During my live organizational training, I do a time management exercise with the audience. I invite them to figure out how much time they need for their business and how much time they’re actually spending. Often, people will find that the various activities they identify require more time than they actually have to give their business each week.
When that happens, I encourage them to either delete, defer, or delegate some of their tasks, especially if they aren’t income producing. Here’s an example of what I mean by that, in case you find yourself needing to do the same thing.
Delete – What’s on your list that you really don’t need to do? It may be something you’ve always done that isn’t really serving a purpose any more, but it’s a habit. Break it and dump it!
Defer – Are there items on your list that you don’t need to do right now? Can you put them off for a few weeks or months, until you’re not quite so busy? If so, make sure you get them (and any evidence of them) completely out of your space and filed away in a safe place until you’re ready to tackle them.
Delegate – This one is my favorite. I can tell you from experience that there are many, many tasks in your business that you think only you can do that someone else could, with very little training, do for you. Sorry, but you’re not indispensable. Make a list of all of those little things (filing, putting labels on catalogs, even retrieving messages off of your voice mail) that take up your precious time and find someone (or a few people) to whom you can delegate those tasks. Does your neighbor or friend love your product? Barter with her for a few days a week in your office for product. Do you pay your kids allowance? Increase it a little bit and put them to work on simple tasks. Get creative and you’ll find someone. I promise.
The most important part of this process is to look at the bigger picture. It’s easier to keep doing things the way you’ve been doing them, but for most of us, it’s not contributing to a more harmonic, peaceful life. Take some time, get rid of some of your tasks, put off a few others, and find some support to complete what’s left. That means you’ll have time to focus on whatever activities actually make you money. And more time to spend with your family and on yourself.
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Julie Anne Jones is a sought after keynote speaker, online trainer, and corporate business consultant. She’s an accredited life and business coach with over fifteen years of experience speaking on stages across the United States and Canada. Known as “the systems specialist,” Julie Anne can break down any concept into simple, step-by-step, action-oriented training. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and communication tools for business success. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read more blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.