How You Can Make the Most Out of Your Time
Are you turning down business opportunities due to lack of time? Do you constantly have too many tasks without enough time to finish them? Learning these time management tips can help you utilize your time, grow your business and still have quality time for your personal life also. Having a successful business doesn't have to mean sacrificing family time.
Copyright (c) 2009 Alice Chan
One of the top complaints or obstacles that entrepreneurs have is "I don't have enough time."
Think about that for a moment---
Does that describe you? Do you have too much on your plate and not enough time?
Do you often find yourself dreaming, "If only I had more time?"
Well, you've probably heard the saying that we all have the same amount of time per day. It's true isn't it? We all have the same 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. How is it that some people seem to get so much done and others are struggling just to keep up?
Thinking that you can have MORE time is a major part of the problem.
There's nowhere to purchase MORE time. You have all the time that's available to you until your time is up - it's really about how you can more effectively choose where to invest your time.
The reality is that we all have responsibilities. These responsibilities can eat up a lot of your time if you don't find a way to manage it or delegate it.
If you're like me, you're an entrepreneur, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a party planner, a housekeeper, and the list goes on. Each of those roles comes with it a laundry list of THINGS TO DO.
What we need to remember as small business owners/entrepreneurs is that we need to focus our time during our "working hours" (whatever you designate those to be) to only doing those activities that either get you more clients (the MARKETING) or make you money (the client/STAGING work). Everything else can wait until after 5:00 or 6:00 pm.
Here are five ways to immediately upgrade your use of time:
1. Identify the time wasters
When you own a home based business, the line between your professional and personal life is blurred. To be successful, we need to put boundaries between the two even if you only walk five steps across the hall from your bedroom to your office.
Since you're not leaving your home to go to a separate place of work, the temptations of home responsibilities can pull at you throughout the day and many times keep you from getting things done.
Here are just a few examples: dishes, walking the dog, laundry, food shopping, exercising, cooking dinner. Sound familiar? We've all been there. What you think will only take a few minutes end up eating hours of your time that you can't get back.
2. Eliminate these time wasters
Now that you've identified what these time wasters are, make a commitment to not doing these activities during business hours. Consider this. If you worked for a corporation, would you be doing dishes or laundry during business hours? NO.
The only time you have for personal errands would be during your lunch hour, so if you absolutely have to do something, schedule it during your lunch break. Remember, you have to treat your business like a business, otherwise you'll get paid a hobby's salary, and I don't know too many people who get paid well for doing their hobbies.
3. Where are you overcommitted? What can you let go of? Say no to? Delegate? Delay?
When you consciously choose to stop doing something you make room in your life to put something else in its place. Create your own "Stop Doing List".
This is an extremely important step to upgrading your use of time. We need to do this in both our personal and our professional lives. This took me a long time to grasp.
It wasn't until recently that I finally hired a housecleaner to clean my house. What would take me an entire day and then some, takes two people about three hours to accomplish,
AND they do all the things I don't want to do or don't really have time to do like wiping down the baseboards regularly, cleaning the interior doors, cleaning the fireplace and cleaning the blinds. Having this service frees up my time so I can do other things, like hang out with my daughter.
Consider outsourcing housecleaning, gardening, grocery shopping (I've tried Safeway.com and it's pretty cool - a few minutes on my computer and the groceries are delivered - saves at least an hour of my time, not to mention gas), errands (there are personal assistants available for a very low cost - especially when you consider how much your time is worth).
4. Strategically choose which activities, projects, "things" you do that have the highest value and do those things first.
Most people waste 70-80% of their working day on low level, low value, and low return activities. If you want to earn more, enjoy more, and grow more, then you need to immediately start making better choices about where to invest your time.
Hiring an assistant to do the administrative tasks that take up a lot of your time would allow you to do more of the higher level work that brings in more revenue.
Outsourcing the bookkeeping would definitely free up your time and allow you to do what you do best, while allowing someone who actually likes numbers and knows how to manage them, do what they do best.
Hiring movers and Staging Assistants would allow you to complete projects quicker, take on more projects, keep the warehouse tidier and keep projects rolling and allow you to simultaneously provide a consultation to another client.
Don't get stuck in the trap of having to do everything yourself or you'll never free up the time to work ON your business. Take a look at all the tasks on your to-do list and ask yourself, "Does this really need to be done?" and then, "If it has to be done, can it be done by somebody else?"
If letting go of these tasks is scary to you (and sometimes it is, especially if you've always done it and have your own particular way of doing it) then try baby steps.
Identify a small task that you want to delegate (ex: answering calls).
Document the correct way to perform this task, step-by-step, create the document and make it a part of your staging operations manual.
Have someone follow your instructions and revise your document until you and your tester are comfortable with the newly documented system.
5. Track your use of time and see where you can make better choices in the future.
It's too easy to fool yourself into thinking you're doing all you can with your time. It's human nature to rationalize away and see what we want to see.
But the truth is you can get so much more out of your time than you are. The key is to make if VISUALLY clear exactly where your time is going so that you can self-correct in real time.
By doing this over time you discipline yourself to make better time choices and accomplish more.
Start today to take 100% responsibility for how you invest your hours and minutes. No more excuses.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice T. Chan is the Staging Designers' Success Coach and founder of SuccessfulStagingBiz.com. Our tools/programs help Staging Designers catapult their success by turning an expensive hobby into a profitable expression of their talent. Alice publishes the bi-weekly ezine "Set the Stage for Your Success". To skyrocket your Staging Design business and gain credibility in record time, get FREE tips now at http://www.SuccessfulStagingBiz.com .