How Did It Get So Late So Soon?

How Did It Get So Late So Soon?

Social Studies | Posted by - November 8, 2013 at 12:00 am

5 Leading Canadian Entrepreneurs Share The Secrets Of How They Manage Their Time

Time is money, so let's keep this short. Entrepreneurs are notoriously busy folks, with attention spans that are laser-like but restless. Self-made men and women often juggle many things at once, which made us think that the art of running a business is also, in part, the art of time management.

YouInc spoke to 5 leading Canadian entrepreneurs in the hope of discovering their time management secrets.


Allison Byrne,

Rocky Mountain Liquor Inc.,

Time Management 101

"There were quite a few years where I didn't take any time off," says Byrne. "But you realize you can't keep going all the time. You have to be able to hand over responsibility. Without my great team, I wouldn't be able to go home and enjoy an evening with my family," she says.

The Schedule  
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. "I check my email and sales before I even get out of bed. These are the scheduled things I do. After that, every very day is different."
9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. "Right now we have 44 liquor stores spread all over Alberta. Some days I visit these stores, other days I come to the office. I always have quite a few meetings lined up."
6:00 p.m. onward "I mark down what do I have to do. As I accomplish something, I cross it off my list. It is a little old school, but I just find writing it down helps me remember."



Nancy Mudford,

Spa Boutique,

Time Management 101

"I'm a big promoter of putting business and personal together in your calendar. For me, if I don't schedule it, it doesn't happen," says Mudford. "I want to address all the different parts of my life that happen daily, weekly or monthly."

The Schedule  
6:00 a.m. "I book time with a personal trainer so there are no excuses. Otherwise, the workaholic comes out in me."
8:00 a.m. "I leave strategic thinking time to the morning. I'm also looking after emails, I'm walking around saying hi to people and catching up with what's happening in the office."
9:30 a.m. The 8-minute huddle - "We gather everyone in the office and warehouse. We look at recognition, good news, results, challenges, opportunities, improvements and then we do our cheer."
9:38 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. "I try to leave some white space in my schedule. Some days it's unavoidable but then I feel like I've been in a race all day."
Noon to 4:30 p.m. "Meetings happen in the afternoon. I'll meet with managers and operations. I'll make time to meet with other entrepreneurs, I'll coach or mentor, or I'll network a little bit. It's nice to connect with people."
5:30 p.m. onward "I like to leave when everyone else is leaving but I bring my computer home. I try not to turn it on too much because I've learned my brain needs a break."



Brady Dahmer,


Time Management 101

"As an entrepreneur, you wear many hats," says Dahmer. "I deal in a project-by-project basis, so deadlines and timetables are the things that drive my daily routine. I don't have a consistent schedule per say. I do think more technically in the morning, but I think more clearly and creatively at night."

The Schedule  
6:30 a.m. "I turn on BNN as it helps me start thinking about business from the start. Plus, I hear what's going on in the business world."
7:00 a.m. "As hard as it is, I need to get my exercise out of the way first thing."
8:00 a.m. "I try to eat at least one healthy meal a day and love to make juice in the morning. I'll also troll blogs and business sites for morning inspiration."
9:15 a.m. to noon "I always schedule first meetings for 9:30 a.m. This gives me time to get organized or miss the rush of traffic. Things get going for the day at 10:00 a.m., with client meetings and presentations."
12:00 p.m. "I try to meet with a client, a mentor or supplier at this time."
2:00 p.m. "This is the perfect time to meet with the designers and make any adjustments for end-of-day deadlines."
4:30 p.m. "I try to make it home for some chill time before the evening's networking, client events or board meetings. I'm usually booked four of the five days."
8:00 p.m. "At night, I email, send meetings invitations and check in with clients overseas. Then I troll through branding and design blogs for project and client inspiration."



Victoria Lennox,

Co-Founder & CEO, Startup Canada, Ottawa

Time Management 101

"Most entrepreneurs are very goal oriented; we like lists and things that we can tick off," says Lennox.

"But time management is nothing if you're not rested. Entrepreneurs can work 20 hours a day. We don't stop thinking about our startups. That's just the nature of entrepreneurship. Taking care of yourself and preventing burnout is important because without your health, your business won't succeed."

The Schedule  
5:00 a.m. "When the world is quiet, I go for a run and really meditate on the day ahead. For a startup founder, it can happen at any time of the day. For me, it just happens to be in the morning."
7:00 a.m. "Right away I clear out my inbox. I won't look at my emails for the rest of the day. Then I move onto basecamp and check in with what the team is doing. I always try to find technology and tools to help make things move smoothly."
8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. "My day is filled with meetings. Personal interaction makes all the difference. I like face-to-face, Skype or Google Hangouts. I can have a 10-minute conversation and achieve much more than I could otherwise."
7:00 p.m. "Family and friends can fall by the wayside when you're absorbed in your startup. But setting that intention in your agenda and investing in those relationships really helps keep your sanity."



Bassil Silim Jones,
Co-Founder, CCO, Creative Director


Time Management 101

"My business is in app development and new technologies, so organized workflow is essential," says Jones. "We use Trello for tasks and check lists. It's not personal time management. It's time management for the 15 to 20 people who are working. We also use Harvest time tracking and we love Google Docs. It's great for a startup and it's free."

The Schedule  
8:30 a.m. "I get the most work done in the morning, when my mind is the most fresh. It's a matter of attention."
9:30 a.m. "It's like a storm of meetings. I hop in with my creative team, hop in with my IOS development team, then business meetings with the other co-founders."
1:00 p.m. "I'll meet with clients and I'll pitch in the afternoons."
6:00 p.m. "When people start leaving the office, it really cools down and I can focus. I like to organize the next day before I leave so I know exactly what I have to do. I can really get in my zone."
2:00 p.m. "This is the perfect time to meet with the designers and make any adjustments for end-of-day deadlines."
8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. "I have some of my best ideas when I'm not working. I'm not going to have a vision at 3 p.m. on a Monday, so time off is important."


Tags: productivity, schedule, timelines, time management, blog

Kristin Kent

Kristin Kent is a multimedia journalist living in Toronto. Her work has appeared in the Toronto Star, Marketing, Profit Magazine and more. For YouInc, she’s tackling issues that matter most to entrepreneurs – and she’s doing it in a way most of us learn best. Think infographics, punchy videos and illustrated features.

Graham Roumieu
Graham Roumieu is the creator of a series of published faux autobiographies of Bigfoot, and some other non Bigfoot related books. His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveller, and many other places.
Faith Chipman
November 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm
Thanks for posting. Insightful. No one mentioned when they prefer to go to sleep. I always wondered if they're 1am, 2 or 3am. Or 10pm like a 'normal' person?
Does each allot a strict time for each meeting or do they 'drag on'....? I find meetings to be some of my biggest time wasters that way. I increasingly am keeping them brief, go in with a checklist and try to keep to the block of time I've allotted.

The biggest tip I got from these all is: Brady Dahmer's. He makes a point of delaying long enough to miss rush hour traffic. I looooove efficiency and I'd rather get a few more things done at home before heading out and miss the traffic. Great tip. Pass my thanks along for that one. It can be used for evening commute too. I'll remember that. Perfect.

Faith Chipman
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