Do you have a to-do list that still has items on it from 2 weeks (or 2 months) ago? Have you accumulated tons of business cards from networking meetings but haven’t entered them into your database, much less followed up? Do you have several ideas to grow your business but haven’t gotten around to actually implementing them?
The #1 time sucker
I thought I was pretty good at time management and goal setting. After all, I ran 2 part-time businesses during our 12 years of homeschooling. After the kids graduated, I kept those 2 businesses and worked a full-time job.
When I left the job and returned to entrepreneurship, there were days (and weeks) where it seemed like I wasn’t accomplishing what I had set out to do. I began to wonder where my time was going, so I did the following exercise.
Write down everything you do in a given day and how long it takes to complete each item.
My #1 time sucker was, you guessed it, social media. I’d go to Facebook or LinkedIn to do a quick post or 2 and then get distracted by all the interesting posts and articles. What seemed like just a few minutes was actually an hour or two. I later began scheduling my posts the night before using Hootsuite. This kept me off social media during the day.
In order to start or grow your business, you do have to network. A problem can arise, however, if you network too much. I was filling my days with networking meetings, seminars, workshops, webinars, and teleseminars.
While this was certainly all good, I wasn’t allowing enough time to follow up with people or make any calls. In addition, all that travel time, gas, coffee, and lunches can really add up.
Learn to say “No”. You don’t have to sign up for every single activity, webinar, seminar, or networking event. This also reduces the amount of emails in your inbox.
I’ve found that people who struggle with time management and goal-setting often lack clarity. It’s tough to hit your target if you don’t know what your target is or you keep moving it. That is an issue that plagues many creative types, so here’s another tip:
You don’t have to chase every bright shiny thing! Decide on your goals for the week, the quarter, and the year. Yes, you can adjust them. Just don’t forget about them.
If you’d like some help with clarity, direction, goal setting, branding, or time management, just let me know! You can snag a complimentary, 30-minute small business “sound check” here.
Dori Staehle is the owner and Chief Encouragement Officer at Rock the Next Stage. She has developed holistic coaching programs for entrepreneurs, speakers, and creative types to help them create a business that is aligned with their natural rhythm. To contact Dori about coaching or guest speaking, click here.