Let’s say that X (when voting) is your time – you know time is the great equalizer; rich or poor, sick or healthy, we all only have 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with it that matters. And as a business owner there are a myriad of different things to grab your attention. So here are Seven Steps to Reorganize and Make the Most of Your Time
- List all the categories of things you spend your time on. Here are some typical categories:
- Income generating activities – make sure you clearly identify what goes in that category and you may split this between servicing existing clients and new business development.
- Admin – generating invoices, meetings with staff, greasing the cogs of your business.
- Personal things including taking care of yourself – so anything from eating your lunch to sorting out insurance to fetching the children.
- Social media, website and marketing activities – I’m talking work related here..
- Email – this can be a time thief so it’s worth timing yourself for a couple of days to see how much time you actually spend on it vs what results it produces.
- Telephone calls – these can fall into other categories but take a look at the kind of calls you are on.
- Travel time – between meetings or clients, to and from work.
- Expanding yourself – so studying or attending a workshop, reading a business book.
- Research – watch what you may hide under the guise of research – but that’s not to say it’s not part of many business owner’s life.
- Roughly identify what proportion of time you spend on each category in any given week or month Pick whichever is easiest for you, be it the last week or month and roughly gauge how much time you spent on each category.
- Tell the truth to yourself. Be brave here and look at the facts, to see how you are spending the time. Identify if you’re not spending enough of your week on income generating activities and yet complaining that you’re not earning enough money. Notice if there are things you could pay someone else to do, at a more affordable rate, and free you up to focus on the things only you can do. The proviso here is the time you now have needs to build the business.
- Do not make yourself wrong. You may not like all of what you see in step 3, but it’s key to remain empowered and not get dis-empowered by negative self-talk. We get the facts in front of us so we can make conscious choices. Begin to rearrange your diary even if it’s a few weeks out where there is more space.
- Work when YOU are most productive. Understand if you are most effective in the mornings or the afternoons and batch your work so that the most critical work is done when your energies are highest. Do the administration work at lower energy times of the day. Remember to give yourself breaks!
- Colour Code your Calendar. Use different colours for different categories of things in your diary; I always make income generating activities green so at a glance if the week isn’t green enough I know I’ve got to take urgent action. Include exercise and personal life in one calendar – you’re one person after all – that way you won’t swamp yourself or book a key meeting early the morning after a function the night before.
- It’s YOUR schedule; Create and Innovate. Part of why we love working for ourselves is so that we can create it any way we’d like, and then we do and complain our schedule is dominating us! But who made the schedule? Nothing is cast in stone; keep looking at what works and what doesn’t and review every few months.
Remember to have fun!
Do share with me what’s worked best for you around time management.
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