11 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Manage Your Time in Your Business

Time Management Strategies

Strategies to Manage Time in Business

[Time to read: 9 minutes]

Time – it’s something that’s equal for every person on the planet.

How is it that some people seem to get more done with their time, while others never get through their to-do list, they’re stressed, and they’re constantly trying to catch-up?!

If you struggle to get through your to-do list, run around in circles, have difficulty completing tasks on time, and after a hard day’s work, still arrive home late, then you’re probably familiar with the frustration this can cause.

For many people, this frustration can lead to overwhelming stress and the problems continue to get worse.

So how can you manage your time more effectively when running your Business?

Well, in this article I’m going to share 11 surprisingly easy time-management strategies to help you manage your time more effectively in your Business.

Feel free to watch the video or continue to read below:

No 1. – Create a NOT To Do List

Many people have a to do list, but not many have a not-to-do list.

The not-to-do list is a list of activities that you should not be doing. Perhaps there are activities that you find yourself doing without realising, which do not serve you. For example, I had a habit of regularly checking my smart phone for social media updates. When I realised this, I found that I had been wasting so many hours checking social media! Hours that I could have put to better use!

Creating a Not to do list is a concept that I heard about on a webinar recently.

Your ‘Not to do list’ could also be expanded to include specific negative feelings, thoughts, or emotions that you no longer want to spend time on. Spend a few minutes thinking about last week and write down anything that you felt was a distraction or a waste of time. Once you’ve written your list, pin it up somewhere you can see it, perhaps on the fridge or mirror. It will serve as a constant reminder to help you to focus your time on the activities, tasks, thoughts and emotions most important to you.

No. 2 – What Distracts You?

Well in my case, as I just mentioned my smart phone was a distraction for me.

Smart phones and tablets can provide us with huge benefits when running a business, but they can also be huge distractions. Alerts can chime, pop-ups can appear and notifications buzz.

If you’re finding that your smart phone or tablet is distracting you, try adjusting the application settings so that you will need to launch the application for you to receive the notifications. Then you could decide on specific times during the day to check your phone or tablet. I’ll talk about this more in the next strategy.

In your case however, the distraction may not be your smart phone – it could be your environment? Perhaps you’re working from home and the TV or radio distracts you or perhaps you’re working in your office and you’re working on an important task and people talking in the office are distracting you.

If this is causing you a problem, then try to work in a different place in the home or office, at least while you are working on the important task. This will help you to create a better environment for you to focus your valuable time and energy.

No. 3 – Less Social Media

I use an iPhone and each week it sends me a report on how often I use my phone and what applications I am using. It was an eye-opener for me to realise how many hours I had been spending on social media!

Since then I’ve tried to limit my social media time. If like me, you struggle with how much time you spend on social media – Try to limit this to perhaps two or three times a day.

No. 4 – One Thing At a Time

You may like to multi-task, but your brain doesn’t. We’ve all tried it: texting while walking, sending emails during meetings, jumping from one task to another. Today, doing just one thing at a time is often seen as slow.

However, studies estimate that switching between tasks can cause a 40% loss in productivity. Multi-tasking can also cause you to introduce errors into whatever you’re working on, especially if one or more of your activities involves a lot of critical thinking. So, avoid multi-tasking and be more productive by working on and completing one thing at a time!

No. 5 – Avoid Perfection

I’ve struggled with this one. I’ve gone from one extreme to another, where rather than not focusing enough time on a task, I’ve spent way too much time on it.

I remember creating a report where in hindsight a ‘good enough’ level of quality would have been acceptable. However, I wasted hours trying to create a ‘perfect’ report. This strategy is about balancing your skills and resources in the time you have.

If you find yourself wasting time by trying to get a perfect result with your task, try re-evaluating the actual requirements you have been given to see if what you’ve done already is good enough. Another option would be to talk to a colleague to see if they can either give you help with the task or let you know if your work on the task so far is good enough.

No. 6 – Important vs. Urgent

Ever found yourself working on urgent tasks and you got to the end of the day and realised that you’d missed the important tasks that you should have been working on?

Focusing your time on the important things in your Business rather than just the urgent things can help you to spend your time more wisely. There are always urgent tasks to get done – but are they truly important?

It can help to evaluate if what you must do is important as well as urgent, simply ask yourself:

“Is this task important or is it just urgent?”

No. 7 – Prioritise Your Tasks

Greg McKeown tells us in his book ‘Essentialism’ that the word ‘priority’ came into the English language in the 1400s and that this word was singular – it meant one thing – THE PRIORITY (the most important thing). It stayed singular for about 500 years. Then in the 1900s, during the Industrial Revolution, it was pluralised and the concept of having multiple ‘priorities’ was born. I remember being in a customer meeting where one of the items on the agenda was to discuss the company’s 10 priorities!

So, if you’re struggling to prioritise your tasks, try ranking them in order of importance and urgency using the exercise from previous strategy and work your way down your priority list.  

This will help you to focus your time on the important tasks which are most urgent first.

No. 8 – Schedule Your Week Ahead and Block Your Calendar

Blocking time slots in your calendar for the week ahead to work on the tasks you have prioritised on your to-do list will help to ensure you have the time to focus on your tasks.

But what should you do if you get unexpected meeting requests during your working week?

Well, try reserving some free time slots in your calendar to accommodate these meeting requests.

It can be difficult when unexpected requests come your way, however setting aside some free time slots each week can provide you with some flexibility with your availability for the week ahead.

If you don’t use this free time, then you can decide which of the tasks on your priority list to focus on.

So, why not plan for the unexpected and schedule time in your calendar at the beginning of each week.

No. 9 – Say ‘No’ more often

In Business you may receive many requests to take on extra tasks. For example, you may get asked to attend a meeting that you really don’t need to attend.

We can be inclined to immediately say ‘yes’ and commit to these requests, out of politeness.

However, in these situations it’s important to remember that when we say ‘yes’ to something, our to-do list just gets longer.

If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ too often then try to evaluate the request before committing, by asking yourself: “Is this request important?”

If you’re caught ‘on the hop’, you could reply “Sounds interesting, can I get back to you on that?”.

Then you’ll have time to evaluate the request and respond accordingly.

If you need to decline the request, then of course you can do so in a polite way.

No. 10 – The Pomodoro Technique

I used to get side-tracked with some of my larger tasks until I started using this technique.

The Pomodoro technique was originally developed in the 1980s. The concept behind this technique is to break your time down into 25 minutes blocks by using a timer with an alarm. Once the alarm sounds, take a 5-minute break. Then reset the timer and start a new cycle of work.

If you find yourself ‘running out of steam’ when spending hours working on a large project or task, try breaking your time down into short blocks and then take breaks. You can of course play around with the length of the blocks and breaks to find out what works best for you.

No. 11 – Use the 4 D’s of Effective Time Management

So, this is the last strategy and it happens to be my favourite!

This has helped me so many times over the years to quickly run through my to-do list and resolve what to do with each of my tasks.

The 4 D’s of effective Time Management will help you to evaluate the importance and urgency of each of your tasks and decide what to do with each of them.

So, grab your to-do list and for each task decide to do one of the following:

  • DO IT – if the task is both important and urgent – do it.
  • DELETE IT – if it’s not important or urgent then consider declining or cancelling the task.
  • DEFER IT – if it’s important but not urgent, consider deferring the task to a later date.
  • DELEGATE IT – if you are still left with too many tasks, consider delegating the task to someone else if possible.

The decision on some of the tasks may need to be made by someone else in the business – if this is the case, ask them for assistance.

For more information on the 4 D’s CLICK HERE to read the Forbes article.

Conclusion

So, there we are, 11 strategies to help you manage your time more effectively in your Business:

  1. Create a NOT to do list
  2. What Distracts You?
  3. Less Social Media
  4. One thing at a time
  5. Avoid perfection
  6. Important vs. Urgent
  7. Prioritise your tasks
  8. Schedule your week ahead and block your calendar
  9. Say ‘No’ more often
  10. The Pomodoro Technique
  11. Use the 4 D’s of Effective Time Management

You only have so many hours in the day, so why not make full use of that time you have and decide intentionally and purposefully how to spend your time.

Many of the techniques I have shared in this article focus on helping you to ‘create’ more time by removing the obstacles that are consuming your time.

Being your own Time ‘gate-keeper’ will help you to use your time more effectively.

Perhaps, try using some of these strategies and find out which ones work best for you.

If you have other Time Management strategies that you find effective, let me know in the comments.

In the end, it’s all about balance and learning that some days will go better than others, but having a framework to help you manage your time more effectively will help you avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control.

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Why Coaching is Important for You and Your Business

Coaching is important for business leaders

Why Coaching is Important for You and Your Business

[Time to read: 8 minutes]

I sometimes get asked “Why is Coaching important for me and my Business?”

I coach Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs and for many of my clients ‘they’ are the business. Thus, the performance of their business is directly proportional to their personal performance.

It can often be the case that if the Business Leader is having a bad day – then so does the business.

So, you may ask yourself “Why do I need Business Coaching?”

In this blog I’ll introduce you to how coaching could help you to create more success for you and your business by helping you develop three key areas:

  • Confidence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Stress Management

So, let’s jump right in!

Feel free to watch the video or read below:

Confidence

It can be surprising to some that many Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs struggle with confidence. Well, not all leaders are extroverts, outgoing and confident.

In-fact in Bonnie Monych’s article on the Insperity website, she reveals “The Surprising Reasons Why Introverts Make Exceptional Leaders”

Being self-confident is trusting yourself and trusting in your abilities. Here are some examples of how coaching could help you to build your self-confidence:

1. Improving Presentation Skills

Most leaders are not trained speakers and are not used to speaking to a room full of people. For many, presenting to people can create anxiety and stress. Presenting whilst anxious can affect how well you communicate with the audience and can reduce the impact of your presentation. Your coach could help you to practice different presentation techniques and prepare for your up and coming presentation so that you become more confident at presenting.

2. Increasing Self-awareness

Having more clarity on how we see ourselves can help us to become more confident: Capturing our thoughts and questioning them can help reveal and change thought patterns that do not support us. Looking at ourselves from a different perspective can also help us to learn more about ourselves and apply that learning to improve how we communicate with other people. One of the aims of coaching is to help people create more awareness.

3. Creating Better Relationships

As the saying goes “People Buy from People”. Learning how to nurture customer relationships to build rapport and trust is key to ensuring long lasting, loyal customers. Coaching can help you to become more confident in creating better relationships with your customers, your staff, your suppliers, and your business partners.

4. Leveraging Your Existing Strengths

We all have strengths. Many people don’t know what their strengths are – in-fact it can be other people that notice their strengths first. Your coach can help you to identify your strengths and help you to learn how to utilize them more effectively so that you can make a bigger impact in your Business and Life.

Resourcefulness

The dictionary describes resourcefulness as “the ability to deal skillfully and promptly with new situations, difficulties, etc.”. Resourcefulness is a key differentiator between a good leader and a great leader. The ability to think clearly and act skillfully, can boost your personal performance as well as the performance of the business.

Being more resourceful can also help you to break through barriers that have been holding you back.

Here are ways that Coaching could help you to become more Resourceful:

1. Decision Making

Your coach can help you to break down the process of decision making and improve your evaluation of the options available. This can help improve decision making and can help build resourcefulness.

2. Creating Clarity with Goals and Actions

Your coach can help you to create more clarity with your goals, by helping you to define your goals with clear action steps. The practice of goal setting can also improve resourcefulness.

3. Developing a Clear Strategy

Every business needs a strategy. It’s difficult to get where you want to get to in Business without one. If your coach helps you to improve decision making and goal setting – then these two skills will help you to define a clear strategy.

4. Improving Productivity

Are you working too hard? Many Business Leaders do. Working too hard is counter-productive. It can create fatigue which in-turn and can affect decision making. Your coach will be able to help you identify the most important tasks that you should work on and brain-storm ways to help you to use your time more effectively. This can help you to be more resourceful.

Stress Management

High levels of stress can show up in different ways for different people. For example: Some people lose their temper, some withdraw themselves and some make bad decisions. One thing is for sure high stress can impact negatively on personal performance as well as the performance of the business.

The ability to manage stress will serve you well as most Business Leaders will experience highly stressful situations from time to time.

Coaching can help you manage stress more effectively in the following ways:

1. Identifying Stress ‘Triggers’

Coaching can help you to identify the ‘triggers’ that can cause you to feel high stress. Being more aware of your stress triggers is one of the first steps to help with stress management.

2. Step Back From The ‘Drama’

My clients comment that sometimes they arrive at a coaching session, stressed and overwhelmed about a ‘calamity’ that’s going on with their business or in their life – but they leave the session with energy – feeling refreshed. Coaching sessions give you an opportunity to step back from the ‘drama’ which means you’ll be able to look at it from a different perspective; feel less stress and leave the sessions feeling more resourceful.

3. Stress Management Techniques

Coaching can help you to explore stress management techniques and practice using them so that you’ll be better equipped to handle stressful situations in the future.

Feel free to download my FREE eBook “The Stress Management Guide for Business Leaders”. This guide will introduce you to….

‘The 7 Steps to a healthier, happier business-life’ which will help you boost your well-being.

You’ll learn strategies to help you to manage high stress so that you’ll feel more resourceful and confident to run your business and manage stressful situations in the future.

Conclusion

In this blog we’ve learned how Coaching can help Business Leaders to develop Self-Confidence, Resourcefulness and Manage Stress.

The combination of these three areas can help the Business Leader to improve their performance as well as the performance of their Business.

Being more self-confident, resourceful, and having the ability to manage stress can improve leadership in many ways, including:

  • Communicating more effectively
  • Creating better relationships
  • Leveraging your strengths
  • Becoming a better decision maker
  • Creating clarity in your Strategy, Goals, and Actions
  • Improving personal productivity
  • Being better equipped to handle difficult situations that may show up

I believe that mastering these three areas makes the difference between a good leader and a great leader.

Hopefully, you can see the importance of Coaching and how it could help you to create more success in your Business and Life.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, please comment and share.

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  • DISCOVER what you REALLY want out of your Business and Life

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How to stop giving up on goals

how to stop giving up on your goals

How to stop giving up on goals

[Time to read: 3 minutes]

Did you know research suggests that 70% of people that set goals for themselves fail to achieve them? Many just give up!

In this blog we’ll explore the purpose of goals and look at how to stop giving up on goals.

What is a goal?

A goal is a target; something to aim for; a stepping-stone to help you progress forward in your business, your career or personal life.

Why do we have goals?

The purpose of a goal is to stretch your capability. To achieve something that you don’t currently have.

There are many types of goals:

  • a typical business goal could be to hit a revenue or profit target or to expand the business into a new market
  • a career goal could be to further your career perhaps by gaining a new job, promotion or qualification
  • a personal goal could be to lose weight; to improve your well-being or to spend more quality time with your family or friends

All of these goals could be really important, so why is it that sometimes we give-up on our goals?

Some of my coaching clients have commented that in the past, they just seemed to stop working on their goal. Some gave up without even noticing; some comment that other things just got in the way. Some say: “I always seem to just give up after a few weeks – it’s just something I do – I don’t know why?!”. For many giving up on their goal can be a habit.

"There is no failure except in no longer trying."

Elbert Hubbard

So, how can we stop giving up on our goals?

Earlier on I mentioned the word ‘important’. This is a critical part of goal setting. The more important your goal is to you – the higher the chances are that you will work towards achieving it and not give up if the going gets tough.

How can you make your goal more important?

By asking yourself ‘WHY’ you want to achieve the goal in the first place. What will achieving the goal give you? I don’t mean just the actual result – for example: hitting the revenue target; getting the promotion at work or losing the weight.

I mean – how will you feel?

What is the emotion that you’ll experience achieving the goal?

What will achieving the goal enable you to do next?

What will you be able to do for other people when you achieve the goal?

To experience the ‘feeling’ of achieving your goal right now – why not try the following exercise?

  1. Stand-up, back straight
  2. Shake your arms and legs for a few moments
  3. Take a few deep breaths (breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth)
  4. Put your hands on your hips (I know this sounds nuts but do it anyway!)
  5. Close your eyes (assuming you’re in a safe place to do so!)
  6. Now think about your goal
  7. Think of the future – imagine or visualize your future-self achieving the goal:
    • Visualise your face – are you smiling? – what else are you doing?
    • Where are you?
    • What are you saying to yourself having achieved the goal?
    • What are other people saying to you?
    • What have you learnt achieving the goal?
    • What emotion/s do you feel?

Now open your eyes; grab a pen and paper and write down what you just experienced and also write down the answers to the questions that you just asked yourself.

This simple exercise can help you to experience the achievement of completing your goal. Which can help to give you a bigger why for your goal. The bigger the ‘WHY’ the more important the goal will be to you. The more deep-level importance you attach to the outcome of your goal – the more motivation you’ll have to achieve it.

Now of course when we commit to a goal – life can show up for us and things can get in our way of achieving the goal!

The action you take towards achieving your goal may not work as expected. If this happens – don’t despair! Tap into the ‘energy’ of your ‘why’ by repeating the exercise we just did and think of a new action that you can try – something different.

If that action doesn’t work-out – repeat the exercise above and try again. This is the magic formula to not giving up on your goals.

Working towards your goals is as important as achieving the goal because when you work on your actions you’re learning and growing. You expand your comfort zone and increase your resourcefulness – especially when the action doesn’t work as expected – just keep going!

I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, please comment and share.

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Do You Want to Take Control of Your Business and Life?

Book a free, no obligation ‘Discovery’ call with me.

During this call you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • EXPLORE the biggest challenge that you are facing right now

  • DISCOVER what you REALLY want out of your Business and Life

  • EXPOSE possible futures for you and your Business

  • EXPERIENCE coaching

Click the button below to book your ‘Discovery’ call: