Time management secrets
Entrepreneurs continuously attempt to balance time and money. As your business grows the requirements shift. Start ups have more time than money. Business growth tips the scales so you have more money than time. Time management, when applied correctly, reduces your overwhelm and burn out.
As you know, technology offers immediate access. Text messages, instant messages, social media and cell phones keep you connected 24/7. That’s a lot of time to always be available in your business.
Your business lifeline
Your computer and your cell phone may be the lifeline to your business. They’re also a source of constant interruptions and distractions. It’s easy to quickly be pulled in many different directions. So let’s explore some solutions to help you take charge of your agenda.
Here are 4 time management secrets of successful entrepreneurs:
1. Ditch it: Some things ought to be completely removed from your agenda because they’re either inefficient or ineffective. Does anything come to mind for you?
Here’s the difference between efficient and effective. Efficiency is getting things done quickly and with the least amount of effort possible. Effective means taking the right actions which lead to results. For example: you may be the strongest one to chop down a tree. But if you cut down the wrong tree, then you didn’t get the desired result.
Consider where you’re efficient, but your system isn’t highly effective. Many reasons exist to continue doing things as you’ve always done them. Ancient, outdated systems fall into this category. Finally, don’t forget to overlook where duplication exists or what you’ve been tolerating because change is difficult.
2. Delegate it: Entrepreneurs are idealists. We possess a vision of the client experience and our business operations. Trusting another person to join your team is a BIG step that not all entrepreneurs are willing to take.
You can only do some much before your plate overflows. Fiercely holding onto all the tasks creates other problems.
I call it an upper limit problem. As your business continues to grow, you eventually hit your glass ceiling. At that point, you either get help or remain solo.
Here are some ideas of what to delegate. Find someone who loves to do the things you hate. Hint: start with the activities which bore you and you wish would go away. Any tasks where you’re skill level is low or non-existent are great things to delegate. Once you get these things off your list, you’ll wonder why you held onto them for so long.
3. Defer it: Before you can set priorities, figure out what you aim to achieve. When I work closely with entrepreneurs, we sketch out the details of their ideal business. This is like putting the exact coordinates of your destination into your GPS. Then, you fill in the gaps with milestones along the way.
Once you determine your destination, it’s possible to decide which activities top the list and what gets postponed. Review all your activities and services. Volunteer activities require time. Are you open to deciding which to continue and which to postpone for now? The things which are effective, efficient and you enjoy doing ought to top the list.
4. Do it: You deserve to lighten your load. Get the activities which are below your paygrade off of your plate. The important activities and responsibilities, which only you can do, remain on your agenda. These activities deeply serve your clients, lead to business growth and make you money.
Eliminate the grind
Imagine spending the majority of your day doing those things you enjoy most. A strengths-based business highlights your gifts and talents. The grind is optional. You’ll experience renewed energy once you ditch, delegate or defer the tasks you don’t enjoy.
It’s a work in progress. Continue to remove the unenjoyable tasks from your plate. As your business grows, adjust your roles and emphasize your strengths. As your business grows, so do you. Realize this is a fluid, adaptable process.
By the way, if you’re one of those people who says “yes” to everything, then consider an operations manager or admin who manages your calendar. Time management works with all personality styles. Sometimes the way to optimize your time is to have someone else managing the details for you.
Time management is not one size fits all. What will free up your time? Which things do you plan to clear off your plate first?
Don’t procrastinate or over-think this one. Build your team. Then, strategically delegate tasks and activities.
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