Master Your Calendar to Master Your Business
Think you don’t have enough time? You just have to get smart about how you use it.
What I have observed as I work with small business owners is that they often feel overwhelmed and feel like they are racing just to keep up. When I ask them how they are using their time, they cannot answer. When I ask them to keep a time log, they often resist as they are “Too Busy”.
The sad news is they will remain too busy until they take the time (there is that word again) to learn how they are actually using their time. And this does not have to be hard. It can be as simple as a day broken into 15- or 30-minute increments (link). Then as you work through your day, jot down what you were doing from 8:00 – 8:30 and then from 8:30 to 9:00.
As you identify what you have been doing and how long it takes, it will become clear what is taking up all of your time. And perhaps, more importantly, what you can let go of.
Now it’s time to gain control over your calendar so you can master your business. Here are some tips:
- Schedule daily Time To Think (TTT) this is strategic thinking about your business. Stepping back from working “IN” your business.
- Where can additional training, or process development now, ease the time for tasks later?
- Block time for important tasks. The time log you just developed will help you better estimate how long you need for your various projects.
- Delegate. This is important. You need to learn how to help other people help you to grow your business. If you do not, you are the bottleneck on your success.
- Learn to say “no”, or at least “not right now”.
- Learn to group similar things together. For example, block out an hour to return phone calls at one time versus writing an email, reviewing the numbers and then making a call. Give your brain a break.
As a small business owner your task lists probably says “Everything.” You want to learn how to find the Big Rocks, the most important priorities, and schedule them and then keep your schedule. Don’t break the appointments you set with yourself.
Learn to use what Tony Robbins calls “Net Time”.
– Listen to audiobooks during the commute.
– Read the article or journal to keep up on your industry while waiting for an appointment.
– Listen to podcasts while exercising.
– Leverage walking meetings with your team. Take a walk and cover their goals and tasks.
Finally, commit to yourself, your team, and your business. When you learn to control your calendar, you will be one step closer to mastering your business.