3 Major Time Management Hacks For Startup Entrepreneurs
There are only 24 hours in a day, true, but some days in a startup are longer than others. Think about that for a moment. Some days are longer than others — not in terms of actual time but in terms of the perception of time.
That’s usually due to the density of a given day in a startup company, with limited bandwidth, increased stress, and mounting pressure from an insurmountable amount of deadlines.
The thing is, these issues don’t really go away. Sure, you can mitigate these issues to a degree by increasing your staff, but even then these original issues still persist; they just have a different face, one that secretly piles up and snowballs into larger issues under the radar.
That’s why it’s all about creating efficiencies in your workload, especially if you’re a startup entrepreneur where time is everything.
In a startup, only by securing efficiencies will your workload become more manageable. Workload will always increase — if you’re lucky and if you continue to bring in business — so it’s up to you to figure out the business hacks you need to manage your time appropriately while not sacrificing quality.
Here are 3 time management hacks for startup entrepreneurs to make finding efficiencies in your workload easier and more sustainable.
1/ Keyboard Shortcuts (Slack, Gmail, Google Chrome)
This one might surprise you, but it’s a sure bet for cutting off multiple hours from your week. Not convinced?
Assign yourself a research project that requires extensive googling and spreadsheet organizing. Time yourself.
Then, do it all over again except this time make sure you use keyboard shortcuts. Later, look at the results in astonishment.
Think about how much time you can potentially save by completing a trivial task with less of a commitment in time and brain power.
For example, think about the following scenarios. Measure how much time each task takes on average, then evaluate how long it’d take you with one simple keyboard shortcut:
- Clicking between 15 tabs until you find the tab you really need.
- Google Chrome Keyboard Shortcut: On Mac and Windows, try pressing “Control” + “Tab” until you land on the correct tab. This will allow you to move between tabs without needing to be so precise with adjusting your mouse.
- Trying to find an email in your Gmail inbox from your friend Bob (email address Bob@gmail.com).
- Gmail Keyboard Shortcut: Enter “Bob@gmail.com is:inbox” in your search bar. This will temporarily limit all emails in your inbox to emails just from or to Bob’s email address.
- Looking for the right positive emoji to respond to your colleague’s message of a new client being signed.
- Slack Keyboard Shortcut: Enter “:” in Slack and begin typing out the word representing your emoji. For instance “:taxi:” will give you a taxi emoji: 🚕.
Shortcuts are fundamentally designed to save you time; they remove the act of thinking from your doing. By activating keyboard shortcuts as a key aspect of your process, you are in essence embodying the theory of efficiency: doing the same with less.
2/ Project Management Tools
There are plenty of project management tools out there these days that help startup entrepreneurs manage their projects, most notably Trello and Asana. Both tools are efficient and effective in what they do, and they help businesspeople stay on track with clients, projects, tasks, and deadlines. Either tool can likely help your startup operate in a more decisive manner.
There are also tools that can help as well, anything from an HR management software to a virtual assistant. One hack that is often talked about behind the scenes is creating a project management tool in a spreadsheet that fits your needs.
You can create a spreadsheet that contains three columns: in queue, in progress, and complete. You can list all your tasks in the in queue list, all your tasks you’re currently working on in the in progress list, and those you’ve finished in the complete list.
3/ Offline Google Docs
This one’s a lifesaver, for all people but especially those who live in metro areas — Google Docs with “offline” documents, meaning you can access and edit google docs on your phone or tablet without service.
It’s a lifesaver because it;
a) ensures you’re being productive no matter where you’re located,
b) allows you to jot down important thoughts you can later revisit, and
c) keeps you focused on all your projects so you never have to take too long of a break in between your work.
What many people love to do (mostly writers) is during their morning commute they open up the Google Docs app on their phones and start writing an article or essay. But what they do that’s technically the “hack” is they write out the outline on their phones in the morning and then actually write the article later in the day.
They do because although phones are great these days, they have their limitations (for instance, adding in hyperlinks in documents). Therefore they do 80% of the work on their phones, and once they’re back at their desktops they do the remaining 20% of their work, including polishing, fine-tuning, and editing.
Then, boom — by the end of the afternoon they already have one article complete.
These are only three of the many major time management hacks that startup entrepreneurs can deploy in their business.
© New To HR (we are not affiliated with the above tools)