me know your thoughts on this. If you are using to-do list apps which are helping manage your time and improve your productivity, please let me know in the comments.