I know you’re busy so I won’t take up a ton of your time….I just thought we could have a chat about that work load of your’s that seems never ending.
I read a lot of business blogs and see a lot of posts about time management. It’s a subject that’s dear to me….as a small business owner of a marketing company, it seems my work is never done. I feel like a lot of the advise I read is, well… too time consuming to carry out in any meaningful way. So I’ve put together some time management tips of my own.
Every morning I come into the office, sit down, and what seems like moments later, look up to see that it’s late in the afternoon.
To relate, I’m not slow at what I do – I work fast, I don’t allow anything to distract me, and I plow through as many tasks as possible each and every day. Having said that, I never feel as though I get enough done. But I’ve come to realize that that’s just fine – it’s actually a lot better than the alternative….not having enough to do.
You’re busy because you want to be
That brings me to the key truth that if you’re a creative, resourceful and inspired person, you’re inbox is always going to be stuffed full. Even when you get through your “regular work” you’ll always concoct a new project or decide to redesign your website so it’s cooler and more intriguing… and on and on. So let’s dispel with the idea that being really busy is something to complain about – you’re busy because you want to be. So stop complaining!
So lack of time probably isn’t the real issue. Managing all this creativity is the true challenge. Figuring out which of your brilliant ideas will pay the bills and which ones could be backburnered until you have more capital to invest into side projects is what you should think about.
As most people who coach for productivity will tell you, it’s important to write a list of goals and prioritize. But I don’t recommend you do it each and every morning. Write your lists and figure out tasks that will get you where you want to go in your career when you’re mind is relaxed on a Friday afternoon, the weekend, or in the evening. You’ll be surprised at the things you come up with, mark my words. Don’t try to make sense of things when you’re in a Monday morning panic. Being stressed and trying to set out tasks based what you really want doesn’t spell success.
Time Management 101: When putting tasks to paper, realize that just about everything from checking emails to organizing a Fall marketing campaign will probably take you three times as long as you think it will. You need to be at peace with this reality and learn to delegate.
If you are a small business owner, I’m going to bet you do a lot of things outside of your core mission of designing product, running a store, or providing a service. This is great in that you’re really hands-on with many elements of your company, but not so great if you want to grow and expand your brand.
Try to delegate elements of your to-do list that aren’t core to your main mission. Hire interns, part time help, and outsource to professional firms as much as possible so you can concentrate on designing and building your brand.
If you can’t delegate as much as you like, try to think of these tasks as different jobs that you have, and schedule accordingly. Put a limit on the amount of time you’ll spend per week and abide by that time allotment religiously. Pretend that you’ve hired yourself to be your bookkeeper or social media manager. You wouldn’t let someone you’ve hired to balance your books spend more than a realistic amount of time on them, and you shouldn’t either. While you’re doing this, think about how much you make at your core job, and compare it to what you’d pay an assistant, or outside pro to get these things done. Odds are you’re losing money by trying to wear too many hats.
And remember to take breaks and relax – an overworked mind tends to be cranky and counter productive.
Here’s a handy list you can download by right clicking or clicking (depending on your devise) and saving.