Time management must surely be one of the most discussed subjects of all time for business owners. Recently one of our Facebook ‘groupies’ asked a question about it and it got us thinking. Although it seems like everyone in the small biz world has an opinion on this (seriously – do a search for ‘time management tips’ right now and you’ll be OVERWHELMED), we’ve found that – like most things – keeping things simple always works best. The key to good time management is not investing too much time in working out how to manage it!
So in answer to the question recently posed to us, we’ve put together some tips to help you set better goals, get back on track and manage your time effectively.
Tip #1: Figure Out What You Truly Want
Make sure that the goals you’re setting are coming from your core. A mistake many people make is setting ‘other people’s goals’ based on what they think and hear that others might want. Don’t get caught in that trap! The goals that come from your soul are the ones to focus on, we promise!
Here’s a quick exercise to help you get clear. Sit with your feet on the floor and take slow deep breaths until you feel that your whole body is relaxed. Then, while focusing on your goal, ask yourself if the goal is a good one. As you think about the answer, pay attention to what your body does. If you relax, it’s advice that resonates with you, if you tense up, maybe it’s not quite right, so move on and don’t do it. (This is an over simplification but it works.)
Tip #2: Great Goal Setting is All About Balance
The best results to goal setting come when you combine specificity with release. Decide what you want and then let it go. We’ve all heard about making goals ‘measurable’ and the best goals are generally the ones that you can tell are completed. The trick here is being specific enough about them, without standing in the way of what life also wants to bring to your plans. A bit of specificity can go a long way in bringing things to life, but don’t be hung up on the exact how.
Tip #3: Make Better Lists
When working with clients we always remind them to make better lists. If you put 10 things on a list and only accomplish 5, you will feel crappy and unsuccessful. If you put 5 things on your list and accomplish all 5, you’ll feel amazing and motivated to do more. It’s the exact amount of completion with a totally different feeling. Productivity levels (and your feeling of accomplishment) can be affected by simply being realistic about your goals and how you approach your tasks.
Our final and perhaps most important piece of advice is listen to yourself. Whatever you read or hear about goal setting – make sure to ONLY take the advice that feels true to you, right down to your core. If you’re still unsure about what that means, try the exercise above. By introducing relaxation and focus into your planning and time management, in no time at all you’ll be setting better goals and discovering more time to do the important things you need to do to be your best.
Is there anything you do regularly to empower yourself to manage your time, that you might add to the list above?