More and more young entrepreneurs turn towards startups nowadays, as it is a resourceful way to create your own business. However, it is not an endeavor without its challenges. In fact, self-made stories of success are also tales of sacrifice and wisdom. As far as the latter is concerned, there’s nothing more important than prioritization.

How to Prioritize Efficiently
Prioritizing goals can be difficult when you are just starting out. When you’ve just finished laying the foundation for your business, you might feel overwhelmed by the tasks that emerge daily. Nevertheless, the right approach can work wonders and help your company flourish faster than you’d think. Here are five tips that will help you maximize your efficiency in the process.

Create a Goal Setting Worksheet
The classic approach to prioritizing goals successfully when you have your own startup consists of making lists. If you’ve ever had multiple goals to focus on at once, then you might already be familiar with it. However, the simple pen on paper method is not always successful, as it doesn’t account for some important aspects. Here is where goal setting worksheets come in.

These rely on the SMART method of assessing responsibilities. The initials stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, and each one focuses on a different facet of a goal. Thus, with the right goal setting worksheet template, you will be able to rank everything you need to do by evaluating relevant features only.

Split the Workload into Themes
Different people have different approaches to problem-solving, and that’s a given. If you find that you can focus better on your responsibilities when you alternate between tasks rather than just focusing on one thing at a time, then the theme-based approach is for you. Divide your workload according to common denominators pertaining to aspects of the business.

This is tried and tested by some of the most successful businessmen and women in the world. According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in an interview for Forbes Magazine, he assigns one theme for each day, which helps him optimize his process to achieve the utmost level of efficiency. If that sounds like something that would benefit you as well, then give it a try.

For example, on Monday you can deal with financial tasks. Then, reserve Tuesday for purely administrative matters. Wednesday is for conference calls and meetings with suppliers, and so on. It is a simple method that can be very effective when you want to stay organized and not cause any confusion or mix-ups among your employees.

Start with the Difficult Things
Startup owners are faced with a lot of challenges during the evolution of their business, and you might have noticed that already. When this happens, humans tend to respond by avoiding difficult duties and procrastinating the day away. To combat this counterproductive behavior, you will have to face your fears and get down to the nitty-gritty.

As Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein explains, it’s best to start with the milestone you dread the most once you set foot into your office for the day. In this way, you will get what agitates you out of the way, and you will be able to focus on more pleasant things. It is a great the solution against work-related anxiety that will definitely help you thrive.

After dealing with something difficult head-on first thing in the morning, your other obligations will seem like a walk in the park. And if you are confronted with a complicated issue out of the blue, approach it right as it appears. Delaying it reduces your will to power through and decreases productivity levels in the long run as well.

Put Together a Schedule
Time management is essential when you run your own business. You will have to do plenty of things in just one short work day, which is why you need to allow fixed time frames for each activity. In this respect, it’s impossible to go wrong with a good, old-fashioned schedule that also accounts for one or two unplanned events at a time.
Do you have an important conference call coming up? Schedule it at a convenient time and assign at least 30 minutes for it. Do you have to drive to a warehouse, sign an important contract, or pick someone up from the airport? Regardless of what your obligations are for the day, make sure to organize them by duration and relevance in the table.

Personal Time Is Mandatory
Finally, don’t forget to schedule in personal time as well. This might sound like a sterile way to go about life but seeing it as a responsibility at first helps you not skip it in order to get another job done. If you don’t take time to relax and connect with others, you will end up exhausted and burned out, which lowers your productivity and overall chances of success.

New business owners tend to let themselves be engulfed by daily tasks and other company-related endeavors. While being driven to complete your duties and accomplish your goals is certainly a good thing, it can become detrimental when it starts affecting your personal relationships. Thus, always make time for your loved ones and don’t shut them out.

The Bottom Line
Prioritizing goals and responsibilities when you’re trying to make your startup successful can be difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to thrive, and they all have to do with careful planning and assessment. By organizing your objectives and tasks into themes and depending on difficulty, you can lend your undivided attention to every single aspect that needs it.

If you prefer to divide your workload into time frames, a schedule is a perfect approach. Adding a temporal aspect to your obligations will help you stay sharp and on the right track every day. It is also a great way to include personal time into your agenda, as no amount of money is worth damaging your relationships with friends and family.