Time Management Tip Number 1 –Suppose you arrive home one day and to your horror, you discover that water is leaking from a small hole in your garage roof. On the floor a small puddle is starting to form and you race to find a patch, something that you can use to stop the leak. Once you have stopped the leak, you breathe a sigh of relief!

We tend to treat our time management problems in the same way, using a quick fix to bring us temporarily relief. Is the problem really fixed though? What actually caused the leak in the first place and how long until it appears again?

Effective time management is about looking for the root of the problem, not a temporary solution. So what is the difference really?

For example, you claim that your biggest time management struggle is feeling stressed, because you have so much work to do. As you go about your days, you try to focus on getting as much done as possible, working longer, pushing yourself more, and thinking that if you can just get through this, you will feel less stressed.

What you really need to do though, is find out what is actually causing the stress, what is not working that needs to be changed and what you need to do differently to reduce your stress levels in the future.

If I had to ask you to identify all the areas that you could improve to manage your time more effectively, could you tell me immediately? Most entrepreneurs and small business owners can’t.

When you have a business or you work for yourself, you can’t afford to be blind to your shortcomings, you need to identify them, and how you manage your time is one of the most overlooked areas in business.

In this series, I am going to take you through step by step, how you can start to be more effective with your time management as an Entrepreneur.

First, you need to take more responsibility for your time and how much control you really do have.
Don’t think along the lines of…’There just aren’t enough hours in the day’..

Rather think along the lines of…’There are so many things I want to do in my business, how can I manage my time more effectively in the hours I have each day.’

Once you take responsibility for your time, you are in the driving seat and the next step is to find and fix that leak

Where do you start?

1) Identify your time thieves
We all have time thieves and habits which don’t serve us, but what sets the productive apart is the amount of good habits compared to the bad ones.

How much time do you spend jumping from one task to another? How often do you procrastinate or do you feel distracted? If you are not clear on how you are managing your time, how will you ever know what needs to be improved?

There are a few tools which can help you to gain more clarity

• Time Log – This takes effort but it is the most accurate way to really spot your inefficiencies. You can do this from 3 days to 1 week, of course, the latter is more effective.

From the moment you start work to the moment you finish, you capture your activities on your log. You can download my time tracker here and use this to take notes of how you are spending your time.

This is such a revealing exercise for most of us because we really don’t have a realistic idea of how we are spending time and how much time we waste with interruptions, coffee breaks, meetings, etc

Just by doing this, you can gain a lot of insight because you can see immediately how you are spending your time, allowing you to make specific changes which will positively impact your time immediately.

• Topresultscoaching Time Thieves assessment
Perhaps you prefer to get professional support and guidance in this first step. Take my free assessment to help you to

– identify your blind spots
– to gain awareness on what you could be doing that you are not
– walk away with clarity on the different areas of time management that you should be focusing on as a priority to improve your time management skills. Contact me for a free assessment here

• Add on bonus – Use Rescue time This software runs on your computer and captures how you spend your time. You receive weekly reports which give you insight into your productivity levels and much more

Step 1 is about getting clear on what is going wrong, don’t overlook this step!

Don’t go for the quick fix…sign up for my posts to receive the upcoming steps on Effective Time Management Tips For the Entrepreneur

Go to part 2 now 
To your success

Kirstin Odonovan

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