An entrepreneur never has fixed office hours. What's funny is you become an entrepreneur thinking you will work at your own pace and time but because it's your passion and your calling, you are thinking about it all the time and end up spending every waking hour on it. You enjoy it so much that you are never away from it. Last minute calls from customers wanting your product, things to learn, researching, barrage of mails, vendors wanting to tie up with you, experimenting, all take away your time unconsciously.
I have had to very consciously delegate one day in the week to myself where I do not think about Tattva but here I am blogging away since I have some free time. That's what happens. An entrepreneur is never, never really away from his business.
However through constantly reading about successful people, having had the opportunity of being & working with some of them very closely and figuring out my own little ways to be a successful multitasker, I have hit upon a few remarkable tips which free a lot of your time and keep you in control, always!
For the benefit of all those who are entrepreneurs and those who aren’t too, these 5 tips will go a long way in saving you time and help you work smarter.
1) Touch things only once – This one tops my list. I learnt this from a blog of a very successful personality. Successful people never touch anything twice meaning if they read a mail, they respond to it, delegate, forward, whatever they have to do with it instantly so they never have to go back to it again. I realised how much of my time it freed up once I had acted on it after reading it once. Much of your time is wasted when you have to search for it after two days and you even run the risk of forgetting about it in the mail clutter. Once you have read and reacted upon it instantly, it's like a task done. You don’t have to go back to it. That frees my time, inbox and a lot of my mental clutter too.
2) Make to do lists – I am a big to-do list person. I write everything down. On chits, in diaries, in my iPad, on my phone. I have different lists for my to work, for my social work, my business, as a mother, accounts, bills etc etc. I keep referring to them on a daily basis. I also have weekly, monthly and yearly chits to keep my goals in check. What I finish, I tick off or delete. What I don’t gets carried forward. I have realised I sleep better once I put down everything I have to do the next day. It frees my mind of the stress of remembering everything and makes me peaceful. Plus ticking off the things done gives me a sense of achievement throughout the day boosting my self esteem at regular intervals.
3) Saying ‘NO’ – Saying ‘NO’ is much more important than saying ‘YES’. Very often we waste a lot of time committing a lot of time to things we don’t enjoy or want to do. We do this as a sense of obligation or duty or out of guilt. In turn, this leads to eating into our time we would have rather spent doing what we love. I have learnt this over time. I still get caught in saying yes sometimes but most of the times I have learnt to say ‘NO’ when I want to. At the most, I prefer finishing it over a phone call or message if I can. But yes, I try and not get bullied into saying yes. I say no to people I don't want to meet, I say no to parties I don’t enjoy, I say no to free assignments for the love of the craft, I don't work for people I don’t want to work with, I don’t take up anything that will ruffle up my inner peace, I don’t take on more I can handle, I don’t meet people who call me once a year when they need work. Instead I use this freed up time to meet people I am close to, who value me and my work, to learn things that help me evolve & for doing things I love. Even if I just daydream, it's still a step towards my growth rather than whiling it away on something or someone who does not add anything to my life. In short, I value my time a hell lot more than people do and am very choosy about who or what I spend it on.
4) Delegate – I am very bad at this, I admit. But I am learning over time. I am going easy on myself on this one but learning nevertheless. I have started relying on my team and friends to chip in wherever necessary. Sometimes ‘Good Enough’ really is ‘Good Enough’. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. I let go sometimes. I trust my employees to carry out my instructions to the best of their abilities. I worry about mistakes but then I tell myself, it could have happened by me too. Plus if you won’t delegate, they will never learn. I do not micromanage my helps at home. I have told them what I expect. I settle for 80% happily. If they could do it as well as I could, why would they be my house help?
5) Share and Give – I truly believe that giving is receiving. Sharing says that you are not insecure. Sharing says that you believe in the abundance of nature. I give without worrying about the lack of something. In fact I give more when I have less thus sending out a signal to the universe to replenish it. And it always does. I share my experiences happily. Successful people always give and share their knowledge. They are never insecure about their ideas or secrets. No one can take away your destiny. There is always room for everyone. You help someone with what you know and soon enough, someone else will help you with that they excel at. I do not know everything but I know something. I share that knowledge happily fully knowing that it will come back to me by leaps and bounds. When you truly believe in the power of the universe and its abundance, you free yourself from all worries. You truly now have time to grow, evolve and excel. This is the most important lesson I have learnt.
Hoping the above tips will help you in your journey as well as they have helped me. Do share your own tips too in the comments section. To read more of my blogs click here.