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Roundup: Time-Management Resources

We have all heard the saying “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”.  While everyone has felt that way at some point in time, there are ways to take control of your day and get off the proverbial hamster wheel.  Here are 5 tips to taking back the most important commodity – your time!

1.If everything is important, then nothing is.
If you are like most entrepreneurs any time you get a good idea it is tough to let the opportunity pass you by.  However, it is important to remember that if everything is a priority, then nothing is.  A great way to help you accomplish this is to narrow your focus to no more than 2-3 key areas of focus, and then create a “not now” list so you know that those other great ideas are not forgotten, they’re just not good for right now.  The caveat here is that you are not allowed to look at your “not now” list until you have completed at least 1 of your top priorities.   You need to allow your brain to only focus on the top items or you risk losing focus and getting off track.

2. Use lists
The biggest lie we tell ourselves is “I will remember that”.  Don’t rely on your memory to keep yourself organized and focused.  Below are a few examples of lists that will help you take back your day.

  1. Your Schedule. This should be done for the entire year, broken down to the day.  You need to decide what days you will focus on revenue generating items, what days you will focus on building and maintaining your business and what days you will take as free days to allow yourself to recoup.   (Those are often the most important!)
  2. To-Do List. No this is not a running 20…30…40 item list for the week.  Create a daily to-do list that is always prepped the prior day.  Choose your top 3 priorities that are your non-negotiables and then list out up to 10 other items you can move to after the priorities are checked off.
  3. People You Can Help Next. This is the list of your clients or prospective clients that have opportunities where your assistance is needed.   This is a bit of a mindset shift as these types of lists have often been seen as a revenue producing or lead generating list but if you change your thought to say “hey, these people can benefit from the services I have to offer, so let’s make that happen!”  You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to ask for business when you know you are truly helping someone.

3. Re-evaluate Your Meetings
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is having a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting.  Let’s face it – most people hate meetings, business owners and employees alike.  So why continue to torture yourself?  If you are going to have a meeting there needs to be a clearly defined agenda sent in advance stating what the meeting is about, who is involved, and what the end goal is.  One solution to this is having a stand-up meeting.  Studies have shown that when people stand during a meeting they tend to move quicker and maintain focus.   Steve Jobs, former co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Apple, Inc., was known for kicking people out of meetings.  Not out of frustration or anger but for the sheer fact that if they didn’t have a true purpose in that meeting, there was no need to waste their time making them sit through it.  Adopt Steve’s mentality in your own business and you should see immediate positive results!

4. Create your own Miracle Morning
In author Hal Elrod’s book “the Miracle Morning” he talks about how to get your day started off on the right foot and all that you can accomplish before 8:00 am.  How does it sound to wake up each day with more energy, motivation and focus, all while taking your life and business to the next level?  Pretty awesome right?!  By getting up a little bit earlier and tackling the most important tasks first thing in the morning not only will you feel better about your day but you can achieve more success because of the creation of positive, effective habits.  Check out Hal’s book so you can get started on creating your Miracle Morning checklist.

5. Say. No.
While your to-do list is important your “stop doing” list is just as, if not more important in the grand scheme of things.  In order to take control of your time sometimes you have to utter that dreaded two letter word.  NO.  For the successful entrepreneur it is easy to think that you can do absolutely everything you set your mind.  Sorry folks but it’s just not possible.  There are only so many hours in the day and to live the most effective, fulfilled life we must say no to some things.  How often does it happen that all at the same time you’re working on a big case or project for a client, your former colleague calls to ask you to sit on the local Chamber committee since it’s “only a year-long term”, all while you find yourself not only handling the large cases that you enjoy but you’re consistently jumping into the sales role, administrative role and bookkeeping role because you have doubts that no one can do it as well as you.  Quite frankly, if you are an entrepreneur you should only be focused on those things that give you the most energy and that cater to your passions.  Everything else should be delegated or disengaged.  By having a “stop doing” or “just say no” list on your desk at all times you will become more acutely aware of the things that drain your energy rather than contribute to it.  Make your list then create a plan of action so you can properly manage your time and live the life you’ve always dreamed of!

 


 

This information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Brittany Anderson and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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