Barbara Corcoran is meticulous about how she manages her time. Although she no longer runs Corcoran Group, the real estate empire she sold over 15 years ago, her portfolio of investments and speaking engagements is bigger than ever, thanks to her role on ABC's "Shark Tank. "
Here are some of Corcoran's top tips.
1. Don't spread yourself too thin
Corcoran, who famously wasn't a strong student and who had 20 different jobs before turning 23, insists that having too many opportunities at once can be detrimental to entrepreneurs.
"Too much on your plate gets in the way of building the business you dreamed of having when you first started out," she says. "Lucky for all of us, time is reliably fair and doles out 24 hours a day to everyone, but it's how you make the most of it that really counts."
2. Use to-do lists to organize priorities
Corcoran recommends planning ahead and prioritizing in order to finish tasks.
"I make my to-do list at night, transferring items I couldn't get done that day. I also email items to my assistant as I think of them when I'm traveling or outside the office," she says. "I rate the items in order of importance: A, B, or C. The A's are where the gold is."
Corcoran explains there are about three-to-five top tasks she focuses on per day, which she tries to take care of first thing in the morning. "My to-do list is in charge of my life, so I give it proper respect," she says.
3. Create a weekly schedule
She's also keen on making each week as predictable as possible by scheduling her time proactively, based on what's worked in the past. "I like to organize my week so similar tasks fall on the same day," Corcoran says. "It makes me more productive."
She'll even take a look at what she did the year before. "Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, so I sit down twice a year with last year's calendar in hand," Corcoran adds. "I find repetitive work patterns to organize my tasks more effectively."
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."