Time management is crucial because we have a never-ending to-do list. It should be called self-management because that’s the foremost skill we need to have as solo entrepreneurs. 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 has is – How to get more done every day and move from surviving to thriving?
After a long time, I have something to share with bloggers, freelancers, and especially solopreneurs because they are the ones who struggle with procrastination, information overload, and analysis paralysis.
They are the ones who have huge to-do lists and chronic problems 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 the best time management solution but it was lacking something.
Today we have the internet and we can use software and services to manage most of our tasks. We can now hire an expert from anywhere because of outsourcing and the power of the internet.
Today I came across a mindset that really changed my mind on time management and to-do list management, actually, I should say self-management.
So without further ado, I am going to list down 4 things that 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 what can be eliminated
By eliminating most of the unnecessary tasks which are lagging you behind you can make your to-do list breathe. This technique makes you focused on core areas that help you in long run.
By this, you work on tasks that make other tasks unnecessary and save a ton 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, and Add-Ons 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 the 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 especially because of the first quadrant which is urgent and important tasks.
These tasks need 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 to teach them how to do tasks or outsource your tasks to freelancers.
For example, if you have a 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 that makes us run away from our tasks which results in procrastination.
Streamlining our process makes the whole process less complex and helps you in outsourcing and delegation.
If we can simplify our tasks we can make our tasks 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 ritual.
If we can break down tasks into small chunks, it’s better to track progress.
So what is the magic sauce to manage our time?
Now, you know the secret. It’s organized today for tomorrow. You must train your mind to focus on things (2nd quadrant) that 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 working on your never-ending less effective and low-value tasks start asking a 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 that can lead you to decide on your first task and prioritize your to-do list.
Please let me know your thoughts on this. If you are using to-do list apps that are helping manage your time and improve your productivity, please let me know in the comments.