If you, like me, are building a business in the pockets of time you have available, you are going to be looking at ways to use those pockets of time effectively.
How much time do I have?
The one thing that puts every one of us on equal footing is time. You cannot buy more. You cannot give it away, you cannot create more. We all have 24 hours in a day – whether we are rich or poor, working or unemployed, young or old – we all have the same 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds.
Warren Buffet has the same 24 hours in his day as the person who just flipped the burger you’re going to eat for lunch.
Where does the time go?
Looking at this conservatively, take away the 8 hours we all need to sleep in that 24-hour timespan. You have 16 hours left.
If you work at a “40-hour a week” job, you can take away another 8 hours in your day, and, let’s say, 30 minutes for commuting – each way. You now have 7 hours left. Need about an hour – give or take – to make dinner and clean away the dishes? You’re down to 6.
Let’s say you take a couple of hours to interact with your family – talking about your day, helping kids with homework, reading the little ones a bedtime story, spending quality time with your spouse or significant other. You still have 4 hours !
One of those hours may be the time you take getting ready in the morning, because nobody jumps out of bed, gets straight into their car and drives to work. You’re now down to 3 hours of spare time. Remember, that’s a very conservative estimate, based on a very “average” lifestyle.
How can I make the best use of my “spare” time?
The one thing that I have found invaluable to my time management is Google calendar. You may use a different online calendar, but make sure that you put everything you do, and everything you need to do on your calendar.
I use Google calendar to block out time for work, travel to and from work, my children’s school activities, house cleaning tasks, and even sleep. Yes, I know that when my phone buzzes at 9:50pm each evening, it’s letting me know that I need to start winding down and getting ready to turn off the laptop.
I like Google calendar because I can create different calendars for each aspect of my life. One for each of my children, one for work, one for my nutrition business, and even one for medication reminders!I'm making appointments with myself! Click To Tweet
When you’ve plotted out everything on your calendar, then you can see exactly what time you have left to devote to building your business.
If you can schedule your business-building activities around quiet times, you’ll find you get more done! Think about waking up an hour early, or working when the kids have gone to bed. The less interruptions you have, the more you can concentrate.
Consider turning of your phone. Turn off your IMs, or at least silence the alerts. Disconnect yourself from the wifi, if at all possible. You need to focus your attention on the task at hand.
Let people know you’re working, and you would appreciate it if they would not interrupt you. Make sure you let them know what time you will be finished, so they know when it’s OK to talk to you without getting their heads bitten off!
I’ll admit to struggling with this one, but you can delegate simple things such as washing dishes, if it helps you get back to building your business! Maybe your children are old enough to prepare dinner. Maybe your older children could help their younger siblings with homework. Delegation doesn’t have to be all about business.
Schedule breaks from your “business” work, but don’t get caught up in doing something that will take your attention away! I have a bad habit of getting up, walking to the kitchen, and starting to put dishes away. And before you know it, I’m running water in the sink to wash more dishes.
Take a break and walk around the block. Or just go outside and stretch. Don’t take a break and start doing “different work”. It doesn’t work!!
What time management techniques do you use?
Some use a timer and set a 15 minute limit on tasks. Some use various websites to help make the best use of their time. What’s you favorite time management tip?