It doesn’t take long for most small business owners to become painfully aware of the importance of time management. As the tasks and trials of entrepreneurship start to mount, making the most of the limited time you have becomes ever more critical.
Billionaires are at the opposite end of the income scale from most business owners, but the vast majority of them started off small, and faced very similar challenges to most of us along the way. In this piece, we’ll lean on some of that accumulated expertise and look at four outstanding time management tips that some of the richest entrepreneurs on the planet have been kind enough to share.
Let’s kick things off with some wisdom from the man at the very top of the money tree.
- Learn To Love “No”
As one of the richest men on earth, Warren Buffett knows more than most about how to effectively marshal his resources in order to rack up long-term gains. The Sage of Omaha is on record as attributing most of his success to simply learning when to say no.
The reality is that there are only so many things a person can effectively devote time to. By being ruthless about what you actually commit to, you massively boost your ability to make productive use of your time.
- Always Carry A Notebook
Though Richard Branson is associated with all manner of high-tech entrepreneurial pursuits in the popular imagination, he actually credits a lot of his long-term success to religiously carrying a small paper notebook with him to capture ideas and plan on the move. It’s a simple tactic he’s consistently employed in order to manage his time effectively across his far-flung business empire.
- Block Out The Early Hours
One of the core challenges facing small business owners is finding discrete chunks of time in which to concentrate exclusively on high-value work. The day-to-day firefighting and task switching that define early stage businesses make it extremely hard to block out uninterrupted stretches of your day where you can really hunker down and focus on one thing in isolation.
Nathan Blecharczyk, the co-founder of Airbnb, has come up with an innovative solution to this dilemma. He’s on record as advising filling out your daily calendar in reverse order to ensure you leave at least a couple of hours in the morning blocked out exclusively for high-priority work.
- Pick One Zero Meeting Day
Meetings are a necessary evil in pretty much every business, but you need to approach them with discipline in order to stop your week from disappearing into the distance before it’s even begun. Dustin Moskovitz, of Asana and Facebook fame, recommends taking a firm approach by assigning at least one day a week as a “No Meeting” day. It might sound drastic, but it’s a potentially quick win in terms of putting structure on your working week.
As the old saying goes – if you want to get something done, ask a busy person. The four billionaires we’ve highlighted have been busier than most over the course of their careers, and there’s no arguing with what they’ve managed to achieve. Follow their most outstanding time management tips and you’ll find yourself blasting through your various task lists with an increasing sense of confidence and ease!