How many times have you tried and failed to find more time in your day to get things done?
As a mum of 3 small children I’m often asked how I find the time to spend quality time with my family, enjoy a rich social life and run my business.
The answer is – I don’t.
I don’t passively expect to FIND time. I make an active commitment to MAKE time for the things that matter to me the most. If you’re struggling to fit everything you want into the 24 hours you’re given each day, you can take steps to achieve it.
It just takes an active effort to appreciate time and use it to its full advantage.
So what you can do to be more proactive about how you manage your time?
Here are 4 ways to make more time to grow your business:
1) Protect Time
Time is a resource that many of us take for granted. But as the only truly finite asset you have, it’s important that you pay it the respect it deserves if you want to grow your business.
“Time… You can never lose time and get it back again. You can’t spend time and go earn more of it. You can’t buy it, rent it, or borrow it. Use it wisely and enjoy the benefits. Squander it, and it’s gone forever”
It’s easy to allow time to get away from you by getting lost in unproductive distractions, saying yes to things that don’t align with your priorities and procrastinating over activities you don’t enjoy. So it’s vital that you learn to:
- Stay focused and avoid activities that suck you down the rabbit hole of distraction
- Say no to invitations that don’t move you towards your goals
- Remove tasks which trigger you to procrastinate
2) Purchase Time
Although you can’t buy extra hours to add to your own day, you can buy other people’s time by delegating parts of your task list to them.
Research shows that you’re up to 12% more productive when you’re focused on tasks you love, so it makes sense to delegate the rest to someone else. You can buy time from a Virtual Assistant, who can handle your administrative tasks for you. This helps to free you up to make more time to grow your business.
According to T Harv Eker, Author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,
“People who achieve financial freedom have learned how to substitute their investment of work energy with other forms of energy. These forms include other people’s work, business systems at work or investment capital at work.”
Delegating the tasks outside your zone of genius gives you more time to spend on work that gives you the biggest return. And passes on the rest of your to do list to people who are passionate about the things you don’t enjoy.
3) Power-Up Time
Once you’ve narrowed your task list down to the activities which will really help move your business forward, you need to give your productivity an adrenaline shot. And by this, I mean refining the way you do things so that you’re able to complete them as efficiently as possible.
You can do this by:
- Looking at your processes and seeing if you’re taking any unnecessary steps that could be removed
- Automating your processes using templates or software
- Creating habits that will automate your lower level decision-making and save your brain power for the big decisions (for example, having pre-determined meal plans so you don’t need to waste precious energy deciding what to eat each day).
The New York Times talks about the negative impact of decision fatigue on our ability to make good choices:
“The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways.
One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing.”
By powering up your time, you’ll be able to make significantly more progress towards your goals in the time you have available.
4) Possess Time
Often, when I tell people the steps they need to take to bring time back under control, they bombard me with all ‘reasons’ why it’s not possible for them.
These are merely excuses which come about from limiting beliefs we hold about time and productivity.
Productivity Guru and Life Coach, Jack Heimbigner speaks about some of the common limiting beliefs he’s encountered in his career in his article in Medium:
- ‘This is too hard’
- ‘I will never get caught up’
- ‘Productive people are born that way’
Taking responsibility for your grasp on time is critical if you’re going to set yourself up for success. Jack suggests that a desire to learn, improve and succeed is the first step on the ladder to productivity.
When you run your own business it can be tempting to work longer and harder than everyone else to get everything done. But if you push yourself to endlessly keep going, your productivity will start to slip and you’ll hit entrepreneurial burnout.
Don’t allow time to slip away and make excuses that you ‘just can’t find the time’ to get everything done. You can take action to make more time in your business if you’re willing to make a conscious effort to protect, purchase, power up and possess more time.
How well do you keep control over your time? Let me know in the comments.