How to Find the Time to Finish Your Small Business’ Big To-Do List
It’s pointless in my view to worry about time management and balance. I’m not interested in balance. I am interested in abundance in every area. I don’t want to sacriﬁce one in favor of another.
Successful people think in terms of “all,” whereas others tend to place limits on themselves. They may believe that “If I am rich, I can’t be happy” or “If I thrive in my career, then I won’t have time to be a good father, husband, or spiritual individual.” This way of thinking is usually flawed, and neither time management nor balance can resolve it. Quit thinking in terms of either/or, and start thinking all and everything.
If you start with a commitment to success and then agree to control time, you will create an agenda that accommodates all you want. These five steps can help you get started.
Set specific priorities. Everyone’s priorities are different. But if success is a goal, then I would suggest you spend most of your time doing things that will create success. Success for you could involve a variety of people and things: ﬁnances, family, happiness, spirituality, physical or emotional well-being — or, if you’re like me, all of them. And remember, it can be all of them.
Get everyone around you to agree on priorities. You’ll need buy-in from your family, colleagues, associates, employees. Without it, people with different agendas can pull you in all sorts of directions.
Track how you spend your time. Most people have no clue what they do with their time but still complain that they don’t have enough. If you don’t know how much time you have — or need — how can you expect to manage it?
Logging your time, perhaps in a journal, will help you see all the ways in which you waste it — the little habits and activities that in no way contribute to your success. Look at any action that isn’t adding wood to your ﬁre — think online poker, television, napping, drinking. If you don’t manage your time, you will waste it.
Look for ways to maximize your time. The only way to increase time is to get more done in the time you have. Consider the expression “time is money.” What does it mean to you? How can you treat time to make sure your time is money? Think carefully about what’s the most important thing that you should do with your time.
One way to get more done with your time is to simply find ways to increase your productivity. Another approach: Make it a race, a challenge — make it fun.
If I get 15 phone calls done in 15 minutes and you get 15 calls done in one hour, then I have essentially created 45 minutes for myself. If I hire someone and pay that person $15 an hour to make 15 calls every 15 minutes, then I just duplicated my efforts — and my time becomes money.
Continue to modify your priorities. Things will change through the course of your life. You achieve and set new goals. Different things and people enter your world. The busier you become, the more you have to manage, control, and prioritize.
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