While Britain’s decision to leave the EU may have been taken from an insular perspective, it has had reverberations all around the world. This was reflected by a sharp decline in the value of the Euro in the wake of the vote, while equity markets such as the DAX and the SMI conceded 6.82% and 3.44% respectively. Even crude oil lost in excess of 5% in the week following the Brexit vote, and while these markets have rebounded to some degree the impact was both tangible and far-reaching.
As a new or inexperienced entrepreneur, this state of affairs is likely to be extremely concerning. In such a strained and volatile economic climate, it is hard to go it alone and launch a business venture, at least without significant financial resources that business-owners can leverage to survive times of austerity. Without such a wealth or an ability to optimise your earning potential as a sole trader, your dreams of entrepreneurship may be best left dormant until the global economic landscape has settled.
The Intrinsic Link between Time and Money: How to Optimise your Productivity as an Entrepreneur
If you are able to understand the intrinsic link that exists between time and money, however, you may be well-placed to become a productive, profitable and ultimately successful entrepreneur. Not only has the phrase ‘time is money’ made it into the urban dictionary, for example, but these two entities cannot exist without each other and this simple fact offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to optimise their productivity levels and earning potential simultaneously.
Simply by tracking and organising your time as efficiently as possible, you can make the most of every working day and earn as much as possible from the hours that you commit to your new-found venture. To help you on your way, here are some simple steps that will enable you to thrive as an aspiring entrepreneur in a difficult economic climate: –
Value your time in the Right Way
Let’s start with an obvious assertion; as no matter how hard you work you will never be profitable as an entrepreneur unless you value your time in the right way. By choosing the wrong pricing structure or under-valuing a particular product or service, for example, you run the risk of working long and tiring working days without ever achieving the type of profit margins that will make your venture sustainable.
The most obvious link between time and money is that the former generates the latter, and the higher the premium that your place on your products or services the higher your turnover will be. So strive to adopt a simple and balanced approach to valuing your time and effort, as you look to offer transparency to customers and incentivise all parties.
Set the Next Day’s working schedule the Night Before
Succeeding as an entrepreneur demands sacrifice,particularly when it comes to your time. The best example of this is understanding how to split your time between strategic planning and undertaking your workload, as common productivity logic encourages you to organise your schedule at the beginning of each working day.
This is actually a chronic misuse of your time, however, as it in fact makes far more sense for extend your working day by 30 minutes at the end of each evening. This time can be leveraged to plan your workload for the next day, creating more intense levels of focus and enabling you to hit the ground running when you arrive at the office the very next day.
Master your breaks, Don’t make them your Master
No matter how driven or determined you are to be successful, you must take regular breaks during the course of the working day. How you segregate this time and break up the working day is entirely up to you, however, so don’t be conditioned into taking rigid and inflexible breaks that are dictated by perceived wisdom or the experiences of others.
After all, the human mind is a vast and changeable entity, and one that requires us all to identify our own preferred patterns of working. While some of us prefer to work for hours and enjoy extended breaks, for example, others follow the Pomodoro Technique (which involves intense, 25-minute chunks of work separated by five-minute intervals.
The key is to experiment to determine which method of working best suits your outlook and mind-set, before adopting this over a sustained period of time.
Work towards Natural Priorities at all times
Do we set priorities or do we have them? This is a question that has challenged entrepreneurs for generations, but the fact remains that the order in which we complete tasks is often preordained by external factors and the demands of our clients. This suggests that we have natural priorities that exist by themselves, each of which simply needs to be recognised, tackled and completed within a set time-frame.
By messing with this natural order and attempting to arbitrarily set priorities, you are arguably creating confusion and ultimately wasting time that could be better spent completing individual tasks. Instead, strive to maintain an open mind and recognise your priorities, using techniques such as mind-mapping to create a clear, visual representation of your existing thoughts.
Manage your Attention, not your time
We have already touched on the importance of setting your own unique working patterns, and to many this is part of the tried and tested method of managing your time. This is actually an exercise in segregating your time,.
In this respect, we don’t manage time, as this is an external condition that cannot be altered, adapted to manipulated to suit our needs. It exists independent of ourselves, meaning that we must instead take control of environmental aspects that we can influence in a bid to become more productive. By instead focusing on managing our attention and capitalising on periods of intense focus and mental alertness, we can driver higher levels of productivity without becoming preoccupied with something that we cannot influence.
Remember, micro-management is a great destroyer of productivity at the best of times, but particularly when you become obsessed with details that cannot add value to your business or burgeoning venture.
Increase Learning and Information Retention
On a final note, it is generally accepted that continuing to learn as an entrepreneur serves as a foundation for sustained and prolonged success. This can actually be counter-intuitive and a huge waste of our time if we do not take practical steps towards retaining these huge swathes of data over time.
If you are to capitalise on the information that you learn and make the most efficient use of your time, it is therefore imperative that you are able to commit the things that you learn to paper. This can be in simple list form or a through a brain dump, so long as you focus on creating a visual store of the information that you learn and utilise this as a constant reference.
Overall, this ensures that you do not waste time as an entrepreneur, while it also makes you a more productive thinker and operator when facing new business challenges.
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