time management advice for small business UK coaching and support

Time Management: Avoiding your business taking over your life

POSTED ON: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

How do you manage your Time Management, when, as a business owner, your business is your baby? And having a baby is life changing. It’s a big responsibility and can consume your every waking moment if you let it.

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If I was advising you as parents I’d be suggesting that you mustn’t let your baby take over your life. It’s not healthy for you to drop absolutely everything to put your child first. So while you may well want to. It’s important to retain some of your own identity and remember who you were before you had a child. By doing this, you are healthy, less stressed and have better balance. This means that your baby benefits from a having a happy parent.

Exactly the same can be said about your business. If you don’t manage your time properly, and allow your business to take over your life. You can forget who you were before you started it. You will quickly be drained of the energy and passion that you had when you made your original decision to get started. And then your business will suffer as a result.

When I’m talking to my clients about Time Management, there are a few things that I insist that they remember to avoid falling into this common trap:

  1. Why you started the business in the first place.

Most people start their own business because they actually want more control over their time, rather than less.  They want to have the flexibility and the finances to be able to do the things in life that they really love… Then the responsibility of running a business takes over, and they end up paying more attention to their business than they do to the things they set out to do.

OR the business was started as a passion, and then the responsibility of running the business kicked in and the passion is slowly being eaten away.

If you focus daily on why you are in business, and what you want to get out of it, you will reignite your motivation and get the balance right.

  1. The importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance

And this doesn’t mean spending more time at home, whilst spending the whole time thinking about work. It means making a conscious decision to STOP working. Turn off the lap-top or the mobile. And get fully engrossed in something which is beneficial to your health, relationships and general well-being.  Stephen R. Covey (Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) referred to this as “Sharpening the saw”. If you spend all your time chopping down trees, pretty soon that saw will get blunt, so you have to take time to sharpen the saw if you want the quality of your work to be good.

It’s also important to remember that you have other roles in life, e.g. as a partner, a parent, a friend, a son or daughter. It’s not unheard of for romantic partners to leave business owners because they felt neglected in favour of the business.

  1. What you are actually trying to achieve

It’s very easy to spend time being busy, without actually being productive. So spending some time clarifying what your actual goals are for your business is a really important part of Time Management, then you’d find instead of your business taking over your life, you are doing focused work on achieving specific things.  I recommend that my clients ask themselves the following questions before embarking upon daily tasks:

  • Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  • Does this have to be done?
  • Does it have to be done by me?
  • What is the quickest/most effective way of doing this?
  1. Look at what systems/processes you can put in place

The questions I just mentioned are all a good indicator of when something can be automated, delegated, or just done in a much more efficient way. There are countless types of software out there all designed to make running a business easier for you. From cloud accounting, CRM systems, stock control, staff tracking and much more.

If all of this feels a bit overwhelming then ask your Business Coach to help you get started.  If you haven’t got one yet then get in touch.  I personally cover the South East Essex area, and we have other coaches throughout the country…

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