Successful entrepreneurs know good time management separates mediocre CEOs from amazing ones - and strategies that work for some don't always work well for others. We asked four EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) finalists from the U.S. how they manage a full college course load while running a company. Here's what they had to say:
"Time management is absolutely one of my most challenging tasks. While our company was getting off the ground, our team of students was averaging 14 hour days. It was the only way to accomplish what needed to be done. If you can't suck it up and do what needs to be done, I'd rethink whether entrepreneurship is really for you. To make sure I'm stress-free and relaxed before beginning my day, I get a quick yoga session in every morning. It makes the long days much more bearable, and I don't become overwhelmed as easily."
Luke Sophinos, founder & CEO of CourseKey
"Before I become overwhelmed, I take a step back and write out what needs to get done for the company and for myself. Then I space out the tasks over the week, tackling important issues first so I'm not overwhelmed by all the minutiae. Generally, I prioritize company affairs over class assignments since my number one goal is to build my skill set as an entrepreneur."
"I would suggest entrepreneurs take advantage of their resources - if you're a student, seek advice from your professors and garner feedback from your peers. And even if you're not in school, find a solid team you trust to handle some of the workload so you don't get buried. Entrepreneurship is fun; keep it that way."
Andrew Glantz, co-founder & CEO of FoodShare
"The best way to manage your time is by prioritizing all of your tasks. Be clear about your goals - and most importantly, be clear on why you're doing these tasks. I usually take on the easiest tasks first and when I become stressed, I'll go for a jog or wash my car before tackling harder ones."
"You need to choose to organize yourself; the goal of my company is to help and motivate others, and I've found that when I motivate others, I'm also motivating myself to do the best work I can. For me, creating systems that function properly on a schedule makes this business concept a reality."
Andres Cardona, founder & CEO of Elite Basketball Academy
"I've been able to manage my time by following three key principals: preparations, prioritization and delegation. I use great project management tools like Slack or Trello, or even just by using a planner. I also think it's important to be okay with distraction. Hyper-focusing for hours on end can lead to burnout and diminishing returns. As long as you have the self-control to get right back on task when you need to, you're doing yourself a favor by taking breaks."
"When I'm feeling overwhelmed and unable to work, I have several strategies I use. If my to-do list is a mile long, I tackle each item piece by piece and build energy through the steps I complete. I also adopt the mindset that the work I'm doing now will pay off immeasurably in the future."
Alexander Jekowsky, founder & CEO of Ulyngo
Have any of these tips worked for you? Do you have time management suggestions to share? Let us know in the comments section below!