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How to implement an effective time management for daily tasks

As an entrepreneur there is always a lot to do. On the other hand there is only so much time in one day.

This blog provides a time management tool to manage ones daily tasks.

The following 5 step task management tool can be used to do so.

Write down the 5 to 6 most important tasks for that day

Important tasks could be ones which bring you closer to your strategic objectives or ones which you regard of high importance. Be careful not to include too many tasks which have to be done because they “just came up”, e.g. an employee or co-worker who wants something from you. This will cause you to become ineffective.

Assign a period of time to each task

Next to the tasks write down the time you will need to finish each list item. It is necessary to assign enough time for each task so that it is possible to actually finish it, also keeping in mind the “one touch rule” which will be discussed here. E.g.: Preparing HR questionnaire (2 hours)

Assign the time of the day you want to finish the task

We tend to put the difficult tasks at the end of the day. The reality is that our brain works in the mornings therefore we should choose that time of the day to do these tasks. E.g.: Preparing HR questionnaire (2 hours) 09:00 am – 11:00 am

Include time buffers for unexpected tasks

Some “just came up” tasks, like a sick family member, cannot be put aside. Therefore there should be buffer zones to handle such unexpected occurrences.

The one touch rule

Once you touch the task, finish it. The reason is that all too often something else comes in between and we start doing something else which is not that important. By finishing the task once you have touched it, you will become confident in the task list and with time it will become easier to stick to it.

Side note: For an entrepreneur it is advisable to do at least one strategic entrepreneurial (E) task or management (M) task per day. (T) stands for technical tasks which are more tactical in nature.

E.g. My task list for today:
(M) Prepare contract for customer xyz (1 hour) 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm
(M) Work on operations manual for IT staff (2 hours) 01:00 pm – 03:00 pm
(E) Prepare SWOT Analysis (2 hours) 09:00 am – 11:00 am
(E) Write blog post on “Tool for effective time management” (1 hour) 08:00 am – 09:00 am
(T) Call lawyer for advice on contract for customer (30 minutes) 04:00 pm – 04:30 pm
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