We are all given the same amount of hours in a day, so making the most of that time really matters. If you want to preserve your relationships, spend more time with your kids, take more vacations and generally enjoy being a business owner, but you find yourself stuck working way more than you’d planned, it’s time for a change.
First we have to start with a disclaimer: If you are working 80 hours a week, it’s time to hire staff, train great managers, put systems into place and delegate. We can help you address that with our Strategic Business Owner program. That’s not about time management – it’s about business structure.
However, if you have those support systems in place, but you’re struggling with your to-do list, finding yourself less to be less productive than you’d planned or watching those hours slip through your fingers like sand at the beach, we have a few tips that can help:
Front Load Your Day: Whether you start your work day at 6am or 9am, start your day with your hardest and most crucial tasks. The most difficult tasks require the most energy and focus, so you’ll do them faster and more efficiently at the beginning of the day. Also, once you have those tasks complete, the sense of relief will power you through and keep you motivated as the day wears on.
Turn off Your Email: We know it feels impossible, but even committing to only checking your email once per hour means you avoid interruptions for at least 45 minutes at a time. Back in the day, if you needed time to focus, you would have closed your office door. This is basically the same idea. People have come to expect nearly-immediate communication, but an hour isn’t that long to wait and it can make a big impact on your day.
Schedule Meetings with Yourself: Whether you need a half day to review your annual goals or you need an hour to take a walk and brainstorm, schedule those meetings with yourself. Having that time booked – and committing to taking those meetings with yourself – can help keep you on track to meet your goals. Here’s a tip: when you are planning out goals, whether they are 90-day goals or annual ones, schedule monthly meetings with yourself to review, evaluate and adjust your approach to exceeding those goals. Time moves quickly, but if we preplan to stop and reflect, that evaluation is more likely to happen.
Organize: There is a delicate balance when it comes to organization, but having a system that works for you is important. For some people, that means using your calendar or a project tracking software to help manage meetings, recurring tasks and projects and then categorizing those items by urgency and importance. For others, it means having immediate, short-term and long-term goals that are broken down into individual to-do lists. However you organize, making sure it happens can save you time, keep you on track and make you more accountable for your successes and challenges.
If you’re struggling to manage your time, your local Growth Coach can help you by pairing our Growth Coach services with our Smart Time Management training. Find your coach at https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.