When you are young, time seems endless. As we get older, we start to realize how valuable time really is.
There are plenty of psychological reasons you could infer from this simple observation, and there are many great quotes out there about time management like;
- “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” - John Lubbock
- “What we focus on get’s done.” - Unknown
When I started out on my own as an entrepreneur, the first skill I had to refine was my time management process. Keep in mind, that I had previously worked a full time job, went to college full time, was a single mom of two boys, and ran a rental property or helped to care for my nana after her knee surgeries. My palm pilot and I had nearly every 15 minutes planned.
But it wasn't until a business coach told me about Covey's Model of Time Management. that I understood the commodity of time and why it is important to use to wisely, not just plan it.
Why is time management so important?
First, it’s a crucial life skill, but for entrepreneurs who can master this skill, the possibilities are endless. Yet time management is a struggle for most entrepreneurs.
Where can the importance of time management most easily be seen? Ask your spouse, family and friends when they don't see or hear from you for weeks at a time. Or when you aren't sure how much time you will need to fulfill promises to clients. Time management skills are essential to your sanity and your business growth.
Time management tips for sanity:
The above image is a screen shot of my calendar. Each color represents a different role I have to play. So whether it is time for working on my business, selling, doing client work, attending events, time with family and friends- it all gets put into the calendar.
- Schedule personal time-
Like time for dinner and reviewing homework, date nights, time out with friends, exercise. This way you don't feel guilty for spending time with family when you have work to do, or feel guilty working when the family is getting together.
- Time is a commodity-
When you don't know how you are spending your time, it can feel like you have no time. When you have your time blocked out, you can relax a little knowing that you do indeed have time to do that task, or go to that event. You won't get as easily overwhelmed and you will know when you can say yes, or when you have to say no.
- Time is fluid, and things almost never go as planned-
Plan on your schedule to change, and understand that when things come up, and your block of time is no longer there, that you will have to make it up somewhere or decide if it is really a priority. My "blocks" can be easily moved if something comes up.
- Block off your time effectively-
When you have time blocked to accomplish tasks that can only be done during certain hours- like correspondence for client, you can use the time for other things like writing or email correspondence, or preparing for meetings in the off hours. I also know that my best times to do things like writing is on the weekends, where as my group coaching calls have to be during client hours.
How you allocate your time depends on your role and what your goals are. If you don't work your plan and don't commit to the time to do so- nothing will ever happen.
Click here to download the time tracking worksheet that is available in the goal setting resources to help see how you should be managing your time to accomplish your goals.
How do you get it all done?
Comment below with your time management tips and techniques!