Time Management Tip Number 3 – What would you really love to have more of in this world? Could it be time? How different would your life be if you had more time? This may be an elusive dream for many, but don’t limit yourself, it can certainly be your reality.

We all seem to be struggling with time in some way or another and unfortunately, we just simply can’t buy more of it when we run out of it. Whether time management has been a challenge of yours for years or something you are just facing now, it won’t go away until you deal with it.

In Part 1 of this series, we focused on what you were doing at the moment that was undermining your results. You needed to identify your time thieves so you have awareness of what areas you need to work on. In Part 2, we focused on changing what isn’t working, tackling your current time management challenges and preparing for any obstacles that might come up.

Part 2 encompasses that subject of habit, and changing how you habitually do something if it isn’t currently getting you the results you want. This probably wasn’t a piece of cake to tackle, I know. When you attempt to change a certain way of doing something, you will almost always come up with some resistance.

You might feel a pull to go back to what you were doing before, and you might even feel frustrated at times. If you want to change what isn’t working, there is no other way but with effort, patience, commitment and discipline. How badly do you want to have more time and learn how to manage your time effectively? 

Remember that time management isn’t only a surface level challenge, it goes much deeper than that, so don’t fret. What you are feeling is normal. If you need professional support with your time management habits, I am just an email away.

Part 3 – Moving forward…

Depending on your job, you will either have very structured days, unstructured or a mix of both. If you normally do the same things every day, you have a structured day. If most of your day is planned as you go by, you have very unstructured work. Take a moment to reflect on your day. What is it like? How much of your day can you actually plan?

It is essential to be realistic about how much time you actually have. If you are vague about how flexible and structured your work is, any effort to plan effectively will be fruitless.

To move forward, you need to know where you are going. Time management and goal setting are tightly linked and one supports each other.

Step 1: What are your long term goals and objectives?
Step 2: What are the smaller steps that you need to take, which will lead you to your bigger goals.
Step 3: The smaller steps need to be analyzed and prioritized
Step 4: Finally, we will talk about planning effectively and which different tools and techniques will be best for you in the upcoming parts.

The focus then for this week will be on goal setting, the first three steps. This is an area that can never be overlooked or disregarded, everything starts with a goal. The one common habit that every successful person shares, is goal setting. If you do not know what you are aiming for, how will you know where you are going?

Depending on the stage you are in with your business and how you like to plan your goals, you could plan for a week, a month or a year ahead.

The first type of goal you will set are the fundamental goals. You need to achieve these goals because they are essential for business success. Afterwards, you will set goals which are instrumental to you achieving the bigger goal. Your instrumental goals will be the smaller goals, broken down into daily or weekly objectives.

For example,  a fundamental goal could be to make a certain amount of profit this year. Your instrumental goals could be the amount of products you need to sell on a daily or weekly basis. Finally, you will set your complementary goals. These goals support the company in providing a better service or product. These goals can include anything from extra training to support systems in the office.

Another key in goal setting is to set goals which are well planned out. Use the SMARTER guidelines to support you, this is a practice that is widely used because it is so successful in setting goals.

  1. Your activity this week is to write down your goals, for a week, a month or a year ahead. Make sure you have fundamental, instrumental and complementary goals. Once you have these goals written down, check them against the SMARTER guidelines.
  2. Break your goals down into smaller tasks, what you will actually be doing, the action steps. Most goals can be broken down into smaller manageable steps. Always ask yourself questions like – ‘Can this task be broken down any further?’ ‘Am I considering everything that needs to be taken into account when doing this’.
  3. Put the tasks into sequential order

You will now use this list of tasks to plan ahead! In Part 4, we will look at how to use to-do list’s, prioritize your tasks and plan effectively!

Step 3 is about getting clear on your business goals and mapping out the path to achieve them.

What comes next?…sign up for my posts to receive step 4 on Effective Time Management Tips For the Entrepreneur

Click here to read part 1 – Identify your time thieves or part 2 – Making a few necessary tweaks

To your success

Kirstin Odonovan

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