Time management is a major problem facing the average entrepreneur, whether it’s handling accidental double bookings or just struggling to stay on task when working remotely. In larger businesses, having a standard office space or administrative staff can prevent these issues, but entrepreneurs must do it all themselves.
If you’re an entrepreneur trying to bridge the gap between efficiency and independent operations, you’re not alone; in fact, there’s an entire marketplace of products and organizational strategies designed to meet your needs. So, before you let an overcrowded schedule and an abundance of tasks stress you out, check out these 4 tools.
They might be exactly what you need to get your schedule under control.
It happens all the time: you’re looking at your phone or checking emails and when you look at the clock several hours have slipped away. Where did they go and how can you get them back? To solve this problem, you first need to figure out what you were doing and how you distribute your time more generally.
To get a handle on this information without wasting more time charting and tracking, consider using RescueTime to assess your time use patterns. Based on RescueTime’s reports, you can then spot distractions like overuse of social media, spot inefficiencies such as spending too much time on client emails, and eliminate activities that aren’t benefiting your business outcomes.
No More No-Shows
If anything can throw a wrench in your schedule, it’s a client who doesn’t show up for an appointment – or forgetting an appointment yourself. It happens to all of us and all the planners and detailed to-do lists in the world can’t prevent it. More immediate appointment management tools like SimplyBook.me, however, can cut these scheduling problems dramatically.
SimplyBook.me sends text reminders about appointments, keeping clients on track so that you can minimize wasted time and the need to reschedule. And if that isn’t enough to straighten out your schedule, SimplyBook.me can also text clients about time-sensitive promotions, helping you fill in dead times like Monday mornings and keep unproductive time to a minimum.
Move Past Multitasking
Despite what so many of us claim, we’re not natural multitaskers. Rather, our brains actually struggle to move back and forth between tasks and when we shift from one to the other; it can take as many as 15 minutes to regain our focus.
One way to minimize multitasking is by blocking distracting websites using Cold Turkey. Unlike many other website blockers, Cold Turkey is especially difficult to circumvent and you can add any site to it. Whether you struggle to stay off Facebook or have a news addiction fueled by the New York Times, Cold Turkey will keep you on task.
Some entrepreneurs say that you should emphasize doing one productive thing a day. This may seem insufficient, but it depends on how you frame it. Maybe you consider one productive thing completing a major component of a project for a single client or maybe it’s something smaller. Or maybe you don’t consider answering client emails a productive activity. It’s all about point of view.
In order to set those priorities, consider a tool like Toggl. Toggl is a time-tracking, priority-focused tool – it even allows you to build in break times and reminders to keep you on track. Toggl is specifically designed for entrepreneurs and freelancers and those unique time management struggles in mind.
Put an end to entrepreneurial time management struggles and regain control over your business. While you can’t avoid shifting deadlines and unreliable clients, you can do your best to minimize your own role in the backlog. Get the right tools and put productivity first.