What separates successful businesses from the less successful ones? Why do some businesses seem to effortlessly grow while others struggle to produce great results? Of course, the answer isn’t simple; however, it might just be under your nose and you may be blind to some important clues that are showing up on a daily basis.

When things aren’t well in life, you know because you have symptoms. You know when you are not happy because you feel depressed; when you are sick, your body lets you know; the same is true in business. The problem is that we tend to ignore these vital signs and we put off fixing something until it becomes too big to avoid anymore, but the fact is that having symptoms means that the problem is already too big.

Understandably, as you are so focused on managing your business, it is easy to overlook some of the things going on, but here are five warning signs you don’t want to miss. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consider improving your time management skills to fix these problems. Remember, that if you are not managing your time, you are not managing your business as effectively as you could be, and therefore, you are undermining your own results.

1. Growing impatience and irritability with others. Do you find yourself lashing out for no reason, feeling annoyed without being able to pinpoint why? Do you bark at others unnecessarily?

2. Your family and friends are constantly worried about you. How often do you hear, ‘I’m really concerned, you never seem to have time for anything else’ or ‘You are always stressed, I’m really worried about you’?

3. Finding yourself stressed and overwhelmed on a daily basis. Do you find that you feel tense, anxious and weighed down more often than not? Does feeling this way seem like your life story at the moment and the thought of not feeling stressed is an elusive dream?

4. Finding that you are always over committing or losing track of tasks. How many times have you had to go back on your word because you simply can’t fit in everything you committed to? Or you find yourself racing around; almost breaking your neck to get everything done, promising yourself you won’t take on so much again?

5. Constant struggle to meet deadlines. How often do you find yourself having to stay later and later to get all your work done? Or that the once clear line between your work and family life is now blurred, as your home has now become your second office?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, the next question I would like you to consider is ‘How is this affecting your company and your results?’ In the same way that you spend time learning skills to invest your money, you need to learn skills to invest your time so that your return is higher.


Here are simple tips to get you started

1. First, get clear on how you are actually spending your time
Constantly checking your emails, spending hours on social media, not practicing batching, having too many distractions… all of this literally eats up hours a day. Identify your time thieves and start correcting them.

2. Planning and prioritizing need to become second nature to you
If you are planning but you are still feeling frazzled and stressed, you are not planning effectively. Just the act of planning doesn’t mean that you are managing your time. In fact, if you over plan, you might end up more stressed than before. The same goes with prioritizing; you can’t only spend time on tasks that are urgent and important if you want long term growth.

3. Delegate when possible
With virtual assistants, menial tasks can be outsourced at a really affordable cost now. Once you free up time, you can focus on the things that you are better at where you can add more value to your business, which will cover this cost. You need to take risks to achieve better things, and this is a very calculated risk.

One of the biggest driving forces weakening your results in business is how you manage your time; this influences everything. We all have 24 hours in the day, what you do with those hours and how efficient you are when you work, directly affects your results. One of the best investments you can make for your business is to invest in your time management skills. Working towards treating these symptoms now is a lot easier than dealing with the damaging results later.

To your Success

Kirstin ODonovan

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