When you finally made the decision to become an entrepreneur, it was probably the most exciting and stressful time in your life. In starting an online business, there are so many things to do with seemingly no time to do it. But the reality is that you have plenty of time to get things done, it’s just all about how you manage your time.
Entrepreneurship is, ultimately, a state of mind. The 24 hours you get per day is meant for you to maximize every second of it, especially when trying to scale your business. But as they say in the business world, “time is money,” and how you spend your time will determine how much success is in your entrepreneurial future.
So, as a budding entrepreneur, how can you effectively use your time when there are so many important things that require your undivided attention? Well, the answer doesn’t lie in the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day but more so in your frame of mind in how you manage your time.
To make the most out of your time getting your feet wet in the world of entrepreneurship, follow these time management tips for new online business owners.
7 Time Management Tips For New E-Commerce Entrepreneurs
1. Plan Your Day
When you plan your day, you’re planning your priorities. Everything from knowing when to respond to emails to knowing when to crunch numbers and have meetings is all going to play in how your day unfolds.
The whole point of planning your day is to ensure you’re not hurting your productivity, and surprising as it may be, lots of entrepreneurs fail to do this.
Ideally, you want to make sure you’ve had a good night’s rest the night before so your mind can be clear the next day… A really good habit to start when planning your day is to actually plan the next day at the end of your current workday, just to finish where you left off.
2. Delegate Tasks
As an e-commerce business owner, you’re going to be wearing many hats, especially in the beginning. But as your business starts to grow, you’ll quickly find out that you can’t do it all… and that’s okay.
One of the biggest mistakes made by small business owners is not delegating tasks. A lot of the time, entrepreneurs won’t delegate tasks because they’re afraid that if they let someone else handle that responsibility, they’ll soon lose control over their business.
Others have a hard time delegating tasks because they feel that no one else will be able to get the job done as well as they do. According to Forbes, it’s that type of thinking that causes burnout in entrepreneurs, and failure to delegate is one of the major causes.
Instead of putting yourself at risk of potential burnout, save yourself and your business the hassle and delegate some of your tasks. And if you are “gung-ho” about not letting just anybody do it, you can at least delegate those tasks to experts, that way you’ll know the work is being done right.
Shopify.com has an expert marketplace for you to browse expert services according to your industry.
3. Create a Work Schedule
Creating a work schedule is going to give you a little more structure to go by. Ideally, you want to treat your business just like any other business with “hours of operations. True enough, online stores never close, but you have to give yourself a closing time in order to have a healthy work-life balance. If 5 pm is your cut-off time, then everything after 5 pm should be about anything except work.
In the world of entrepreneurship, prioritizing is your ability to say “no” to things that are of least importance to you at that moment, allowing you to handle things that are more demanding of your attention.
A lot of people have a hard time prioritizing their work tasks, but there’s a high/low priority formula that will help you determine the order in which you should complete your work tasks.
High/Low Priority Formula
- Things you must do
- Things you should do
- Things you would do
- Things you could do
This formula breaks down your tasks in the ratio of the level of importance to the seriousness of repercussions if the task isn’t completed. The things you must do has the highest level of importance with the hardest repercussions if a particular task isn’t completed, whereas the things you could do are of the least of importance and has the least severe repercussions.
5. Take Breaks
Taking breaks is critical to your mental health. By owning and running an e-commerce business, that means you’re more than likely going to be working well outside the realm of a typical 8-hour workday… it’s not recommended, but if your work ethic is that strong, you must take breaks. Whether you choose to do nothing or watch TV, just give your brain the opportunity to reset and recharge each day.
6. Limit Interruptions and Distractions
Interruptions and distractions can be anything. For some people, phones are their biggest distraction, while others, it’s television. While you’re working, consider turning the TV off or putting your phone on silent.
Preventive action is going to be the best setup for success in running your business with non-work-related interruptions and distractions. This is especially important when working from home.
7. Determine Your Most Productive Time
For some people, they’re most productive at night, while others are most productive in the morning. As a new e-commerce entrepreneur, you’re going to want to figure out what time of day you’re the most productive and then complete those daunting tasks during those times.
Regardless of how important a particular task is, all your work responsibilities affect your time management. The key takeaway isn’t how much time you have to get your work done but more so how you make effective use of that time, and it all starts in your head. As a new entrepreneur, this journey isn’t going to be easy, but with the right mindset, you’ll be able to take on any task that’s thrown your way.