Thanks for tuning into the Scale Your Small Business podcast with your host, Jillian Flodstrom. As any entrepreneur knows, time is an incredibly valuable resource. In fact, it might be the most important facet of running your business. But there will always be areas where we’re losing time, and if it can be prevented, why not save your time and money? This week, we’re talking about time management.
Lauren Vanderkam’s book I Know How She Does It breaks down, in depth, how many hours we’re actually working in any given day. That’s where time-tracking comes in.
This exercise can be catered to your work schedule, but the idea is to break down your day into chunks, 15, 30, an hour, whatever works, and log your activities for that time chunk. Consider using a split schedule. Oftentimes, our work days are broken into different parts of the day–maybe you leave work early and pick it back up later in the evening.
If you’re losing traction on important projects, it could be because of how much time you’re spending scrolling, watching TV, or even doing laundry. The good news is, your logs will show you that, and then you can begin to take that time back.
Remember: interruptions are not breaks. They merely tire you more because they are not planned, and because they constantly leave you behind schedule. If you check your Facebook profile just five times a day, and you spend no more than 10 to 15 minutes each time, you’ve already lost an hour. Those distractions within an eight-hour workday could lead you to working more than 14 hours a day.
There are five more key components to managing your time:
One, get your big projects out of the way first. You’ll thank yourself for the relief later.
Two, manage your meetings. If you can shave off 10 minutes from an hour long meeting, you’ll be surprised with how much time you get back.
Three, commit to your free time. Block out the time that you consider ‘free’ to ensure you have structure to complete tasks for yourself.
Four, plan your week ahead. If you go in with a plan, you won’t feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants every day. Set your goals and a pathway there, so if any fires arise, you can adapt and continue.
Five, find your drive. When you carve our time for your work, you leave time to follow other passions. If you are interested in creating that side hustle, creating that other job to replace your current job, getting focused and scheduling out that time on your calendar will give you the ability to make that happen.
Finally, be mindful of family time. When we look back at the memories in our lives, we’re not thinking about that big work project that we completed.
There is enough time. You just need to change your daily schedule. Nobody’s perfect, and nor should we dream about being perfect. It’s just not going to happen. We need to cut ourselves a break. Focus on the things that are important and ways that we can manage our daily schedule so that we have more time to spend with family and focus on the work that we love and brings us joy.
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