Not enough hours in the day? Pah!
Not enough time in the day to get all your stuff done?
It’s not time that’s your issue – it’s a lack a direction!
This may sound harsh but it’s true. None of us feel that we have enough hours in the day. It’s a complaint that slips easily off our tongues. And yet time is one resource that put us all on the same level playing field. We all have 24 hours in the day, 7 days a week.
It’s how you choose to spend the hours that you have, that sets you apart from your competition.
What’s taking up your time?
Yes, yes, yes! Some of you are working mums. Having a pre-schooler at home does give you limited work hours – may be even just two half days a week forcing you to burn the midnight candle every evening.
Some of you still have “day-jobs”. You are waiting to hand your notice in or accept redundancy terms so if you want a meeting during work hours, it’s a juggle to get a days holiday or squeeze it in to the weekends.
I’m a mum myself. My children are older now – 9 and 11 – so I work term times and take my foot of the peddle during the school holidays. When I first started up in business in 2004, I was working 3 days a week in a full-on corporate sales environment, racing around with 2 young children doing the nursery runs and all the other mum-jobs that needed doing. Fitting in a new business had to be squeezed in between the hours of 8pm and midnight. When I handed my notice in and started up on my own, my eldest started school and my youngest was at home with me 2 days a week. I had just 3 short school days to get anything done, plus the obligatory evening shift that kept me up most nights.
I wore that “Give me one more thing to do and I really well lose the plot!” T-shirt.
What’s holding you back?
But what held me back from moving forward was not time. It was a lack of direction. It was a lack of a plan. It was a lack of a clear way forward knowing what would help me bring in my first few clients.
I was focused on designing my own tri-fold leaflet. I spent days on that to only chuck the remaining 500 in the recycling bin one year later. They were really quite crap!
I faffed about with making my website look pretty. (Moving images over by 10 pixels to the left. And then again to the right. No, that image works better over there. Oh, I’m back to where I started!)
I spent hours making lists of people to call. And then ran out of time to call them. (Or was I just using the list making as an excuse not to pick up the phone?!)
But once I know what I was doing, time didn’t seem to matter.
are you truly productive?
I know I am at my most productive when I have the least amount of time available to dedicate to my business. Now that both my children at at school full time and I have between the hours of 9am and and 4pm every day, it’s actually harder not to drift and become a slave to my inbox and never ending to-do-list.
I’m not perfect. I can faff about as much as the next person! But when the next school holiday looms and my taxi services are due to start up again, nothing quite focuses the mind on doing the stuff that matters. Doing the stuff that will move my business forward.
When you run your own business, you can just keep on and on. There is ALWAYS more stuff that you could be doing.
do you know your limits?
But limit the one precious resource that you could always do more with, and it’s a great way to sharpen the mind and focus on what really makes a difference to your business.
So my challenge to you today is … if you only had 15 minutes to do something to move your business forward, right now – what would you do?
Time just keeps ticking. Tick tock, tick tock. It’s your choice what you do with the time that you have.
Make that time matter!
What do you think? Is a lack of time that holds your business back? Or is something else? Leave your comments below.
About the Author: Karen Skidmore helps small business owners work smarter and use the right marketing tools so they can attract more of the right clients to their business. Karen created the Web Tech Club to show you how to use tools such as email newsletters, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice and marketing ideas that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.co.uk