Six Systems Entrepreneurs Can Use To Better Manage Time

A disorganized work schedule or poor time management can lead to lapses in productivity and momentum, something that can erode a company’s potential, or simply hamper reaching goals. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a veteran business owner, knowing how to manage your time is crucial to not only making the most out of every week, but also to ensuring your company will stay on the right track toward success.

There are legions of books, motivational speeches and academic courses focused on how to work more efficiently, so which time organization methods out of the many will work best for you? To help you find the right system, six members of Young Entrepreneur Council, below, share their most effective time management tools, as well as discuss why they work. Here’s what they suggest:

1. Prioritize, Plan Ahead And Eliminate Distractions

Prioritize wisely, plan ahead and eliminate distractions. Why? There are many, many things you can do while running a startup. Focus and prioritization are highly important while resources and time are limited. I do my planning by using Google Keep before each conversation with anyone. – Daniel Zhao, Study Gate LLC

2. Create A Non-Negotiable To-Do List

I maintain a “non-negotiable” to-do list. In the past, I’ve set to-do lists that spiral out of control, and then create new lists based on the important tasks of the old one. Not anymore: If it makes it on the list, I don’t offer myself the opportunity to assess what’s “really” important and what isn’t. If it’s on the list, it gets done. No new lists. That’s the one and only. – Zach Zelner,PupSocks

3. Take Care Of Tasks Immediately

If it’s not scheduled on either my calendar or in my project management tool, Asana, it does not get done. If something comes in by email or overSlack from the direct team, I try and take care of it right away. I don’t like tasks, especially ones the team is blocked on, to sit around. It’s my job to keep the road clear or to find the right people or tools to clear the path. – Kerry Guard,MKG Marketing

4. Combine The GTD Method And Pomodoro Technique

To manage my time and be productive I use a combination of the GTD Method from Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen and the Pomodoro Technique. The GTD Method allows me to keep a high-level overview of everything I have going on, get things out of my head and prioritize tasks. I use the Pomodoro Technique (time-blocking) to actually accomplish those tasks in a distraction-free environment by focusing on one thing at a time. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

5. Utilize The 50/10 Method

To manage and optimize my time, I use the 50/10 method, wherein 50 minutes of every hour are dedicated to focusing on work with a 10-minute break. I close my email and put my phone away until each break, when I typically go for a walk, which helps me avoid the distraction of emails or calls and works as a reset button. To begin a new week on a productive note, I spend one hour every Sunday planning out my entire work week, including writing out my goals and scheduling tasks for each day to achieve them. – Brett Shapiro,

6. Organize With TeamWork, Trello And SortD

I use a variety of great tools to get better organized, such as TeamWork, Trello and SortD. The latter is a pretty useful extension for Gmail and G Suite that very few people know about. It allows you to classify your emails by dragging and dropping them in appropriate categories and keep track of the ones you want to follow up with. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

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