Monday, March 17, 2014

Managing Time As A Precious Commodity

One of the most important tools that each of us need is to master, manage and control our time. No matter at which level our career is, if time comes and go like wind, all the opportunities to make good of our time will be lost. Here is a very good reminder from Michael LeBouef; "Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.”

Most of the time, I am impressed with young entrepreneur who are already practicing good time management and be successful as a result. I was reading a post by a college guy, Nathan Resnick and found  that his tips and advice on time management are pretty wonderful and practical. He is the owner of Yes Man Watches, and has launched a few successful Kickstarter projects while still in college.

Set short-term goals to achieve long-term ones.
> This is a good pointers, as we are usually obsessed with stretching ourselves to meet a long-term goal. It doesn't mean there should not be any long-term goal. Instead, it meant that there should be some short-term goals that will eventually bring us to our long-term goals. It is like stopping at rest areas while we are going for a long distance journey. It will be more pleasant this way.

Use apps.
> I would rate this as an essential skill to pick up. Entrepreneur should take time to learn which apps are useful and helpful for them. Unfortunately, I haven't take this seriously and I know I should be doing it as soon as possible.

Plan your day.
> Planning for our day should focus on the free time we have, instead of what we don't have. When our mind is committed to making a good planning, we will soon realized that we have more time and bank in more activities than previously thought. Often, intervals during lunch, meetings or trainings can be a long 20 minutes, and we don't realize we can actually accomplish some short-term goals to bring us closer to our long-term goals.

Time wasting and not fully utilizing the time are some culprits that will bring the downfall of any startups. By applying 80/20 rules, where 20% of the customers bring 80% of the sales, we will make sure our time are correctly spent on doing what is best for the time we have. It is not surprising many entrepreneurs are choosing to do menial work that bring less money per hour, rather than doing productive work such as meeting new clients, sending emails to prospective customers or negotiating for a contract that can bring in better returns.

Here are some practical advices from Perry Marshall that I find very useful, but not necessary applicable here due to our cultural and lifestyle difference.

Hire a maid, Get rid of your $10 an hour stuff and Hire a personal assistant.
> These advices seem to be logical and reasonable to me. By sub-contracting household chores, managing documents and running errands to others, we can focus on the more high paying activities. At this juncture, an entrepreneur should be result-driven. Sometimes doing house work may be therapeutic and can divert our attention from work stress temporarily, but when it is performed too often, we are actually losing time and opportunity to become better.

Don't feel guilty about relaxing.
> What he meant was there should be time that we should "donate" back to ourselves. It is impossible for us to continuously working and achieving great results at the same time.

Focus on your most productive time slot.
> This is true for most people, and we need to be conscious in looking for our own time slot. I used to have an early morning time slot many years back, but now it became a night slot. It would be good if I can return to the previous time slot in order to capture more useful time in a day.

No comments: