I recently asked some entrepreneurs what their greatest stressor was. I thought the answer was going to be money, but it wasn’t even close. The number one answer from the crowd was time.
- Business owners
- Taxi cab driver for kids
- Social media updaters
- Spouse & lovers
- PTA members
- Volunteer at the non-profits
- Team moms
I could keep going, but you get the point. Time management is eating entrepreneurs’ lunches & it is having a profound impact on us.
Poor time management leads to stress.
Living under chronic stress drains the joy of doing what we love. We didn’t start our own company to be stressed out & work like a dog. But that’s where many of us find ourselves.
Instead of the business working for us, we work for the business. We’ve become a slave to its demands. The business becomes our master & slowly overtime we lose ourselves & our true identity. We start saying things like:
- “It’s just a season. We won’t be this busy forever”
- “I just need to stay up late & get these few things done”
- “This is just the way it is”
- “If I don’t do it, who will?”
- “Honey, I just need to get these few things done” (laptop open while significant other watches TV)
What leads to living a life of chronic busyness & not being able to get it all done? I have many theories, but I wanted to share three practical mistakes we make when managing our time.
1. We manage time instead of results
Everyone is focusing on making sure they have their calendar organized & appointments labeled correctly. There are entire courses on how to manage time & what software to use. The mistake is believing that time management works. It doesn’t.
This past year, I’ve shift all of my thinking to results management. This means, every single week I simply write down the TOP 3 things I have to accomplish. Where this becomes powerful is when you don’t limit your top 3 to just your business endeavors. Within the top 3, I include personal projects, family stuff, & activities with friends.
So, when I wake up every day, I know I have 3 things that are most important that week & NOTHING will get in the way of getting those done.
You can try to mange time all you want, but managing results will get you further faster.
2. We look forward instead of looking back
Leaders are forward thinkers. This is a good thing and bad thing. When it comes to time management, one of the best things I do each week is to look BACK at the previous 7 days & write down 10 positive things I accomplished with my time.
Doing this every Friday allows me to feel grateful for all of the ways I invested my time over the last seven days. As entrepreneurs, we are GREAT at sweeping our successes away! If we can’t stop & look back to enjoy the wins & positive things that we did with our time, we will miss out on deep satisfaction & fulfillment.
I dare you to try it right now. Don’t limit your list to just work-related activities. Think through all aspects of life & write down the moments that mattered most! You will thank me later 🙂
3. We mix our days up
Nothing has helped me produce more results in less time than refusing to mix my days up. I label my days. They are either a Free Day, Buffer Day, or Profit Day. Free days are completely work free. Buffer days are the days to get stuff organized & ready for my profit days. Profit days are days where I do my highest money-making activities for the business.
Most of us MIX our free days WITH some buffer & throw in a little bit of profit. It just doesn’t work. I wrote about how making this shift made me $33,000 the first few weeks I did it HERE.
I’ve heard so much from entrepreneurs about this being an issue, that I am testing the waters a little bit. I created this quick survey and I want to hear from you on this subject. When you fill it out, I’ll let ya know the results from everyone else! Can’t wait to hear from you.