“In a prosperous society most misery is self-inflicted.” George Ainslie* Squirrel chasing, avoiding discomfort, perfectionism, and waiting to the last minute are symptoms self-inflicted misery. Procrastinators make on average $15,000 less than non-procrastinators.… Continue reading →

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Time management is the process of planning and organizing your time. It is important in most aspects of life and takes true skill to master. However, time management can look differently for different types of people. For example, if you are a working mother, you may choose to manage your time differently than someone who is a college student. Similarly, if you consider yourself more of an analytical thinker, you may choose a different way to manage your time than someone who is a creative thinker.

The hard part is finding a method that works for you. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a first-year college student, we could all use a little help managing our time. So which technique will work for you?

Here are some of the most popular time management techniques: 

Pareto analysis (aka the 80/20 rule): The idea that 20% of actions are responsible for 80% of outcomes. 
Pomodoro technique: This method uses a timer to break down your day into intervals.   
Eisenhower matrix: This technique encourages you to organize your time into four separate quadrants.  
Parkinson’s law: A law that says the amount of time you give yourself to complete a task, is the amount of time it will take you to finish it. 
Time blocking method: Coined by Elon Musk, this method has you assign each time block in your day a task. 
Getting things done (GTD) method: This process encourages you to record tasks on paper and break them down into actionable work items. 
Rapid planning method (RPM): This method works to train your brain to focus on a vision in order to make it a reality. 
Pickle jar theory: This method encourages you to set priorities for your day and plan tasks with time to spare. 
Eat that frog technique: This method teaches you to start your day by doing the least appealing task first.  

Not every technique is going to work for every person. If you are someone who gets distracted easily, the Pomodoro technique might be the best bet for you. If you are someone who has a hard time prioritizing tasks on your plate, try the Eisenhower matrix. If you have a habit of leaving things until the last minute, try out Parkinson’s law.

If you need help deciding which method will work for you check out the infographic below for information on how they work and the types of people they work best for. There is also a flowchart to help you choose the best method for you.

Here are 9 types of time management techniques:
How to choose which method best suits you:

Read more: addicted2success.com

There are countless components that go into building a successful company, but soft skills act as the fundamental building blocks of a functioning business. Hard skills are considered to be job-specific, whereas soft skills are interpersonal skills, like listening and communication. 

Nearly 93% of employers said that soft skills are an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions. With the right blend of hard and soft skills, an entrepreneur is capable of great things.

Here are five soft skills that can help entrepreneurs scale their growth and lead successful ventures:

1. Confidence

A successful company starts from individual confidence. In order to motivate and inspire others, an entrepreneur must find reassurance in themselves. Other businesses and consumers will believe in your company if you consistently believe in yourself. 

Being confident also means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable— taking risks will expand your business and place you above competitors. As an entrepreneur, and leader, it’s crucial that you not only possess confidence, but exhibit it throughout every step of your business ventures.

2.Self-Awareness

It is vital that an entrepreneur have a clear insight into their personality, especially their strengths, weaknesses, thoughts,and emotions. 

When an entrepreneur is self-aware, it can lead them to beneficial partnerships and agreements. Without good self-awareness, leaders become easily persuaded and spineless. Self-awareness also includes control. Becoming overly emotional, for example, can lead to detrimental impulsive decision making. 

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

3. Collaboration

From the day we begin talking, the ability to work well with others is pivotal to any project. As an entrepreneur, it is important to recognize and understand your own responsibilities. To do this, you must identify your business culture and have tools on hand to manage mutually dependent relationships. 

Active listening inspires collaboration within teams and creates learning opportunities. Without open collaboration or sharing and discussing information, the success of your business is  limited.

4. Time Management

Time is the greatest equalizer. No matter who you are or what you do, we all have the exact same amount of time in the day. Successful management of that time separates the great entrepreneurs from the bad ones. 

Entrepreneurs have many responsibilities; they are often jumping between tasks, hopping on calls, and attending events. They also tend to make every decision within the business.

It is crucial for business owners to find an organization system that works for their company and their goals. Creating a long term road map of company ambitions is an excellent way to distinguish high versus low priority initiatives. Entrepreneurs should create prioritization systems that employees can follow each month, ensuring business targets are met.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” – Tony Robbins

5. Resilience

Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, unexpected hurdles and setbacks are inevitable. The process of starting a business will not be perfect. What matters most is how you progress when the outlook seems bleak. Your ability to stay tough and weather the storm speaks volumes to your leadership— and will lead to a huge payout at the end of the day. 

Maintaining entrepreneurial resilience throughout rocky times will empower your employees while simultaneously building your credibility. Resilience will also inform potential clients and customers that you are willing to fight through thick and thin.

Soft skills are the backbone of every successful entrepreneur. While hard skills like financing and marketing are crucial to conducting business, soft skills provide the essential groundwork. Developing these soft skills will come with time, mindfulness, and an eagerness to grow. Take the initiative to prioritize these skills in yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can then cultivate those same qualities in your business.

Do you think soft skills tend to be more important than hard skills in today’s business world? Share your thoughts with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about hiring a team or giving orders to them. Every business comes with its unique challenges and addressing them appropriately is what contributes to the learning curve of any entrepreneur. A very big challenge for most entrepreneurs is to find out what these painful problems are and then to solve them using the best resources available.

Being the founder of your business goes a long way if you identify and solve your employees, customers, partners and companies problems. A successful entrepreneur solves problems in a unique way and that is what separates him from the rest.

Below are 8 challenges you can come across during your entrepreneurship journey with solutions that can help you overcome these problems tactfully:

1. Self-Doubt

The Challenge: Self-Doubt personates itself in other forms and negatively impacts business growth. Below are some questions that likely pop up in your mind as a result of self-doubt:

What if the idea fails?Is it the right decision to leave the comfort of the monthly paycheck?What if I don’t get the right team?

The Solution: You will feel like giving up initially but look towards your goal list and keep moving on. Know that working on daily tasks will contribute towards your lifetime goals and every day you’ll be one more step closer to them.

2. Time Management

The Challenge: The biggest challenge that an entrepreneur faces is time management. While working on a new venture, there are a number of things that need to be completed in a limited time period. Managing the time properly is an invaluable skill and can be rewarding in the long haul.

The Solution: Be smart when allocating your time to different tasks. It’s essential for you to know what is worth your time and what isn’t. Make goal lists that can further be deconstructed into monthly and weekly goals. If there are tasks that don’t require your attention, make sure you either delegate or eliminate them.

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Gathering Capital

The Challenge: If you’re a freshly minted entrepreneur, lenders will hesitate in providing you the required funds as you may lack collateral to secure the loan and also you don’t have an established business. Without a reasonable probability of return, no one will take a risk by investing in your idea.

The Solution: There are government operated banks that are specifically designed for entrepreneurs. You can pitch your business idea and if feasible, they will provide you the required capital. Some NGOs also help new entrepreneurs in guiding them to reliable sources of capital generation.

4. Hiring Staff for the First Time

The Challenge: Hiring and keeping good employees is one of the most difficult tasks of an entrepreneur. If the business is small, each person becomes more critical. Remember, as you have just started the business, your company is in its most volatile position.

The Solution: When interviewing potential candidates, make sure to ask them questions related to their experience, long-term goals and expectations. Make candidates feel that your company seeks a partner to grow business with rather than a minion who takes orders from superiors.

For any candidates that you select, make sure you seek genuine references that can vouch for their work ethic and potential. Hire people that fit your criteria and be sure to clear everything before appointing an employee so as to maintain a healthy working relationship in the future.

5. Choosing What to Sell

The Challenge: Choosing what product to sell is the most difficult decision you will need to make while starting a business. Of course, the choices are limitless, but finalizing something is complex as your business success is totally depended on it.

The Solution: Market research can help you find the right product to invest in. Once you’ve shortlisted a few products, it’s good to analyze profit margins, strengths, weaknesses and threats that come along with each product. This will not only save your time and effort but will save your business at some point.

6. Choosing An Appropriate Marketing Strategy

The Challenge: As a new entrepreneur, you probably don’t know the best way/medium/channel to reach the target audience. It won’t matter how beneficial your product is, if your customers aren’t aware of it.

The Solution: If you want to maximize your ROI, then be sure to invest in target marketing as that will definitely lead you in the right direction. If you haven’t hired marketers to work with you then it’s best to outsource a team that can strategize a great marketing plan for you. Be precise with your budget and marketing goals so that they can craft a plan that works like magic for you.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

7. Cash Flow

The Challenge: Sufficient cash flow is essential to keep the business suspended as you have to bear all your business related expenses such as employee’s salary, infrastructural cost, and so forth. Temporary cash infusions don’t solve the problem, you need to make changes in the supply chain to get some positive gains.

The Solution: Planning for a budget in advance can help you work around cash flow problems. In addition to this, you can also request your clients to clear the invoice payments quickly. You can also convince your vendors to send you the bill after 40-45 days, which gives you enough time to receive your payments.

8. Business Growth

The Challenge: From financial management to keeping up with the market, growing businesses face multiple challenges. What worked a year ago might not be the right approach now.

The Solution: It’s very important for an entrepreneur to know the strengths of his teams and employees. This can help you distribute tasks to employees who can handle them most effectively while giving you a window to get out of production and management issues. This way you can focus on growing your business.

Conclusion

There are volumes written on how entrepreneurs can overcome business challenges, use them to their advantage, and ensure that you’re putting your customers first. On the other hand, it’s okay to feel that you’re going off track because only then can you drive yourself to overcome obstacles and do better.

How do you handle business challenges? Share your advice with everyone below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

Have you ever found yourself having more to do with no time left to do it? Desperate, you decide to sacrifice sleep, or spend less time with your loved ones in order to get things done, only to find yourself unfulfilled and burnt out because you have not accomplished anything. While time-management has already given rise to a whole library of books, we seem to be more in need of time-management now than ever before. Look no further.

What follows are five habits of some of the most highly productive people. I cannot promise a miracle, but I can guarantee you if emulate these habits, you will be more productive than ever before.

1. Begin with the end in mind

If you have read Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, “seven habits of the highly effective people”, you have certainly acquainted with this. There is nothing new here, but a mere reminder that you need to start each day with a clearly defined goal to be accomplished. “If you don’t know where you are going, then you probably won’t end up there.” was famously said by Forrest Gump. This quote exemplifies the importance of setting goals, sticking to them and seeing them through.

2. Stop spending major time on minor things

With the advent of smart devices, we find ourselves spending precious time online watching things that waste our time. Usually, we start watching these things with the best intention at heart, oftentimes we end up watching more than we were supposed to. Aristotle argued that too much (or too little) of a good thing is bad. I am not trying to make a case against smart devices, rather just want to remind you to use them in moderation.

Those times spent watching funny videos online will result in us blaming our unproductiveness on demanding bosses and high workload. If we are honest, we know it is hardly the case. According to the law of forced efficiency, there is always enough time to accomplish an important task. With that in mind, the next time you find yourself behind schedule, chances are you have been spending too much time on minor things.

“You will never find the time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” – Charles Buxton

3. Know your Einstein window

A normal fact of life is that we feel energized and productive during certain times of the day, and even certain days of the week. The common reaction is to engage in self-pity, instead of beating yourself up when you seem to be unable to concentrate, try to understand your patterns. Know your Einstein Window.

Basically, the Albert Einstein Window is that time of the day when you are most likely to experience a state of flow. Learn about yourself and schedule your most important and challenging work during that time. Like most people, our energy waxes and wanes throughout the day. The best strategy is to recognize these patterns and schedule your work accordingly.

4. Control your inputs

Some of us do have goals. But somehow because of the nature of our work, we see ourselves stuck responding to an influx of never-ending tasks competing for our attention. The solution—Control your inputs. Emails and other Information and technology need to be used with moderation or else, we will find ourselves endlessly firefighting throughout the day without having accomplished anything.

Set a time to read emails, or other text messages. Set an automated email response and don’t accept any calls unless it is absolutely important. If you have no control over what gets your attention, you will not have control of how happy and accomplished you are at the end of the day.

5. Maintain two to-do lists

With the best intention at heart, you decide to plan your day, you create a well-structured to-do list, but somehow, you seem to never accomplish much. You keep carrying around the same to-do list you wrote for a month with the same tasks only partially completed. How do you go about solving this issue? Keep two to-do lists; One to-do list will contain long-term and midterm goals and a second one will contain tasks that you will need to accomplish that particular day.

Carrying a to-do list with a task that will take a month to complete every day will do nothing but subconsciously affect your ability to get things done. You may even end up accomplishing irrelevant tasks that will give you a false sense of accomplishment. The goal you accomplish may not be what you should have been doing in the first place. Be strategic.

“Success is never getting to the bottom of your to-do list.” – Marissa Mayer

These are the five major time-management principles that I have learned from some of the busiest, yet most productive people in the world. Managing your time well, will give you a sense of fulfillment that will in return increase your wellbeing. After all, who wouldn’t like to have more time to spend with their loved ones or have more fun?

Read more: addicted2success.com