One thing that will ensure your business’ failure is wasted time. (Don’t confuse wasted time with the time you should take to renew your physical or mental health; that’s very important).
You know what you’re doing to waste time – yes, I’m talking to you! Are you sitting there watching reruns of Star Trek (guilty), or a morning talk show, or a weekly sitcom? Are you playing games with your friends online or on your smart phone – or being nosey on Facebook for HOURS at a time?
If you think your wasted time is getting out of hand and causing a downturn in your business growth (and you need to be honest with yourself about this – only you know the truth), then it’s time to rethink how you manage your time.
Good Time Management Skills Get You On The Right Path
Good time management skills can set you on the right track for success. Without good time management your business can stall and all of your business goals could stall or fail. With that being said, here are some good time management tips to add to your daily routine if you’re ready to turn up the heat on your progress.
Put some pressure on yourself to get in gear! Decide how much time you’re going to spend on planning, reviews, and actions. You may want to monitor yourself for awhile by recording how much time you spend on the three categories of your day during your working hours.
A tool I use to monitor my time is my Freshbooks app. It has a timer within it that I can start, pause, and stop so that I can see how much time I’ve spent on a task. (It such a good time saver that I can just bill my clients right from it. Check out Freshbooks for free with this link>>)
At the end of the week, you should know where – in what aspect of your business- you’ve been wasting the most amount of time. Don’t fudge the numbers just so you can get away with more. You have to be tough on yourself to make progress. Remember, only you know what you’ve done – and lying only hurts yourself.
Tricks like blocking email and Facebook alerts, turning off your phone and hanging a “do not disturb” sign on your office door can work wonders. Many entrepreneurs use programs such as Facebook for business reasons, but when you’re on the site, don’t let yourself be distracted by anything other than business.
Set a time to begin work – and stick to it. After you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (5 minutes or so) to surf the ‘net and review your email.
Then, switch to work and don’t look back until you’re finished. Going back and forth between email, Facebook and work muddles your mind and makes it more difficult to focus.
End your work at a set time. We all have times when our backs are against the wall and we have to spend more time meeting deadlines. But on an ordinary day, set a time to stop work and renew your physical and mental health.
If you have to work longer than the stop time, take frequent breaks, get up and walk around and do something to get your mind off work. You can’t be chained to your business 24/7 – even if you think you want to be – it’s just not beneficial for your success.
Distinguish busy work from working toward goals. Busy work can be a waste of time. You may be procrastinating because you’re not ready to meet the goal or you’re scared of failure if you do complete it. The best way to beat procrastination is to take action.
Don’t coddle yourself by wasting precious time. Set some hard and fast rules of time management and stick to it. Think of yourself as an employee. Would you tolerate your paid worker surfing the ‘net or playing a game on his or her phone?
Of course not – so don’t allow yourself to do it, either!