It became exceedingly obvious to me over the weekend just how precious my time is.
As an entrepreneur I often think I can work miracles in the space of 24 hours. Looking at my long to-do list of critical items for this weekend, I realised I was never going to achieve half of it. In other words – I had planned to fail.
I recently read that in a given day most people only get two hours of actual work done! I’m starting to believe that could be true. Time management appears to be a problem for almost the entire human population. So I decided to break down the key characteristics of this mysterious time thief:
Thief #1: Unrealistic Expectations
Look at your daily list of things you want to achieve. Put the number of uninterrupted hours needed to complete each one next to it. I’ll bet that for those of you with long lists you’ve already gone past 10 hours.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, this isn’t sustainable or useful so prioritize!
Action: Outsource, delegate or shift them to the following week.
Thief # 2: Social Networking Addictions
Since getting my iPhone it’s been so super easy to connect and engage with people 24/7. I wake up in the morning and can easily spend 30 minutes reading my email, checking Facebook, responding on Twitter and reading some blogs plus the news – from my bed!This is not time wasted but I have to recognize when I should be focusing on this and when I should unplug. We all need to acknowledge our SN time as part of our working day – it’s educational and can be incredibly valuable, like time you set aside to read a book.
Action: Account for time spent on Social Networks as integral time to expand your business and connections. Schedule 2-3 sessions of it into your day
Thief # 3: Non-Critical Distractions
Oh yes we all have these. “I must reply to that email to that person that has nothing to do with my business and is not a good use of my time”. “I’ll just watch this YouTube video that a friend sent”. “I’ll click on this website and then open up links to all the other sites they suggest viewing”. Why?
Action: Ask yourself: Is this of benefit to my business? Will it make me money? Is this a key customer? Can I help them in anyway that will benefit us both? If the answer is no, then hit DELETE, don’t make that call or shut down that browser or don’t schedule that meeting. Remember your time is precious.
Start filtering out non-constructive distractions in your day to focus on what really matters, what you’re passionate about and what will help you and your business grow.
Consider using great tools like Chrometa to monitor your time spent online and track where it’s really going, then categorize it so you can optimize it week on week.
Previous posts for Sassy Sunday include `How to Deal with a New Year Reality Check and ‘Entrepreneur 2.0 – How to get the latest version of you‘.’