All too often business owners say that they need more time or need to manage their time more effectively. The truth of the matter is that time isn’t the issue. It’s how you manage your time that counts. Learn how to save time by identifying and eliminating the time bandits in your life.
Keep a Time Log
Begin by creating a log of where you spend your time. You may be surprised at the number of hours (yes, hours) that you spend on activities like social media or email. In addition to business related activities, think about where you work and who or what may steal your time.
- Who or what interrupts you at work?
- How many meetings are on your calendar?
- If you work at home, are you distracted by activities like laundry or housekeeping?
- Do you have face-to-face meetings that could be resolved with a phone call or email?
- How much time are you spending on social media, email and non-core business activities like marketing or accounting?
Spot the Time Bandits
As you review your log, consider why you let these people or activities rob you of your time. If you’re feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, remember that you make the choice of how to spend your time. That means different choices will help you save time. Avoid getting wrapped up in drama with friends or colleagues and focus on business. Set a timer for activities like social media updates so you don’t spend too much time reading updates from your neighbor down the street. Make a to-do list and get it done. It’s up to you to get it all done.
Eliminate Time Bandits
Determine if you can eliminate time bandits. Do your managers ask you for approval instead of being empowered to make a decision? Do you have too many meetings? There are some meetings that you must attend. Your biggest client might be chatty with you, but not your partner. Consider swapping client meetings to save time for both you and your client.
If you work at home, you may find time bandits where you least expect them. From sales people who knock on your door to the rush of pitter-patter on the floor as your kids chase each other throughout the house. To eliminate these time bandits, you may need to change your work hours to when the kids are in school, purchase office space outside the home, close the door, go to a coffee shop to work or find someone to help.
Eliminating time bandits may mean saying no to social time, opting instead for business networking. It may mean the expense of getting your own office space. But, it could also mean you save time on business activities and have more time to focus on family and friends.
Eliminating time bandits will save time. You choose how you will react to them. You are the manager of your time, not the other way around.
- Write down your time bandits
- Identify ways to deal with them
- Develop a plan
These simple steps will help you gain back your most valuable commodity, your time. Choose how you use it wisely. Be honest about who or what your time bandits are and find ways to deal with them. Let me know if you feel like you could use some support in this area by scheduling a free consultation today.