Are you busy in your business or life in general? Running around every day doing a myriad of things but still not accomplishing half of what you’d like to? Do you find yourself having “busy” mornings, afternoons or days without accomplishing much? Do you complain about not having enough hours in a day? You’re not alone. “Not enough time,” in other words, time management struggle, is the third most significant challenge of all entrepreneurs preceded only by finances and marketing.
But what if I told you that you have time for everything you want to do that’s important to you. What if I told you that YOU are actually in charge of this most precious resource you have.
In fact, you can create time to achieve your goals in your business, to find time for yourself and recharge. You can create time to spend quality time with your family and to do anything else you care about.
You just need to slow down, be strategic about it and plan first.
Sounds simple right? But wait, I can already hear the excuses quickly running through your mind. What? Slow down? But I’m so busy, and if I slow down, I’ll waste more time and get behind… I cannot afford you that. And I say: Yes, you can.
How do I know? Because I’ve turned the time into my ally and am helping others to do the same successfully.
In any event, if someone told me 4 years ago that I would be doing everything I’m doing now, I’d quietly dismiss them thinking it was impossible. And all I was doing was working in my demanding 9-5 corporate job and taking care of my young kids. That’s IT. No side hobbies, no me-time AT ALL, etc. Oh yes, I did have time for friends, as I always do. But other than that, I felt my time was filled to the max. I thought it’d be impossible to squeeze anything else in there.
Fast forward 4 years, and here is what I’m doing now:
- still working an even more demanding corporate job (I got a couple of promotions along the way);
- kids family and friends continue to be the top priority;
- running my coaching business that involves not only helping my clients but also creating content, you’re reading now;
- running an amazing online community of Businesswomen with Passion 4 Life;
- acing an on-line executive MBA;
- and volunteering locally to give back.
I’m not telling you all this to brag. What I’m trying to convey is that all of us have as much time as we need to achieve our dreams in business and life. All we need to do is to take full reasonability and charge of it.
And yes, you’re right, my kids are 4 years older so they can do much more on their own. Additionally, my fabulous husband helps tremendously at home. We do have a real partnership going.
However, if I weren’t intentional about how I’m spending my time and strategic about how I’m running my business or accomplishing goals at work, none of it would matter.
I’m sure you know that “other things” have a way of creeping into our days and just filling the pockets of time we have without us even noticing it. I still see it happening and need to stay focused on my habits to control this phenomenon. Maintaining good habits takes hard work to work 😊. It’s the bad stuff that comes easily.
So if you’re struggling with time management, procrastination or the feeling of overwhelm, read the rest of this blog. I wrote it because I wanted to share with you 5 simple steps that will help you to take back control of your time. Once you do, fill it with intentional things that are important to you in your business and personal life.
1. Know how you spend your time.
To change anything, awareness is key. Without really knowing how you spend every minute of your day, you might be wasting hours each week. Have you ever tried tracking your time for a week to know exactly what you do each minute of the day? No? Then I challenge you to try. You’ll discover things you didn’t expect. I guarantee it! If you decide to take this challenge, reach out, and share with me what you found :).
2. Have clarity on your goals, your destination
Let’s take your business. Without clearly defined goals, it’s hard to plan for and fill your time with actions that will lead you to achieve hem. Do you set goals for your biz? How often? Do you track and measure progress? Do you review them regularly and adjust as required?
This might seem daunting at first if you’ve never done it before. But trust me, it isn’t. If you create habits and systems in your life that support your goals, action to achieve them will become your second nature.
3. Decide what to change.
Once you know how you spend your time, then decide what is there you can give up. This way, you’ll be able to create time for more important things. For example, how about giving up a few hours of vegging on the couch in front of the TV each week and spending them working on your passion business instead? Or maybe instead of listening to the radio news each day in your car that stresses you out, you could listen to a podcast or an audiobook? Not only can it give you a daily dose of inspiration, but also you can improve your business or parenting skills, or maybe learn a new language you’ve always wanted to pick up. These are only two examples of countless possibilities you have to fill up your time with meaningful things.
4. Implement improvements in small achievable chunks
Most people abandon their new year resolutions by February. Why? Because they overwhelm themselves. They want to do it all now and see results in a week. The truth is, no one becomes an Olympic athlete on the first day of training. By the same token, you don’t become a high-performer the moment you start implementing the right habits. Being strategic about how you pace yourself, what improvements to apply, and exercising patience are keys to success with any growth.
5. Stay CONSISTENT
Last but not least, significant results in business and life come to those who persist. Expecting significant fast results 2 weeks after you’ve implemented new routines will only disappoint you. Any substantial changes that bring tremendous results happen over time slowly. Persistence is how you create good habits and get to collect the benefits. And yet in our instant gratification world, consistency and patience are harder and harder to come by. Nevertheless, “Good Things in Life Come to Those Who Wait” – this universal natural law hasn’t changed.
With all of the above in mind, are you ready to start? You don’t need to wait till the new year for this. You are a leader of yourself, and you can decide to start changing things for the better now instead of in 2.5 months.
Just imagine how ready you’ll be when you have 2.5 months of new habits under your belt! You’ll enter into #2020 strong and ready to make it your best year ever.
In the hope that you’ll decide to start and as a present for you, I created a Guide to help you find a minimum of 10 hours in your week right now. In 10 minutes, the Guide will quickly help you create the time you can spend working on your goals. Impossible, you think? I dare you to download it and see for yourself :).