I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago called “‘I don’t have a time’ is a lame excuse”… (for not Marketing your small business). I basically wrote that if we think something is important enough we’ll find the time to do it. And I know this because I do it all the time… I constantly say, “I don’t have time….” But what I realize is that really means either “I really don’t want to” or “It just isn’t a priority right now“, because trust me, If I REALLY want to do something, I’ll find the time. Am I right???
So with that blog post behind me, I started thinking: What I really need is not more time, but a way to manage the time I have more effectively. And I bet other small business owners could use the same thing! So, I asked my friend and colleague Sandy Stelter of Strategic Organizing Solutions (SOS) to give us some tips on how to manage our time better. Sandy is an expert in time management and small business productivity and a co author of the book “Get Organized Today”.
I hope you will apply these 3 easy steps in your own world so that you can find the time to market your business and become the small business you always dreamed of!
I don’t have time…
How many times do you find yourself saying these words…”I don’t have time to ….” You fill in the blank.
“I don’t have time to read.”
“I don’t have time to take a vacation.”
“I don’t have time to go to that networking event.”
“I don’t have time to write that article.”
Actually we do have the time if we step back and realize that we’re actually talking about managing our lives, not just our time. The lines are blurred between, home, work and leisure. It’s not clear where one ends and another begins.
So doing more important tasks with the time we have has become crucial. Once we set our goals, then planning and scheduling the tasks to meet those goals are the most important.
Here’s one thought that I find extremely helpful when I’m planning and scheduling my day.
Schedule your day around high-payoff activities. Whatever time is left over, schedule the low-priority activities then. I find it interesting that high-value activities do not proliferate as quickly as low-payoff items. I can find 101 little tiny low-payoff tasks to do instead of that one high-value activity.
For instance, rather than writing this article, I found myself reading email, balancing my checkbook (yes, I really do enjoy it), and updating Quickbooks. So here are three tips that help me schedule my day around the more important tasks and stay focused.
1. If the activity requires concentration, get away from the distractions in your office and on your desk. I listen to an instrumentals only radio station that I set up on Pandora.com (free version). No words, so I can’t sing along. No multitasking!
2. Establish deadlines for completing major portions of the big project. Chunk it into small units. I actually divided this task into two chunks – one was thinking and researching and the second was the actual writing.
3. Choose the time of day when you are most alert. There are two times a day that I’m alert and able to concentrate – mornings and then between 8:30pm-10pm. So I schedule many of my important tasks during those times. Notice when you are most alert and schedule your high payoff activities then. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Sandy Stelter, Author and Owner of SOS – Strategic Organizing Solutions has worked with hundreds of clients to help them create and maintain a productive environment anywhere. SOS provides consultation and hands-on professional, customized, productivity coaching to individuals and businesses. Work toward your goals from an environment that supports you and who you want to be. For more information visit: http://www.sos.com
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