Not enough time to do everything? If finding time to work on growing your business is a struggle, you aren’t alone. Maybe you are still in your 9-5 but dream of becoming your own boss but your time management is really difficult. How on earth would you ever find the time to grow your business and your client work with so many different things demanding your attention.
I get it and it’s a major problem. Most of us when we first start our businesses have a full-time job and lots of family priorities leaving us very little time to work on our “dream” when we finally got home in the evening. Not to mention the stress of the daytime job and having little energy for your business goals at 8pm at night (when the Bachelorette is on!!)
But here’s the thing. You probably already know that Time = Money but you know what else? Time = Happiness.
If you can just figure out a way to be 1-2% more productive in your day, you can grow the income that your business receives, make the impact that you know you can make on this world and be happier than you ever thought possible.
But the reality is that it’s not easy. You have to change your mindset and actually make time….to do things like read this article.
I am not perfect but over the last 6 years, I successfully grew my business from a “hobby blog” with 2 full-time jobs to what is now a full-time business that supports a team of five people, including my husband as Chief Operating Officer. Plus in the middle of it all, I had a baby who required a lot of attention in those early days (and still every day) but family is why I do what I do so I had to make the time. Hear me when I say, I know how overwhelming this all can be, trust me.
What I want to share with you today is how you can find the time to grow your business and decrease your stress and overwhelm at the same time.
My LightBulb “Time” Moment
In September 2014, my daughter was 3 months old and I was in the middle of multiple program launches, preparing for my first international speaking event in Brazil and pretty much trying to do it all. I thought I could be Superwoman.
I had no handle on my time management. I was breastfeeding, pumping, getting mastitis every week because my daughter had a tongue tie but we were determined to make it all work. I felt like a failure and was completely miserable. I may be smiling in the below pic but trust me, I am one exhausted mama with a baby that would not sleep (see laptop as evidence of me “trying” to work in the background).
I had too much on my plate as a new mom running the behind the scenes of my company, creating content and marketing. Thank God I had a support group of entrepreneurs to lean on at that time.
They asked me, “How many hours do you want to work each week?” I said, “I have no idea.”
They asked me, “What is your working schedule? I said, “I don’t know.” It was very clear that I needed some major help.
This was my lightbulb “time” moment that I will always remember as a turning point in my life. This was the difference between quitting or thriving. This is when I discovered these tools.
When I asked and got support from those other entrepreneurs, I learned that I needed to be more disciplined than ever before if I was going to make my business really work and complete my purpose and calling in this life. I also needed to ask for help more and change my mindset. I did not need to do everything around the house, and also, be a wonderful mom and a kick-ass CEO. Something had to give and let me tell you, it wasn’t going to be the mom part or the thing I was called on this earth to do.
I didn’t need to be Superwoman.
This is important so I am going to say it again.
I am not Superwoman. I can’t do it all. I need help.
Ok, deep breath. Doesn’t that feel better? I feel better just writing it so I hope you feel better reading that.
Now, that we have that out of the way, we can finally move forward.
(But first, I have to share one of my all-time favorite photos of us somehow making it all work. Nursing, check! Laptop check! Preparing for my speech in Brazil the next day, check! And yes, that is a smile through all the craziness. Why? Because I was beyond thrilled to get even closer to my calling in life by inspiring 800 women the next day, take loads of pictures with all of them and tell them all that they can create the careers and lives of their dream. THAT is what it is all about ladies! That’s what the crazy moments and trying to be as productive as possible are all for! Because you’ll wake up one day on stage and have to pinch yourself when hundreds of people want to say hello to you in Portuguese but you don’t understand them so you just give them big hugs and say thank you:) Time = Happiness.
There is one more mindset shift I made through the past 6 years of building my business. It has to do with your calendar. Did you know that you are in charge of it? You have total control of it! I know other people like to schedule things on it and other people need you to do this and that all of a sudden it stresses you out to look at it on Sunday night.
Just say this with me, you are in charge of your calendar. It doesn’t control you! You control it. Yes, you are THAT powerful friend! You can put what you WANT on it. You can add extra time here and there for your passions and your goals and taking care of YOU.
If you haven’t read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks yet, I highly recommend it. What Gay Hendricks says in this book is this idea behind Einstein time. This is where you are in charge of your time. You are where time comes from. You can make as much of it as you want.
You have to shift your thinking to this Einstein time, where you experience a major surge in your productivity, creativity, and enjoyment when you say that you are going to get something done by a certain time. This shift takes place the moment you embrace one profoundly simple truth and that is YOU are where time comes from.
What you do with your 168 hours needs to be the most important decision of the week.
Click to tweet this: “What you do with your 168 hours is the most important decision of the week.” -@classycareer
Figure out where the gaps are, 30 minutes here and 60 minutes here. How are you not maximizing your time? I recently heard Millionaire Mentor, Scott Harris speak and this quote he said really stuck with me, “Your time is your most important resource. Life is decided in 15 minute increments.”
Yes, 15-minute increments. Do you know how many 15 minute increments added up to what my business is today? Millions.
So, it’s not a whole day each week that you need to build a business. It’s definitely not a whole week. I’ll be completely honest. It’s really not a full-time job to grow a business. You just need little 15 minute baby steps multiple times in your day. It all adds up!
To review before we dive into the “practical” toolkit, the major mindset pieces you must conquer before you go any farther.
1. You are NOT Superwoman.
2. You need to ask for help.
3. You are in charge of your calendar.
4. You make time.
5. Life is decided in 15 minute increments.
I am serious, read the above again until it sinks in.
Lie: You are too busy.
Truth: You are just not productive enough.
I know it is hard to hear that but it’s the truth. You can take control of your life, your time and your calendar. You can and will create the business of your dreams. It will be so worth it.Ok, ready to dive in! Let’s go!
Time Management: 7 Ways To Simplify Your Life To Grow Your Business
1. You Need Tools
There are hundreds of time-saving tools (get all of them here) to help you save time. It might take a little work up front but it will be more than worth it to get these running in your business. My top 3 favorites are:
Asana: Asana is my to-do list and my entire team’s to-do list goes directly into Asana. When I get tasks in my email, I just forward it directly into Asana. I actually go to sleep with ZERO emails in my inbox (which is lovely) because if it is a task, it goes into my to-do list in Asana. Then, I assign a due date to it, even something as simple as emailing someone back (because I have certain times in my week for doing things like that). If it is a task someone else can do, I assign it to them. I have decided to be 100% digital when it comes to my to-do’s. I write my goals down for the year and for the week but when it comes time to actually reminding me that I have a task due, I like to rely on automation and technology instead of me remembering it. If I have a task due, Asana will actually send me an email. How cool is that!
Timetrade: If you are starting any sort of service business where you will need to schedule calls to talk with potential clients or partners or if you just want to do some networking calls to grow your business once per week, get a Timetrade account now. This handy time management tool allows other people to book appointments on my calendar without me ever being involved. Yay for automation! I got away with not having an assistant for a long time when I just started my business just by using this tool. It never fails when I don’t use this tool, something gets mixed up with time zones or something forgets. This is the only way that I can always rely on to ensure people I schedule appointments with actually show up.
RescueTime: If you think you can be more productive, you definitely want to have RescueTime spy on you for a little while. It actually tracks what you are doing on your computer and can give you a time management report telling you where you are wasting time. It’s the closest thing you will have to a boss which we don’t want anyways, right! 🙂
I am sharing my other 7 favorite time management and productivity tools in my time management toolkit.
2. You Need To Set Priorities
If you are having a problem with time management, prioritizing is probably your problem. You don’t know what to focus on. You don’t know what you should be doing so you are doing what you “think” you should be doing or the first thing that pops in your mind. Or maybe you are wasting time on Instagram or Facebook. I know I am guilty of this! Remember, the 15-minute rule! 15 minutes working on your priorities can really add up!
You need to ask yourself this question, “What is really going to move the needle for you and your goals? What should you REALLY be spending time on each week in your business?”
Start with the end in mind and write down everything that needs to get done in your project that you are working on now. What is the end goal and give yourself a timeline for getting stuff done. Then prioritize what needs to get done first, second, etc. Here’s the key, don’t move to number 2 until number 1 is DONE! That’s right check the box. Feel great, and move onto the next thing. Give yourself as few as 3-6 priorities per week. That’s it! And then feel how amazing it is when you knock those out….by Wednesday! You’ll be ready for happy hour by Thursday! 🙂
3. You Need Time to Create and Think.
Your business is only going to make a difference in this world and be valuable to others if you are creating some valuable to share with others. You have to be creative every day and give yourself that time. You need to be doing this daily. This is precious time that you absolutely cannot get put behind email management and social media.
I realized that my morning time is when I do my best creating and my best thinking. With a two-year old, I don’t always get quiet time to do this, but I try my best to make it a priority. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, I can create a 3 sentence manifesto that is so powerful to my branding and story and can cause someone (maybe like you!) that wants to join one of my membership communities. See, those 15 minutes creating and just thinking are really adding up! Even if it’s meditating or journaling about your vision for your company. Maybe it’s just a long shower or bath. That’s when I get my best ideas.
4. You Need To Batch Your Time.
If you implement anything from this article, I sure hope it’s this one. Batching my time in blocks of time is when my business took off. I was drowning with “blog activities” like responding to comments, publishing articles, updating my social media, responding to emails and updating my website to make it look prettier. But, wait all of those things left NO time for thinking and creating (see #3) and definitely even less time for revenue producing activities like marketing and, most importantly, selling.
Know this, the most important thing you can be doing in your business when you are just starting out is selling. Anything else is wasted time if you really want your business to thrive. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to do those administrative items but they aren’t growing your company! You have to limit those times into “batches” of time where they are lumped together so you can have large amounts of time together for revenue producing activities and selling that product or service that is actually going to make a difference in the world.
Hint: Use this scheduling template + free tools if you want to make all this a lot easier on yourself.
5. You Need To Work ON Your Business, Not IN Your Business.
You have to remember that you are the CEO of your business. Even if your business is just you and you are doing everything right now, remember that you most important role is CEO. This is a time management mindset shift that I got way too long into running my business. I was a coach when I started but I never thought of myself as a CEO until later on. This led me to spending too much time working in my business and not enough time working on my business.
6. You Need a Schedule.
This is something I learned was crucial for time management. I needed to know exactly what I was going to do each day. It didn’t need to be scheduled down to the minute, actually I tried that one time and it backfired. Instead, I needed open space. Time in my days with nothing scheduled. That’s ultimately the answer for powerful business growth.
7. You Need To Watch and Learn From Others.
Now, you may not realize that you can do all this and ever find the time to do it. But let me tell you, other people are and you can too! You may think that I am an anomaly so I wanted to invite other women on that are making it happen despite extremely busy schedules to share how they are doing. These are members of The Corporate Rescue Plan.
I asked them to share, “What is one thing that helped you find the time to grow your business with so many things on your plate?”
The above tips are GEMS and I hope you got it all. If not, here’s the time management tips and highlights above:
With everything you do and have limited time, ask yourself “Is this activity or action going to help me accomplish my goals and reach my dreams?” (Jennifer Kroiss)
“Don’t apologize for making yourself a priority and invest in the same way if not more than you invest in others.” (Monica Taylor)
“Spend 5 minutes each morning writing down 3 tasks you are going to accomplish that day and your focus of the day.” (Maegan Whelan)
“Stay inspired. Make sure you are doing what you are passionate about. If you do, time won’t be a question.” (Kristie Ali)
“The Pomodoro Technique keeps me focused and in a groove.” (Christina Womack)
So, where do you start first. I would highly suggest starting with the right tools. Like the Pomodoro Technique above, all my tools are in this toolkit I hope you will download now and get started making 15 minutes extra each day to grow your business.