Many of my entrepreneur clients feel like they just can’t find much time to work on their business. So one of the first things we work on together is time mastery. Isn’t it true that managing your time takes on a whole new dimension when you’re a business owner? In a sense, you are your business, so how you spend your time has major financial repercussions. Are you spending it profitably?
We all have the same number of hours at our disposal each week. Why is it then that some business owners seem to be so much more productive than others? Maybe you look at celebrities and CEOs and think that their productivity is due to an awesome team of assistants, nannies, personal chefs, etc. But the reality is that those who get a lot done have a plan for the way they spend their time.
How can you become a master over your time? Here are a few time mastery techniques I share with my clients.
For starters, you must prioritize. You might be thinking, “Everything I do everyday is important.” And you are probably right. But in order to move forward with your business, certain things must without fail be scheduled in every day and every week.
For example, with all of the time you have spent on creating an amazing business and product, it would be foolish to not spend time telling people about it! How much time should you spend? As a rule of thumb, I tell my clients who are earning less than $300,000 and working full-time that they should devote 22 of those precious hours to marketing, answering emails, discovery sessions, etc. This leaves you 18 hours for family time, personal time, and working with clients for the rest of your workweek.
Schedule time to work on your business and treat that time as sacred – just like working with a client. Do not simply add it to a running mental checklist, literally block off time on your calendar. These are appointments you are making with yourself to help achieve your business goals.
Speaking of your business goals, keep them at the forefront. Set monthly goals, make a list of what needs to happen to accomplish them, and get to work. Write down what calls you need to make or emails you need to send. Keep a visual tally of the progress you are making to motivate you to keep going!
Another important aspect of time mastery is getting and staying organized. How much time is wasted looking for files, client information, or notes? Do you what you have to do to get organized. You can use a computer database to keep all your information straight. If you prefer paper and file cabinets keep all of that organized too. Make sure your desk is clean and uncluttered. File papers immediately. Keep client information together and in one place. Minimize the time you spend simply searching for information you already have!
Time mastery includes being conscious of other people’s time. Be on time for meetings, in person or over the phone. Return calls and emails promptly. As you show respect for other people’s time, they will show respect for yours.
You must learn to delegate efficiently. When possible assign tasks to a subcontractor and leave it in their hands. You should consider outsourcing things that cost less hourly than your time is worth. For example, if your time is worth $100 an hour it makes sense to hire a bookkeeper who will charge $20 an hour to do your billing. Freeing up those hours spent on necessary, but time-sapping work is a worthwhile investment.
To get your business where you want it to go, you must take control of your time. It can get away from you quickly, and distractions can creep in, sucking away precious hours of the day. Stay focused, scheduled, and organized and you’ll see predictable profits as a result. If you need help gaining mastery over your time call 1-800-267-3245 to request a free 30-minute consultation.
Predictable Results™ Assignment
One of the problems with managing time is that we don’t have a concrete idea of how we actually spend it. Jotting down your schedule hour-by-hour can be an invaluable, revealing exercise.
Mark down how you specifically use every minute of your workday.
Then make a list of the main categories of “time expenses.” Include business activities such as marketing, answering emails, discovery sessions, bookkeeping, supervising, personal time etc. Each time you spend time in one of those categories, even if it’s only for a few minutes, make a note of the time spent.
At the end of the day tally up those minutes and hours in each category and convert it into a simple pie chart. Study the pie chart. Is your time diversified in the way you thought? Are there small adjustments you can make to get a stronger return of time investment in some valuable categories?
Do this exercise a few times over the next month. Be on the lookout for problem areas where time is being wasted. Make adjustments to the way you’re spending your time so that you can focus on tasks that are most likely to bring you predictable profits.
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Business Coaching, provides leading-edge business building strategies for small business owners & entrepreneurs who wish to take their company to the next level.
Illustra Business Coaching
Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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