Does the start of a new week inspire you or create a sense of panic at everything that you need to accomplish? Somehow, we all have the same 24 hours in each day, yet some people are just better at making those hours work for them. Others, however, are mired in the busyness of every day, barely keeping their head above water.
Why is that?
What do those effective time managers know that you don’t?
It Starts with Mindset
Sure, you’ve heard it said before: everything stems out of your mindset. Ask any successful business owner to recommend a book about success, and in most instances, they’ll suggest something about mindset (You Are a Badass at Making Money comes to mind). That’s because who you are reflects in what you do.
I recently spoke with a successful CEO who summed it up nicely. He said that he is not the person now that he was when he launched his business, and he will have to be another type of CEO as he moves up to the next level. The 10X Rule, the Badass books, and practically every other book on being a successful CEO touches on this idea, what some call the be-do-have concept.
Be, Do, Have
Most people walk around in another version of this, the do-have-be approach. They do what they feel is necessary to have the things they want, which dictates who they are being.
When you turn that concept on its head, you are now being a certain way (that successful CEO, perhaps). When you show up differently, you have to do different things. And you get different results.
You might look at this and think that doing the right things to get where you need to be is just fine—and you wouldn’t be wrong. We all want to do the steps that will get us to the next level; there’s no doubt about that. But what if you’re just doing the same thing every day hoping you’ll get that “one big client” or “next great opportunity”? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
When you change your mindset, you create opportunities. If you are in the frame of mind that you are already successful and not stuck in the busyness cycle, you’ll see different opportunities present themselves. And they can help you grow your business.
Change Your Language
When it comes to mindset, a lot has to do with language. When you’re being a successful CEO, you stop saying, “I don’t have enough time to do everything.” Instead, you can regain some power around time by reframing how you relate to it. “I am choosing to use my time for…” puts all of the energy on you, not on time. Remember, if you’re focused on creating a new mindset, you need to give your mind the tools to do that. Be powerful, create your reality, and be in charge of your time with your language first.
Track Your Time
Once you have your mindset handled, you need to know where you’re spending your time.
One of the biggest issues in getting overwhelmed with busyness is that you just don’t know where your time is being spent. How can you possibly regain your time if you’re not sure how and where you’re losing it?
There are plenty of ways to track time, whether you just write down what you’re doing every 30 to 60 minutes on a piece of paper or use a more sophisticated time-tracking system. The trick is to be consistent. It’s pretty challenging to find more time—and shift away from busyness—when you don’t know where your time is being spent currently.
Track your time for at least one week to see what you’re doing. Remember, in your head, something may feel like 10 minutes, but in reality, it could be more like 2 hours. Time is relative, and with hard data, you can make the changes you need to switch from busyness to running your business.
Calendar Your Time
I once heard it said that you have to treat your business as if it’s your most important client. Otherwise, you’ll put everything else ahead of working on your business. And it’s true. Too many CEOs, business owners, and entrepreneurs are busy working in their business rather than on their business.
If your own business is your most important client, you’ll schedule time for it. And more importantly, you’ll hold that time sacred.
But don’t stop there.
If you are in the business of creating deliverables, meeting with clients, and running your business, you will have a lot on your calendar. That’s okay. It’s keeping track of that time that will give you the power to get through your to-do list and gain more freedom.
Use a Google calendar, iCal, Microsoft’s calendar, or even a paper calendar to start tracking your activities. A smart idea is to color code what you have going on—even if that’s with a highlighter on paper. Give each task a color, and plan in advance: either by the day, week, or month.
Give appropriate times to each task, and if you don’t finish them in the time allotted, immediately reschedule a completion time. And make note of how long the activity really took so you can schedule better next time.
Delegate and Outsource
The best leaders maximize their time by duplicating themselves. Instead of doing everything personally, they find others who excel in those areas and delegate the work to them. Sometimes, this occurs internally when leaders delegate tasks to their team members. Other times, in smaller companies, they outsource tasks or components to vendors.
In actuality, there comes a time for every entrepreneur when they can no longer do everything themselves. Letting go of things is a big deal for many of us. After all, we know our businesses, and who can possibly do things as well as we do? But if scaling is on your agenda, you can no longer do everything yourself.
Is Busyness Overwhelming You?
If you feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle of busyness, and losing valuable productivity because of it, it’s time to find help. Ink & Quill Communications provides outsourced CMO services. We can either take the role of CMO off your plate and manage the marketing vendors you already have in place, or we can define the strategy and manage execution. We help maintain your sanity and grow your business while ensuring ROI.
Contact us to learn more and schedule a quick call. We’re here for you.