Not an uncommon issue is the juggling act of being a business owner - the success of (and sometimes, every function of) the business comes back to you. If not managed, time management can become the downfall of your business, your health or relationships. Burnout is not an option.
So here’s a few things that I’ve learned along the way about staying on top of it all – and leaving the office feeling satisfied with a job well done.
Choose your The One Thing
A friend recently loaned me a book called The One Thing and the opening line, quoting a Russian proverb, says it all: ‘If you chase two rabbits, you’ll catch neither one’.
Each day, choose just one thing that you can do to most affect your long term future. Whether it be to target that client, write your business plan, or develop strategic networks, have a single-minded focus on what your business goals are and how best you can achieve it with just one thing.
Eat that Frog
If you knew that you had to eat a frog every day for the rest of your life, would you get it over and done with, or would you put it off, dreading it all day? I know that for me, getting it over and done with is the best way to just get on with the day. So after I do my One Thing, I Eat That Frog. And not just any Frog – I pick the ugliest Frog on the list. Free yourself of the burden, do it and be done with it. Move on to the next Frog.
Surround yourself with supportive people
In business and in life, you cannot be the fix all to everyone’s problems. Sometimes, there’s just someone out there who can do it better than you do. So develop relationships with these people, outsource to them, ask them for help if you need it. You’ll achieve better results, and you may even pick up a few things along the way. But stick to what you know, and seek help for the rest.
Being in marketing services, the paperwork side of the business wasn’t my strong point. So the first thing that I did was outsource: I engaged with a bookkeeper, and an accountant to do the things that I knew that I couldn’t do on my own – nor was it the best use of my time. Would I be be better spending my time on struggling with my accounting package, or developing a relationship with a new client. There’s only 24 hours in the day – use them wisely.
Take Time Out
Book it in. With family, friends, and when you need it, for yourself. Schedule it in, and stick to it. Date nights, play dates and reading time, and sometimes an hour by yourself to relax and rejuvenate are the best way to keep your relationships and personal balance in check.
Know that you love what you’re doing
If your ‘daily grind’ is wearing you down, step away for a while (see point five) and have a good hard think: Is this what I really want to do? Weigh up your options (regularly), and remind yourself that with anything worth doing, there’ll be some sacrifices to be made… but at any rate, you need to love it, or you’re not going to sustain it.
If you genuinely love what you’re doing, and it’s synonymous with your personal, family, and professional goals, then these tips will help you achieve the best possible results in your day, with time to spare to sit back and enjoy what you’ve achieved, what you’re working towards, and the simple pleasures that each day has to bring.