I have been an entrepreneur since 2006. I’ve dabbled in bringing my administrative tasks home as a virtual assistant for some, tried my hand at direct sales, managed social media accounts, managed eCommerce sites, and so many other tasks to finally land my heart in the world of writing. Along this path over the years, I’ve learned that one of the most difficult parts of being a work from home entrepreneur is finding ways to avoid time wasters.
You know what I’m talking about.
The family that calls or stops by.
Kids that need food.
People that ask 100 questions and take up an hour of your time only to say “they’ll think about hiring you” and so on and so forth.
As a fellow entrepreneur, I’m sure you have a list of time wasters that you simply aren’t sure how to avoid. That’s why I’m sharing some of the methods I’ve tried to use to get rid of time wasters so that I can focus on being a self-driven, self-motivated, dedicated entrepreneur that my clients can count on.
Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs – How to Avoid Time Wasters
What are your time wasters?
The first part of solving any “problem” is to figure out what the problem is, to begin with. That’s why I highly recommend you create a list of time wasters. I’ll be honest, you won’t think of all these time wasters right away. Grab a little Post-it Brand Note and have it by your work space. Jot down a time waster each time it appears in your workday.
No More Sharpening Pencils During Work Time and Other Time Wasters (Not This But That)
For me, my list of time wasters includes; Facebook Messages, Facebook Newsfeed, Emails, Potential Clients’ Questions, and preteens/teens who “need” something “right now” when they’re perfectly capable of getting said thing on their own. Those are just a few off the top of my head.
Create a Schedule NOW
As a mother of three children, who are now 16, 13, and 10, I know all too well how often kids will mess up that entrepreneur schedule you set in place, but stay with me a second here. Create a schedule that’s more like a block schedule, such as time batching. This is where you designate specific tasks to be done during a specific time block of the day. A good example is shown below in the image:
As you can see, I tend to be rather ADHD by nature, so a picture schedule doesn’t work for me. That’s why I sort of use a concept called task batching, rather than time batching, but either method will work. More on those methods another day. Just jot down a daily list of what you’re going to do, in an order that works for your mind and go from there. Do not stray from that list, even if it looks sloppy like my example above.
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Shut Off Notifications
It took me a long time to realize that some time wasters were best put on silent. During your entrepreneurial work from home day, shut off all notifications. Listen, clients can wait until your schedule time to reply to messages or emails. Clients can wait until you respond to them, and prospects can too. If a client or prospect wants your immediate reply, then do you really want to work for them? Being pulled in all directions is part of what’s wasting your time as an entrepreneur.
Be okay with shutting off notifications and only working your day to day tasks based on the schedule you created to work for maximum productivity levels. Good clients and prospects WILL WAIT, they’ll appreciate that you have that dedication and drive to stay focused on the task at hand. If not, then they’re not a good fit for your business, period!
I could get into some lengthy ramble about how I use each of these tips in my day to day life, but the reality is I change it up day to day. We’re living on the road right now so a schedule is some foreign concept to me until we find ourselves in a stable location. With that being said, these simple tips to avoid time wasters will help you succeed. I may not have some solid routine in place, but I do use the notifications and a basic schedule to keep my business afloat to the best of my ability while we’re on the road. I know that you can use these tips to help you stay focused, motivated and away from time wasters too!