Whether you’re forging the way in with your first start-up or are a seasoned CEO, you will no doubt have confronted the challenge of managing your time. The demands are constant, from both work and personal life, and it’s often hard to feel like there will ever be enough hours in the day. As an entrepreneur and single father, I’ve felt the weight of these decisions around my time in more ways than one, which is why I decided to start doing things differently.
Your team is your greatest support – use them
First, it is crucial to surround yourself with great teams – both at work and at home. Great teams are those that you can rely on to allow you to maximise your time, whether you’re in the office or on the road.
Despite being the CEO and founder of my company, I don’t spend every waking hour in the office. I frequently leave mid-afternoon since I know my team can handle almost any issue that arises.
This is why it is crucial to hire the right people, train them and set appropriate expectations around their responsibilities. Without a smart and successful team, you’ll constantly be worrying about whether or not something is getting done and getting done right.
Verifi’s office culture is innovative and energetic, and everyone periodically rolls up their sleeves to help co-workers when needed, regardless of their title. We look for employees who share a similar sense of purpose.
So, when I interview someone who values hierarchy and the division of labour, I immediately know they’re probably not a good fit for us. It’s important to recognise that your team is your greatest support – use them.
Incorporate non-office time into your daily work routine
Another habit to start implementing is to ensure you don’t live at the office. I arrive at the office earlier than most, but I usually leave around 2 or 3pm.
Leaving early to go home and work allows me to be more efficient. I segment my work into two categories: work that requires face-to-face collaboration in the office, and tasks that require my undivided attention. The latter category can be completed far more efficiently when I am sitting uninterrupted in my home office.
It also allows me to be home almost every day for my son when he comes home from school, which means I can spend extra time with him that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I was at the office all day and night. Determine when you work most effectively, and model your work day around that.
Regardless of whether or not you have kids, there is always something personal to you that is worth leaving the office for – whether it’s your family, time at the gym or learning outside the office. Incorporate this into your daily routine to help you shift into a new state of mind, nurture yourself a little more and foster fresh thinking.
Take the time for yourself and give the energy back to your business
Finally, something else that I’ve learned is that it’s important to block out one free night on my weekly schedule where I get to decide what to do. For entrepreneurs, that one free night can be invaluable.
I routinely make it a flex night that I can either spend at home relaxing or going to dinner with friends. If you stay at the office all day and then come home to a full schedule of events, work-related or otherwise, you’ll never have time for yourself and you’ll eventually go crazy. Taking this time for yourself provides you with more energy to tackle the important issues – personal and work alike.
Time is scarce, but life inevitably feels more manageable when you approach it from a place of calm and rejuvenation, with an integrated work–life balance and a supportive and trusted team.
Being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly rewarding and fun experience, but it also comes with a great responsibility: to ensure the success of a business and its employees.
While it may feel tempting, you’ll never succeed if you spend every waking hour thinking, speaking and doing business. Take the time to do things differently, and you might find that success follows.