We know, despite what you wish for, your day doesn’t have more than 24h but you can try and make the best of it. We are 3 entrepreneurs with very busy days, and even though we are very imperfect we want to share with you what works for us, time management-wise.

1. Sense of Commitment

This is not actually a tip on time management but we think it is very important that you love what you’re doing. 

Social projects need lots of volunteer time and since you’re giving your free time to the project you need to do it for the right reasons. In the end, you need to have the feeling of a “job well done”.

SPEAK’s mission is very dear to the 3 of us so we don’t consider it to be time-consuming. Even if we start a meeting with low energy we finish motivated to do more for the community. 

Also the success stories fill the energy tank. 😉 

2. Divide and Conquer 

We think it’s very important to build a team you trust in. What’s also important is to keep in mind that communication is key. So be sure to have frequent meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Based on the tasks that you have, it’s essential to assign them to each team member with concrete deadlines. Moreover, you should be aware of your team members’ skills. If the team members already have certain skills it will take them less time to perform certain tasks. 

Lastly, always ask if people are comfortable with the assigned tasks and help them see the bigger picture. Small completed tasks are one more step towards the success of your project. 

In our team, we are still working on “better done than perfect”.

3. Interactive Google Spreadsheets

We love Google Spreadsheets. For us, it’s a very useful tool and we can’t possibly imagine how to organize our days without them. Even if at the beginning we didn’t know much about spreadsheets and how to properly use them, with Clara’s help we all got addicted to managing everything through little cells 🙂 

We use them to:

  1. Organize our meetings. We decide which topics to talk about, the amount of time that each topic will take, and comments before and during the meeting. That way, we have the meeting notes always available for everyone to check later while completing new tasks. 
  2. Tasks’ assignment. We define the responsible team member for each task, the importance of the task, deadlines, and status. Remember to keep updating your spreadsheet for everyone to see!
  3. All our plans (Action Plan, Communication Plan, Events Plan) – Because we all have different tasks and availability, it is important that the team members in charge of the events and marketing also have their own progress tracked. If you notice something is not being updated there’s a chance they might need your help. 

Google Spreadsheets is always a work in progress. We adapt and create new ones depending on what best fits our team’s needs.

Life just makes more sense when our tasks turn green! 

4. Real Goals

We know that it’s easy to want to do everything and feel like it all seems urgent. Once you meet with your team and write down every goal, work on prioritizing them. 

It happened to us before not to define realistic or measurable goals and then get frustrated and overwhelmed with the size of our to-do list.

So remember to have: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. Be SMART 🙂

5. Time for team building 

We can’t stress enough how important this is for time management. In our meeting, the first topic is ALWAYS for team building. It doesn’t need to be a specific activity, you can just talk about a common topic. Believe us, it makes a difference. People feel more relaxed and the rest of the meeting will go smoothly since the team will feel more motivated. 

Although you may feel like you could be using that time to be working, scheduling specific moments for team building is essential for project growth. Most importantly, people will be with you in the long run. Through team-building, you will generate greater empathy, engagement, and your team members will eventually be more available for the project.

Of course, it’s ideal that your team is also your group of friends but that is not mandatory. More importantly, don’t forget to establish boundaries between your personal and professional life – your project will only benefit from that.

For sure you will not have time for everything and that’s OK. Accept and learn from the setbacks. You shouldn’t look for perfection, look for the best possible time management that works for you and your team.

Interested in this time of content? Check out our blog on How to Stay Motivated as a Social Entrepreneur!

Author: Clara Aidos

Clara is a graduate in radiology working in Bank of Portugal contact centre. She is Portuguese and has lived in 3 different places in Portugal and did Erasmus in the Czech Republic. She fell in love with multiculturalism. The past 5 years of her life have been dedicated to it.

Author: Daniela Barreto

The youngest founder of SPEAK Castelo Branco. Daniela found SPEAK through a job application, little did she know that it was the first step for her to make friends and move to Castelo Branco. Passionate about Entrepreneurship and Marketing, you can tell that she is a very creative person…and also a little bit crazy. As a proof, her favourite hobby is to invent bizarre solutions for society problems. Told you!

Author: Filipa Nunes

Filipa took a Law degree but has always been a very creative person and decided to go for a job in the marketing area (even though she is finishing her Master in financial markets). In her spare time you can find her drinking good coffee – lots of it!

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