Managing your time for maximum results can be a challenge for most. Do you ever feel like you are running ragged all day in 100 different directions?
Are you trying to juggle all of the duties of being a business owner, a spouse, a parent and a friend?
Are you feeling pulled in so many different directions that you’ve lost sight of who you are and of your initial vision of why you wanted to start your own business in the first place?
Many heartfelt entrepreneurs and business professionals struggle with managing their time on a daily basis, resulting in them not accomplishing what they set out to do and leaving them feeling stressed and frustrated at the end of the day.
The great news is, I have some tips to help you gain more time and freedom in your business.
Over the years, I’ve learned from many time management strategies from experts and through my own experiences in my own business career. I wanted to share my top 10 time management tips.
1. Set up systems to support you
Systems can set you free. Effective marketing and scheduling systems will allow your business to run efficiently and free up a ton of time.
2. Focus on revenue-generating activities
As a business owner, the main thing you should be focusing on is income-producing activities. In other words, focus on things that are, or will potentially be, making money.
These activities can include opportunity calls (with potential clients or partners), consulting calls or strategy sessions, follow-up calls or speaking engagements. After you complete these items you can focus on your marketing and program planning, blogging and email follow-up.
3. Delegate the stuff you don’t have time to do or don’t like to do
There are so many tasks in a day-to-day business that are time stealers, especially if you are not skilled to do them.
Many things in your business can be delegated to an assistant or another team member or outsourced altogether. If you do not have any team members, you may want to seriously consider hiring a virtual assistant to do things such as marketing, website updates, customer service calls, cold calling to potential prospects, etc.
The bottom line is, you should be focusing on the things in your business that only you can do and that are going to directly impact the growth of your business.
4. Batch your time
Schedule your time in different time blocks; “batch your time.”
For example, maybe on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., you do your office work. Monday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. is your time to create new programs or marketing strategies. Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you write copy for your blog or newsletter. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m., you meet with your clients.
You get my point. When you have designated focused time for certain tasks, you can get so much more accomplished. I realize that sometimes you’ll have to adjust your schedule for other things that come up, and that’s okay. You can use this as a strong guideline.
5. Use tools to help you with scheduling or documenting dates or information
There are so many tools available to assist you in scheduling or managing your time. There’s Google Calendar, Outlook, Timetrade, or if you’re like me, you use a good old-fashioned weekly planner (This drives my very tech-savvy husband crazy!) I do also use Timetrade as my online scheduler.
I recommend having a dry-erase board in your office that you can use to post dates for events and launches throughout the year. Another great tool is a handheld recorder to record your thoughts and/or ideas as necessary throughout the day. These tools can save you a lot of time.
6. Family calendar
If you have a family, I highly recommend having a family calendar as well that’s integrated with your business. This way, you can put all of your family’s activities right in your master calendar so you don’t miss a thing. You can at least attempt to plan business events or meetings around your priorities, which should always be your family.
7. Designated workout/meditation time
I think it’s really important to have a consistent time set to work out and meditate each day (preferably in the morning, to start your day off right.) Otherwise there’s a good chance that you won’t do it.
Your health is the most important factor in your life; working out will help to alleviate stress and provide you the energy you need to accomplish everything you have to do each day. Meditation will help you to start your day with a positive mindset. Be sure to set your intentions for the day!
8. Pre-plan your meals
An area many women are challenged in is finding the time to prepare nutritious meals for their families and themselves. The best way to accomplish this is to plan your meals ahead of time.
Saturday mornings over coffee, plan out all of the meals you would like to have throughout the week. Make your store list. Sunday afternoon, you can shop for the items you’ll need.
When you get home, you can cook your meats (chicken or steak) for the week and anything else you can prepare ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze for later that week. (This is a great example of batching your time!) This way when you get home in the evening, after running around all day, you can prepare a delicious meal in no time!
9. Get plenty of sleep
Make certain you attempt to get at least eight hours of sleep each night so your body can rejuvenate itself and you can wake up feeling fresh and ready to take on the day.
10. Schedule down time
Not every minute of your life should be planned. Make sure you schedule down time for you and your family.
Leave time throughout your week for you individually, you and your spouse and your whole family to do something that’s enjoyable. This can be relaxing or fun, for example, reading, hiking or going to the park to have a spontaneous picnic.
Make sure you take time to enjoy your life…you absolutely deserve it!
Megan Tull is an entrepreneur success strategist, transformational leader in business and life, an author, and an international speaker. Tull is CEO and founder of Silverlining Concepts, a business coaching and consulting firm. She has a new book titled "The Passion Belief Method—Own Your Value and Earn Your Worth in Business."
Dallas Business Journal