>>>Manage your time; manage your business
It’s no secret that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. How is it that some people can achieve goal after goal in their business while they juggle family and active social lives, whilst others feel like they’re working All. The. Time, yet still feel like they’ve achieved nothing at the end of each day?
To me, as a holistic business coach, the answer is simple and comes down to basics. The first group manage their time effectively and efficiently whilst the second just don’t have a good grasp on their time.
I work with female soloprenuers to grow and scale their businesses
by working in their zone of genius. The key to this is getting the absolute most out of each day by focusing on the tasks that drive their business forward. One of the barriers I see time and time again with women who are struggling to achieve their business goals is poor management of their time.
There are a number of clear time wasters in business:
§ Paralysis by analysis - we spend far too much time thinking,
researching, debating and generally just fluffing about something.
§ Procrastination - we are phaffing around on the wrong
thing, or settle in for a Netflix binge, or heaven forbid, clean the house rather than tackle something that’s stagnating in our business.
§ Distraction - we fall into endless scrolling on social media or where we do mindless tasks like filing.
§ Wallowing in overwhelm - we fret about the endless to do list. As an aside, my 1 page biz planner is a fantastic way to cut through the overwhelm and gain focus.
§ Unwieldy or absent processes or systems - we waste a ton of time doing things repeatedly without systemising them or
automating them to get them completed efficiently and
The problem with all of the above is they suck up so much precious time that you could be using to not just manage your business, but grow and scale it. The good news, though, is that it’s actually quite easy (in theory and in practice) to combat this. Managing your time will give you control over the tasks you have to complete to drive your business forward.
At heart, I’m a project manager. It’s my professional background, and I believe the principles in project management are critical to achieving our goals, personally and professionally. Time management is an essential component of this.
You see, running a business could be approached as a project and if you manage your time well, your business management will be all the more successful. The problem comes when as business owners, we could have never-ending and ever-repeating to-do lists.
There’s simply always more to be done. The goal is to be more productive and effective to make the absolute most out of our time.
Here’s some of my favourite time management strategies:
We’ve all heard the quote ‘what gets measured gets done.’ I’m a huge advocate of this. Before you can use your time more effectively in the future, you need to know what you’re comparing it to.
A time tracker is a fabulous way to do that. The premise is keeping a log of how you are spending your day. There are lots of apps around (some of my clients use Toggl) but good old pen and paper works just as effectively.
Time tracking is a great way to get a good, clear understanding of how you’re spending your time. Not only will you likely be horrified (5hours on Facebook last week?) but it will help you make better
projections of your time requirements in the future. I’ve found that many people either grossly under or over-estimate the length of time tasks will take. Tracking will take away that variable and make scheduling much more realistic.
Goal setting is one of my favourite time management strategies
because, by definition, a goal has a start and an end date. This means that within the next 30, 60 or 90 days (please click here for my goal setting checklist) you have a clear time frame in which to
complete a series of tasks that will move your business. Goal setting is a fabulous way to focus and to drive your business further.
Schedule like a project manager:
Few of us have the time to tackle a big project to the exclusion of everything else in the business. Project management focuses on an end goal and the steps to achieve that goal. This means breaking an end result down into smaller tasks, prioritising them and scheduling them. For example, if you have a new website as a project, you can break that down into tasks that you can complete over a series of time.
Delegate and outsource:
Your time tracking exercise (above) will show you how you have been spending your time. Is there activities on your list that must only be completed by you? Likewise, are you spending hours completing tasks that have no impact on either your business’ bottom line, or are actively sucking up the time you could be dedicated to growing your business?
Systemise and automate:
As the Queen of Foodiness, I’ve worked with many chefs over the years and have watched the way they set up their workspace for optimal efficiency. There is so much power to be had from good, streamlined systems in business - power and time! Systems remove chaos and overwhelm and create logical, smooth processes. Did your time tracking exercise highlight where you are doubling up on processes?
Run your day:
Want to know the simplest way to take control of your day? Spend some time either the day before or in the morning plotting out your day. Know your priorities from your goals (above) and put them in your calendar as appointments. I love the pomodoro technique of using a kitchen timer to work in 25 minute sprints, but the key with these is to have a plan of your sprints in advance.
I know firsthand the feeling of burnout that comes with absorbing far too much time and energy in our business without having the results to show for it. When overwhelm strikes me I go back to basics - my plan and basic time management to achieve my goals.
Do you know how many hours you need in your business to drive it forward? Do you have a clear plan to free up those hours?
Sometimes, some accountability, tips and tricks from a fabulous holistic business coach (ie me!) is all it takes to tweak your daily
habits and achieve those big goals. Give me a call if you’d like some support - I’d love to work with you!
To your success….