Let’s talk about your personal relationship with time.
Do you ever feel like you’re a hamster on a wheel – or that you have too many balls in the air?
If you’re like a lot of the clients I work with, you probably feel a bit like you’re playing a game of whack-a-mole with your time and your calendar: completing tasks one after another and never feeling like you’re getting anywhere.
Today, let’s talk about how to get off that merry-go-round.
First off, time is more valuable than money.
You can always make or get more money, but you cannot get more time.
Everything you want in life (and business) is a product of how you are currently spending your time.
There are 3 levels of “time management” problems.
- Technical stuff: you’ve miscalculated how long something will take, or you can’t remember what you have to do, or your space is disorganized.
- External realities: you have too much to do or an unrealistic workload. Perhaps you have a health problem or home situation that reduces the amount of time you have available.
- Unclear goals. This level is the most common. It springs from fear: fear of downtime, fear of success, fear of completion (more commonly known as “perfectionism”)
How to free up 5 – 7 hours of your time each week
The first step is to conduct a time audit.
Use a spreadsheet or a piece of paper and make a record of how you spend your time in blocks of 15 minutes. Do this for a week.
Once you have that record, plot how you used your time into a skill/fun box.
The upper right-hand quadrant (high skill, high fun) is where you’re generating the most value for your business. Let’s say your time spent here is worth $300/hour.
The bottom left quadrant (low skill, low fun) is where YOU are doing work that someone else will happily do for you for maybe $20 per hour. In many cases, they’ll even do a better job at it than you’re currently doing!
Can you identify five to seven hours of work that you are doing today that you should not be doing?
It’s a good idea to do this exercise periodically to re-evaluate where you are and what you should be doing as your business grows.
With one of my clients – who grew their business by a multiple of 6 in one year – we did this exercise 4 times because the business was scaling at such a rapid pace.
They had to frequently evaluate what they could do less of so that they had more time to do more of what they wanted to do.
Your calendar knows precisely what you care about. Are you caring about the right things?
You don’t have to tell me what your priorities are; show me your calendar and how you’ve spent your time and I’ll know what your true priorities are!
(Want to make better use of your calendar? Set up a default diary.)
Life is a balancing act between:
- What you have to get done today, this week, this quarter – the long list of to do’s.
- Doing what matters to you, so that you can create a life that is well-lived.
To create both a successful business and a well-lived life, you’ll need processes to help you carefully think about and answer these questions:
What you want to get out of your business in the next 5 years?
What do you need to do today to make that happen?
If you’re feeling like you’re not getting everything you want out of your business or your life, then something about how you spend your time needs to change.