Discipline and time management are not typical words people use to describe college students. Instead, they’re known as young people who can’t make it to a part-time job on time and who are constantly asking for extensions on school work. We heard from a successful Boulder company; if you’re planning to found the next great start-up, though, you’re going to need an established schedule and the discipline to stick to it.
A planner is going to be your friend. Whether you use an online tool, an app, your phone’s calendar, or a traditional paper planner, you are going to need a time organizer of some sort. You’ll be able to see upcoming deadlines more clearly and avoid double booking yourself.
Meetings with student entrepreneurship associations, networking lunches with business professionals, time to work on your business plan, and other business-related activities need to be on your planner. Oh, yeah, and don’t forget to write down assignments and reading that you need to do for your college classes or to schedule time to nap or relax with friends.
What is the point of a planner, though, if you have a good memory for dates and appointments? Even if you have never missed an appointment, you will want something written or recorded somewhere where you can see what is coming up in the next few weeks. You want to be able to prioritize and plan out a ways. You will probably find that you will end up double booking yourself or forgetting an important deadline or appointment at some time as well, even if you’re confident in your ability to remember them all.
Another important skill to develop is prioritization. With all of the tasks that you have to accomplish to get your business up and running and to keep your grades up, you have to prioritize. Make a daily list of what you need to do, and prioritize according to what is the most important. Get little tasks that just take a couple minutes of your time done first. Break large projects up into achievable milestones with deadlines that you can realistically meet so you’re not trying to cram everything in at the last minute.
Finally, allot yourself a certain amount of time to accomplish your tasks. While the parameters may need to be adjusted here and there, knowing you have a time limit can help make you more efficient in your work. You’re likely to be more productive and focused if you know you have a particular amount of time to finish a task. For example, if you arrive at school at 7:45 and class starts at 8:15, you have 15 minutes to walk to class and get settled and then another 15 to study vocabulary for your quiz at the end of the week. You’ll avoid spending that extra 15 minutes staring at Facebook and uploading any of the selfies you took last night because you prioritized and then set yourself time limits on vocabulary studying.
Managing your time is vital if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. It takes a lot of time and effort to get a business off the ground, so learning to plan is essential.