When you’re running a business, no matter how big or small, it’s easy to get caught up juggling what feels like a million different hats. But one hat that often gets thrown to the side is your personal hat. The one that lets you unwind and keep distance between your free time and the jobsite. This might be okay in the short term, but did you really start your own business to have it dominate your life? Didn’t think so.
So, how do you get the time to put the other hats aside and enjoy your downtime? Afterall, isn’t that why you started your own business in the first place?
Make a schedule and implement time blocks
Find the system that works best for you. More of an old school pen and paper person? Get a planner! Like having one device to rule them all? Use your phone. Either way, get a system in place that feels right.
Next, you should start scheduling in your important tasks and meetings in advance to avoid double bookings and…. Plan based on your goals! Have major project A you want done by July? Great! What sub tasks need to be done before then to make that possible? Schedule your subtasks in now so you can reach your goals by the deadlines you set.
Lastly, make sure you time block. Set aside the amount of time you need to get things done and then some. Whether this be a daily ‘hour of power’ for your admin or a Friday arvo in the office for projects, make sure you’re setting aside time, sticking to and prioritising it. Give yourself some wiggle room too because things often take longer than expected.
Prioritisation – Traffic lights or 80/20?
There are more time management and prioritisation strategies out there than you can poke a stick. Seriously. A quick Google search can have you scratching your head trying to work out the best path forward. Here are two that are easy to follow and implement ASAP.
- Traffic lights – colour code your tasks based on levels of priority. Red = stop, do it now without delay; yellow = tasks that need attention but aren’t urgent and; green = tasks that aren’t time sensitive.
- The 80/20 rule that says 80% of our results come from 20% of our tasks so, focus on getting that important 20% done and you’ll reap the most rewards.
Hand some of your tasks to your team or get a VA in to help. You don’t need to do everything on your to do list by yourself. Check out our previous posts to see how to get your team to problem solve without you or how hiring a VA could help.
Saying ‘yes’ to everything only leaves you with an empty cup and you can’t pour from that! This is a recipe for stress and burnout so learn when to say no or at least, learn to set expectations. You can say ‘sure I can do that but not until I’ve completed XYZ’. If a prospective customer is showing some red flags you’re allowed to say no to the job. The world won’t stop spinning and you might save yourself some stress.
Ever hear that a cluttered office is a cluttered mind? Well, a cluttered office can also lead to wasted time trying to find where you put your pen, invoice, coffee…. Just keep it tidy to cut down on time spent looking for something you’re sure you remember seeing around here somewhere….
There we have it. Some easy steps to implement now so you can switch off your computer on Friday afternoon, crack open a cold one and enjoy your weekend properly.