Category: Time Management



work-deskTime is our most precious resource and honestly, you cannot afford to waste it. You aren’t going to get any more time during the course of each day, so it’s up to you to maximize what you have and manage yourself well around it.

I’m sure there are a few things that you can think of right now that are wasting your time every day that you would love to be rid of. Things that have been keeping you from getting it done. I’m going to share five ways that entrepreneurs waste time and give you solutions for moving beyond them.

What are your day to day experiences? Every day there are so many things going on that if you’re not careful, your day will have control of you and you won’t have a say in how anything goes. On a daily basis people are caught up in the everyday to-dos of business and family, multiple devices, overloaded inboxes, tools and tasks, friends, followers, fans and other connections. I’m sure you can you relate to at least a couple of things in that list and that you’ve been in the midst of what I just described.

Of course this is what you want to shift away from, so let me dive into the 5 ways that I see entrepreneurs wasting time.

  1. Doing irrelevant things-Focusing on the mail, some social media, the accounting, the marketing, etc., wastes time and takes you away from the important things. Focus on the revenue generating things and delegate the things that don’t require your specific expertise.
  2. Doing the right things inefficiently. Efficiency is doing things the right way and effectiveness is doing the right things. So here the problem is being effective, but not efficient. Once you know what to do, approach things in a way that lets you be productive. A good example is having a process for repetitive tasks instead of reinventing the wheel each time.
  3. Spending time-If you don’t know exactly where your focus should be, then chances are you’re focusing on the wrong things daily. You’re spending time versus investing it. Identify your priorities so you know what’s important to have your tasks be an investment of your time.
  4. No systems-Lack of systems will not only leave gaps, but will have things falling through the cracks. Systems are composed of tools, processes and people, they don’t have to be complicated. Determine what systems you need and then create each component for each system and implement it.
  5. Technology-Email and social media are two of the biggest time wasters so you need rules for both. Use inbox tools to manage email and set designated times to check it. Have a plan for social media and use it. Delegate a portion of it to make it easier to make your time on social media focused, deliberate and intentional.

Start with one time waster, apply the solution, and then move to another. Keep moving until you eliminate your time wasters.

 

 


WomanSittingHoldingClockAs a Productivity Coach I’ve seen many things over the years and there are mistakes that I’ve seen people making all the while.In this post I’m going to share three that are quite common. First and foremost, you’re checking your email first thing in the morning. STOP IT! Now I know this is a hard one for some of you because you live in your inbox. Close your email when you’re not checking and replying to it. Plain and simple, email is a distraction and a major time suck!

Instead of diving head first into your inbox at the beginning of your work day, is to check your email 1½ -2 hours after you start your day. Use the first 1.5 to 2 hours of your day to focus on your top priority for the day. By the end of that period of time, you’ll either be done with that task, or you’ll have a good dent in it. This makes the first couple of hours of your day more productive instead of you fishing around in your inbox and having a priority sit on hold.

Working against your grain is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. It zaps your level of productivity. What works is to learn your personal energy cycles and use them to make your day productive. If you don’t know what time of day is best for you, start taking notice to see when your physical and mental energy is highest. You might find that you’re not at your best until almost noon and that you can work past dinner time before you start to fade. Make the shift in your day and use that time for the things that require you to be at your best. Use the other time in your day for things that don’t require so much of you like returning phone calls.

The third mistake is not spending enough time on top priorities. You can be busy all day and still not get the important things done. You’ve got to know what your priorities are before you get in motion. Look at the projects and goals on your agenda and determine their priority before anything related to them hits your daily list or calendar. If you know your priorities prior to adding them to your activities, you know what your focus should be on and therefore, you can focus your time on your priorities so that the important things get done.

Those are just three of the mistakes that you could be making when it comes to productivity. Take action to shift from what you’re currently doing and you’ll see a difference.

 


WastingTime-ClocksWasteCan-SmallWe live in such an excessive society and people waste so much, even food. We also waste our time.  The difference is that time is something we don’t have in excess.  We each get the same amount of time each day and once it’s spent, it’s gone for good.

Do you honestly know where your time is going? How much of your time are you wasting?  On average, individuals spend any where from 1.5 to 2 hours of each work day searching for things-files, documents on their computers, contact information, and the list goes on.  Not to mention the other ways that time gets wasted.  Multiply that wasted time by 5 work days and that’s 7.5 to 10 hours every week when nothing is getting done.  With typically 20 work days in each month, that’s 150 to 200 hours of wasted time every month for the average individual, which means that there are a lot of “to-dos” that aren’t getting done because of some big-time time wasters.

So, how do you know you’re wasting significant time?  Begin by looking for indicators:

  • Messy desk, cluttered work space, things not filed
  • Not being able to find things
  • Missing, being late for or often rescheduling appointments
  • Arriving to meetings unprepared
  • Tired and/or unable to concentrate

Once you’ve identified the indicators, work on the solutions:

  • Organize your entire work space
  • Determine what fits your personality and establish a time management system that fits that personality
  • Plan your work and prioritize your list
  • Focus on important and not urgent things (this comes into play once you establish good habits)
  • Eliminate procrastination
  • Delegate the things that you can
  • Learn your personal energy cycles and use them
  • Control interruptions effectively

When you begin working on the solutions, know that although you may be implementing things immediately, it takes at least 21 days to develop a new habit.  Letting go of your big-time time wasters is a process, it can happen quickly, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Allow yourself the time and the room to do so, and when you revert to old habits, simply acknowledge what you’re doing and get back on track.  It’s also a good idea to enroll someone in what you’re doing and ask for support as part of your system for getting a handle on increasing your productivity. Remember, how you give your time to is what makes the difference and impacts your bottom line.

 


SpiralClock-Smaller2We are all overcome with information and so many of us are wearing a number of different hats-juggling business and our personal lives. Executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, office workers and homemakers alike are all feeling the pressure that the high speed pace of today’s culture brings. Here are some things to consider:

  • The average U.S. professional spends at least 10 hours each week just managing email. 25% of the average work week; some say it’s more
  • The average person gets interrupted once every 8 minutes; each interruption takes about 5 minutes totaling 4 hours, which equals half of the work day
  • 20% of the average work day is spent on things considered to be important or crucial while 80% of the work day is spent on things considered to be of little or no value
  • A person who works with a cluttered desk spends at least 1½-2 hours each day looking for things-that’s 7½-10 hours each work week
  • Only 5% of business and professional people implement a to-do list on a daily basis

Given the information overload and these statistics, there has never been a time when there has been a greater need for our personal and business lives to be organized. With those same things in mind, we see that there is also a need for solutions that help us get things done. Time is our most precious resource; it cannot be saved, it has to be used and once it’s gone, we can’t get it back. We have to use the right tools and strategies to manage our time for ultimate productivity.

Your time can go towards any number of activities and most times people give their time over to tasks that don’t have anything to do with their goals. People typically give time over to urgent things like solving problems and crises or time wasters, busy work and non-productive tasks. When your time is spent on preventing the problems, crises, dealing with interruptions and handling pressing tasks at the last minute although you’ve had significant time to complete them, you’re operating in a way that doesn’t contribute to your overall success because you’re not getting to the important things on a timely basis or at all. If that’s what’s happening with you, think about the impact that it’s having on your business. What’s happening as a result of the way that you are relating to time? Take a moment and seriously think about that and answer the question.

Very few people are focused on tasks that come about as a result of planning and things that prevent crises and problems, but this is where productive, successful people focus their time. This is why only roughly 8% of people reach their goals every year. Do you know where your time is going? If not, stop and think about what things would be like if you could operate this way. What would your days and your life look like? More importantly, how do you get to the point of operating that way? By looking at everything you have on your plate and the things you would like to place on your plate. There is an exercise that Stephen Covey proposed that does work when it comes to seeing where your time is going and getting to the important things.

  • Get a pack of index cards. On each card, write one thing that you feel you should do, want to do, hope to do, plan to do or dream of doing. Be sure you include everything no matter how big or small it is. Keep going until you run out of things.
  • Next, separate the cards into two piles. The first being things that have to be done right now and the other being things that don’t have to be done right now. These are your urgent and non urgent items.
  • Go through both piles and separate each one into important and not important stacks so that you end up with four stacks. (Urgent, not urgent, important and not important)
  • Take the two not important stacks and put them in a safe place. You are now left with what’s important.
  • Make a commitment to eliminate all of the activities that didn’t make it to your important piles. After you work on your important and urgent tasks, work on things that are important but not urgent. No matter how pressing something might seem to be, don’t do it unless it’s important.

With only 20% of the work day being spent on things that are considered to be important or crucial, and 80% of the work day being spent on things that are considered to be of little or no value, the script has to be flipped so that the work day is spent on the things that are important; the things that matter most. If you’re wasting your time, flip the script to make the transition that will get you into the 8% of people who reach their goals by getting things done.

 


AbstractClockEverything you are and that you will become is determined by the way you think, your perception of time and how you use it, so says Brian Tracy, and I concur.  So many people squander time without even giving it a second thought, paying it no attention whatsoever.  But, of course, people say that they never have enough time.  Newsflash: You aren’t going to get any more time!  Truth be told, there is always enough time, it’s your perception of it and how you use it that makes the difference when it comes to getting things done.

When it comes to time management, there is no “one size fits all” or boxed solution.  The key to your productivity is inside of you. When you look within for solutions and become aware of the laws that govern time, it helps you make a massive shift in how you relate to time and you get the results that you’re looking for when it comes to productivity.

Stop and think about how you view time.  How do you see it? Do you have your own perception of it, or is your perception a reflection of what you learned as a child?  Something that you accepted at face value instead of questioning what you were taught?  If you’re like most people, you’ve accepted what you’ve been taught and never questioned anything about time.  If you find yourself challenged when it comes to productivity, it might be time for you to take a look at this whole time thing and see what’s really there.

As you look at how you view time, consider that there are laws that govern time.  There are a number of such laws, but I’m going to share three primary ones with you here. If you’ve been around for a while here on my blog or if you’ve been a client, you’ve probably heard me say that you must have clarity.  Without clarity, there is no vision and without vision you can’t get where you expect to get.  The only thing you can expect is to spin your wheels.  The clearer you are about your goals, the more efficient and effective you can be in achieving them and you’ll get there much faster than someone who doesn’t have that clarity.

The law of priorities says that your ability to set priorities when it comes to your time determines the quality of your life.  When you’re clear about your priorities you never have to guess at what comes next or about what goes onto your agenda, because you already know whether something fits or not.  If you look at your agenda right now, can you say that the items you see are all priority items?  Now, they don’t all have to be top priority, but what you see should be one of your priorities.

Finally, there’s the law of planning.  Over the years I’ve heard people say that planning is a waste of time, and I’m here to tell you that it’s simply not true.  Planning is an investment of your time and actually saves you time when it comes to execution.  Every minute that you invest in your plan gives you ten on the other end when it comes to execution.  In addition to saving yourself that time, you also get the return on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capital that you invest.  Not to mention the fact that with planning you get to contemplate the obstacles that may come up and decipher solutions for managing them should they arise.

These are just three of the laws that govern time, but they should get you off to a good start as you begin to look at how your view time.  If you take that closer look and see that your perception of time is one that was handed down to you, take a deeper look to see what’s truly there when it comes to time.  Question what you’ve learned and start looking at the concept in depth.  Perception is everything.  Your future and everything that you become is impacted by how you view time and how you use it.

 

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