Be The Master Of Your Own TimeTweet
As a business owner, it can sometimes feel as though you’re being pulled in 10 different directions at once. There’s so much to do and only so much time in the day, so we often end up running out of time for one thing or another. But at ActionCOACH, we believe that it is possible to achieve everything you need, simply by learning a skill called time mastery.
You see, mastery in general is all about making sure we have mastered the basic skills of business, before we go running into the extra bits and pieces. These skills help build the foundation of a successful business and are critical to success. One of the areas we work on with our clients is time mastery – helping them take back control of their own time and focus on the more important tasks ahead of them. But how can you take steps to truly master your own time in business?
Urgency vs Importance
Look at your to-do list for your business. If you don’t have one – make one! Write down a list of all the things you need to do. Then, write another list of all the things that you might need to do (such as answering the phone, emergency calls outs etc. Next, put each task under one of the following headings:
- Not Urgent, But Important - Tasks that will drive your business forward and help achieve your goals. Things like planning, budgeting, training.
- Urgent And Important - Things like client work, and should make up around 70% of your day
- Urgent But Not Important - Things that have a deadline and do need to be done, but aren’t important to the growth of the company.
- Not Urgent and Not Important - Time killing activities
You now have your tasks set out in order of priority. Now you may find that you have a whole bunch of tasks under ‘urgent but not important’ – the things that need to be done, but don’t help you achieve your goals. If that’s the case, maybe you need to look at hiring a VA to help handle those tasks. If you have a lot of ‘not urgent and not important’ tasks, get them off the list. By prioritising in this way, you can focus on the tasks that are going to be beneficial to your business going forward.
It often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything on your list. But how much time do you actually spend on each task? Are you expecting too much of yourself each day? Or are you spending too much time on unproductive tasks, or getting distracted by things that won’t help you achieve your goals? The first step to mastering your own time is to work out what you’re spending all your time on. This can be tough, so we recommend using some tools. This could be a spreadsheet, a paper diary, an app or anything that helps you log what you do with your time. Then, make sure you log how you spend your time during an average work week. You may quickly find that you’re actually spending a lot of time on things that are ‘not urgent and not important’ and no time on the things that are both urgent and important. Once you’ve used your tool to record an average week, try to readdress the balance and plan your next week. Then record that, and keep improving until you’re happy with the balance.
Eat A Frog Every Day
There are a lot of activities that every business owner does every day. Some of them are very important, and some not so much, or not at all. Some of them we enjoy doing and always do on time. And some always end up at the bottom of the to-do list, done only as a last resort. We call these tasks ‘frogs’ – usually big, warty, ugly ones too. Those dreaded frog tasks often end up taking a lot longer than they need to, and if they also happen to be important and miss a deadline, this can cause a lot of issues. One of the skills we teach in time mastery is called ‘frog eating’ – and helps you make tackling those frog tasks easier and more efficient. We go into more detail about why eating a frog every day is good for your business and your time management in our blog post here.
Time is the only finite resource we have as business owners, so it’s important to make sure we’re using it properly. The time mastery section of the Action Coach programme is one that most business owners we come across struggle with, and have been for a while. But it’s also the area that can make the most difference, both to your productivity, your business and your attitude towards it. To find out more about how we can help you become the master of your own time, just get in touch with the team today.