We’re closing out our first full work week of 2015 and I trust it’s been a great one for you. I can say, without wavering, that I’ve never been more excited about what this year has in store than ever before in my life! On that very positive note, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to focus on a topic that many entrepreneurs/folks in small business find challenging…time management.
Just saying those two words can make many cringe! “How can I manage something I seem to have no control over?” some might say…or “I just can’t seem to get a grip on managing my day effectively!” If you’ve ever felt those emotions when it comes to the topic of TIME, then perhaps these next few posts in my on-going series on “It’s About Time”! will get you headed in the right direction for 2015.
Bottom line, when it comes to this particular topic…or life in general, for that matter, it’s the power of PLANNING. Have you heard the “old” saying, “Proper prior planning prevents perpetually poor performance”? That may be a tad outdated, but the premise still holds true.
Whether you’re writing a regular daily/weekly blog post or the great American novel, it takes TIME to plan for it…at least if you want to do it with excellence. Just about anyone can throw words on a page; however, if one truly desires to create exceptional content that will make a difference in the lives of women, like we are bringing you on NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES, there’s been a PLAN to make it happen.
So, the first step one should take to more effective time management is: Plan Your Time…then carry it out…which takes daily discipline. This is especially true for those who have a very “short commute”! I’ve heard it said quite often, when having your own business…”Best thing about it…no boss/no time clock! Worst thing…no boss/no time clock”!
This is especially true…and I know many of you reading this now can relate as well, if you’ve transitioned from a traditional job/career into being self-employed. There’s something about leaving that regular routine of the 9 to 5; although you may not have had to literally “clock in” there was a bit more accountability…where you’re expect to actually show up for work!
So now you’re your own boss and it’s a blistery cold January morning with a wind chill of 22 below zero…can you get the picture? The alarm is set for 6:00am and you end up hitting the snooze alarm one too many times. It’s just way too comfortable in this warm, cozy bed! But it’s TIME to get up…and get to work…you made a PLAN…Remember? What will be the driving force to create that sense of urgency?
Let’s go on to Step Two…and that’s setting PRIORITIES. It’s critical to creating an effective Daily Plan, to prioritize them in order of importance. I’ve been privileged to sit under the teaching of Stephen Covey, best-selling author and time management guru. In fact, you may actually use one of his superb planners…or have read one or more of his books. If you’ve not done so, I highly recommend them.
Here’s what Peter Turla has to say on the topic, “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.” And Mr. Turla is right on! When you prioritize your plan, you’re much more likely to reach your goal!
I highly encourage you to set aside some quiet time on Sunday afternoon or evening to plan out your week. You’ll more than likely already have regular meetings on your calendar or new meetings planned but this will give you TIME to reflect on what’s coming and how you need to prioritize the tasks at hand.
When you make your list of activities/scheduled meetings, and so on, for your day/week, you can code them, as Covey suggests, with “A” being the most important – “B” for next critical – then “C” for those tasks that could possibly be done at later time and may even be moved to the next day if necessary.
By applying these simple principles, you’ll be amazed at how much stress will be relieved and the sense of accomplishment that will be achieved. Next Friday, I’ll be tackling some of those pesky time-wasters we all need to avoid. In the meantime…
Enjoy the weekend…with time well-spent!