Sometimes there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything we want done right? You want to upskill but you can’t because you are always in meetings. Or you just can’t take that weekend off because the business will crash and burn if you do. Stop now! You can do it but you just need to become a pro at managing your time. By finding out where you spend your time, setting goals, putting simple steps in place and introducing a few time management tools in your life you will become a time management pro and will never want to look back. Read on to find out more.
- Write down, on a whiteboard or large piece of paper, all the activities you do in your week, including personal and business, and attach a number of hours you do each activity for.
Sometimes we don’t realise how much time we spend on certain activities whether personal or business. By taking time to think about them then visualising them on a whiteboard or paper it will become clear where you may need to make time cuts. This is simply so you can free your time for more business / personal critical activities.
- Set yourself personal and business goals.
It’s essential to set yourself 6 month, 1 year, 3 year and 5 year goals so you have something to aim for. If you don’t know where you are going, then how are you going to get there? You wouldn’t get in a car before having some idea of where you need to go even if your Satnav (a.k.a. your business mentor) will help you along the way.
- You know where you want to go and how to get there but you need to prioritise. Set yourself steps, whether small or large, to help you get to those goals.
This starts with cutting out all the rubbish. Walking your dog for 14 hours a week but only spending 12 hours on your business? Prioritise! Does your dog really need 14 hours of walking a week? If yes, get someone to help walk the dog whilst you get cracking with your goals because only YOU can get you to where you want to be. Set yourself 3 weekly key actions – make sure they are going to get you to your goals and are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific). That might even be an action to take a weekend away from the business to really clear your head so you don’t burn out. Make sure you block out your calendar where necessary so you don’t double book / put it off e.g. I put 3 hours a week in my diary to work on a secret work project.
- Introduce a time management tool or 2 to help
Trello, Pipedrive, Hootsuite and many others are fantastic tools to help you to be more productive.
www.trello.com: Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organise and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. I’m a huge fan of Trello but my top tip is that it only works if you and your teams update the boards so you know what has and hasn’t been completed.
www.pipedrive.com: Pipedrive is a sales management tool designed to help small sales teams manage intricate or lengthy sales processes successfully. It’s based on activity-based selling where teams focus on the actions that drive deals to close.
www.hootsuite.com: Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows you to manage multiple networks and profiles at once – it even helps you measure your campaign results. I use Hootsuite to schedule similar content through a multiple number of networks to allow for consistency (and it saves me so much time!)
Why don’t you research the tools, choose one that meets your needs and give it a try! Set aside time in your calendar to help you upskill on these tools because it will make you more productive in the long run.
- Get started but be agile.
It’s time to get started. You know where you want to end up and you have stepping stones to help get you there so stop putting it off and get started on this rollercoaster journey. There’s going to be ups and there’s going to be downs but it’s all part of the Entrepreneuring journey – enjoy the ride!