As an entrepreneur, it can often feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. If only you had an extra 60 minutes, you could knock out that project or finish that book you’ve been stuck on for months.
While you can’t actually extend the number of hours in your day, you can find creative ways to manage your time and make the most of your workday. We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share some suggestions for entrepreneurs who want to stretch their time.
What’s one suggestion you have for entrepreneurs looking for creative ways to stretch the hours in their days?
Their best answers are below.
#1 Learn to Delegate and Focus
I used to live by what Tim Ferriss calls the results-by-volume approach, but learned it accomplishes far less than can be achieved by delegation and focus. Today, I stretch the hours in a given day by identifying what I am doing—calls, emails, meetings, etc—that could or should be done by someone else or not at all. This empowers our team and allows us all to do better work. – Jeff Jahn, DynamiX
#2 Don’t Try to Multitask
I find that when I multitask I can’t get nearly as much done as I’d like because my attention is focused on different things. When I focus on one thing at a time, I am able to get so much more done. When I have a lot of important tasks to complete in a short time, I like to work in 20-minute increments because it enables me to concentrate without losing focus. – Kristin Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC
#3 Stop the Constant Flow of Distractions
Minimize time spent on social media and constantly checking email or stats. Compartmentalize those tasks for specific times during the day to eliminate the constant distraction of reading new email or commenting on social media posts. If you work efficiently and effectively, time frees up. Focus on actually getting things done instead of things that distract. – Shawn Schulze, Names.org
#4 Learn to Say No
There are many people out there that suck your time away from you. They may like to chat on the phone or instant message for hours. Stay away from them. Tell them no when they want to take this time from you. – Serenity Gibbons, Calendar
#5 Leverage Your Mental Prime Time
The key to stretching the hours in your day is to be extremely productive with your work time. Identify when you are the most productive, and focus on the tasks that are the highest priority to complete during that time. To do so, eliminate distractions such as calls and emails, and instead use the time you are at your mental best to accomplish your most important tasks. – Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC
#6 Prioritize and Write down Your Tasks
I used to keep a running list of tasks in my head as I went through a day. Those tasks almost never were completed that way. Now, I keep a whiteboard of my daily tasks and prioritize knocking them out before internal meetings or social events. – Stephen Hetzel, BidPrime
#7 Set and Stick to a Daily ‘Distraction Time’
Very few people are actually able to be this disciplined, but if you want to be successful gaining mastery over your distractions, bind your distraction time to a set agenda. The amount of time needed will differ from individual to individual, but see if you can decrease it over time. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
#8 Work Odd Hours
Work during hours when others might not distract you. Consider using the early and late hours to get the most done and stretch that time while disappearing or doing calls in the middle of the day. – Peter Daisyme, Calendar
#9 Vary Your Work Schedule and Take Different Days Off
Take a Monday off and work the weekend, or take a day off mid-week to change up your productivity level and rest periods. It does a lot for the brain to enjoy a different day off so that you are re-energized for the other days. – Cynthia Johnson, Bell + Ivy
#10 Automate and Delegate Wherever You Can
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. What you do with that time is what makes a difference. If you find yourself doing mundane repetitive tasks that can be automated or taken care with some inexpensive help, such as a virtual assistant, do so. Your time is valuable, so you should use it wisely. Concentrate on the things you are good at and find ways to delegate the rest. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
# 11 Take Care of Yourself
Sometimes people think there are not enough hours in the day due to burnout. It is incredibly important to take care of your body so you will have the energy to tackle a full schedule on the regular. Working out and eating healthy will provide energy and a sharp mind, which will help you use your hours more efficiently. – Adrien Schmidt, OpenBouquet
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.