The average startup owner works well past the traditional eight-hour mark with some clocking well up to 70 hours per week.
While some of that is true work, you can bet that much of that is eaten up by tasks that don't need to take as long as they do such as perusing email and attending numerous meetings.
When it comes to wasted time, startup CEOs are just as guilty, if not more, than the established business CEO.
What can you do about it? How can you manage your time better and streamline your work day? In this article, we look at time management tips for busy CEOs.
Give yourself deadlines
Deadlines are key to accountability, even if it is to yourself.
Many business experts live by the mantra, "Done is better than perfect."
If you're like many startup owners, you want to work on a project until it's perfect, so this saying may be counter-intuitive to the way you work.
Yet, setting short deadlines for yourself ensures that the work gets done. Create shorter deadlines than you think you can handle, stick to them, and watch your work get done.
Track your time
Do you know where you spend your time?
While you might think you do, we bet you'd be surprised if you were tracking your time.
For example, ask someone how much time they spent on social media today, and they'll tell you 15 minutes. Then, ask to look at their iPhone and surprise them when it shows they spent over an hour on Instagram.
The same can be true of your time management. Download any number of free time tracking apps so you know exactly where your time goes.
If you find you're spending way too much time continually checking email, dedicate two-four times a day to check it and clean it out.
Start the day right
To be the most productive, set aside 15-30 minutes at the beginning of each work day to schedule your daily tasks and then stick to the schedule.
Consider setting office hours as well. This is time you spend attending to administrative tasks without any interruptions.
Maintain a manageable to-do list
If your to-do list has 15 things on it, it's time to make a change.
While a to-do list is great for productivity, if it's unmanageable, you'll never feel like you completed anything.
When making your list, add three-five tasks that you can realistically complete. Put them in order of importance and work your way through them. Getting sidelined can interrupt the best plans.
Refresh your list every day and be sure to cross items off before adding others.
Consider online to-do lists to help you manage your time.
Be a pro delegator
You know you don't have to do everything, so make it your goal to delegate tasks to your startup team.
You are the quarterback, and you don't want to hog the ball.
Keep the tasks where you excel and pass off the others. Find some trustworthy people to help you get the tasks done or consider outsourcing.
You don't have to work all day long and into the evening.
Some of you may read the previous sentence and wonder if people will think you don't really care about your startup if you aren't working on it six-seven days a week.
This really isn't the case. Of course, you care about your startup and are invested in its success.
But, to have a successful business means that the CEO has to take care of his/her physical and mental health and that takes time.
If you aren't maximizing your work with time management skills, you'll find you don't have time to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Spending time with friends and family, exercising, and downtime are all important to the successful CEO.
By using our time management tips, you'll learn where you're hemorrhaging time and find ways to fix it. Ultimately, you'll find you have more time for work and for play, and your company will benefit in the long term.
Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.
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