Today I want to have a really honest conversation with you about how you’re spending your time in your business.
I read this quote yesterday and it really got me thinking.
“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Frued
So let me ask you a question. Are you being honest with yourself? In particular, are you being honest with yourself about how you spend your business time?
In my honest opinion, I feel most people are not. And getting honest with yourself whilst can be difficult to face, is incredibly powerful. It can mean the difference between a business that is consistently becoming more successful and a business that fails.
I want to give you some examples of how we are not honest with ourselves. I regularly hear people saying I don’t have time to…
- Work on my business
- Write a book
- Market my business
- Learn a new skill
- Create a product
- Go for a daily walk
- Have ME time to relax
- Work on the coaching exercises I set…
I hear this and pretty much know that for most people, this is simply not true. Even if the person totally believes it is true.
Not being honest coaching scenario
Meet Helen – She’s my virtual coaching client. For those of you who don’t know, I no longer offer private coaching. Instead I focus on helping you via my blogs.
Helen complained that she didn’t have enough time to work on her business. I asked Helen to keep a diary of her week. Hourly blocks from the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed. All she needed to do was a really quick note to say what she’d done in the hour. Such as..
- 6 -7 Get up, shower, breakfast, check social media
- 7-8 Get the kids up, kids breakfast and walk the dog
- 8-9 Pack ups and school run
- 9-10 Coffee with a friend/housework
- 10-11 social media and emails
- 11-12 coffee/housework/work on my business newsletter
- 12-1 lunch/ Run some errands in town
- 1-2 Still in town/ check sales/put social media post up/ chat with a friend via messenger
At the end of the week Helen had spent just 15 hours on her business and approximately 2 of those hours were actually priority tasks that would move her business forward. Helen filled her days. She feels busy but is getting very little done in her business.
When we reviewed Helen’s week, she could clearly see she was wasting a huge amount of time. And she admitted that she really didn’t know what to focus on when she was working, so tending to fill her time with social media, checking emails and randomly writing newsletters that didn’t really have any clear focus.
My coaching advice
Helen is able to work on her business Monday to Friday – My advice to Helen is as follow…
- Using the Ideal Business Workbook, Helen must get really clear about the business she wants to create
- Then Helen must set her Monthly Business Goals and then her Weekly Business Goals – She must prioritize her business tasks in order of importance to ensure she is consistently working on her goals
- 4 days a week – After dropping the kids off at school and returning home, Helen must commit to 2 hours of working on key priority tasks. Once she’s done, she can do house jobs, check emails, social media etc but not before her key priority tasks
- 1 day each week, Helen can meet a friend for coffee after the school run. Then she must go home and start her 2 hours of priority tasks as normal.
Following this plan of action means Helen will consistently complete 10 hours (at least) of really important business work. She can work on those less important business tasks outside of these times. Doing this will mean that Helen is consistenly working on her business goals and moving her business forward.
This is a really good starting point for Helen and she can adjust it to work more hours if needed once she has established this positive business routine.
BIG TIME WASTERS
I want to share 3 of the biggest time stealers in the vast majority of people’s lives.
- Social Media and emails
- Browsing the internet
Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with any of these and I do all of them. What I’m saying is “GET REAL!”
Get real about what you do with your time. Each and every one of us has the same 24 hours a day. The same amount of time that world-class writers have. The same amount of time that super successful business owners have. The same amount of time as the super-fit have…
I’m going to be completely honest now and maybe even offend a few people. But I really used to hate it… really HATE IT, when a client signed up for a coaching course with me. Paid good money for the chosen package and then didn’t do the exercises, didn’t set time aside to complete the course in the quickest time and putting 100% into it. Then I see them on Facebook sharing random posts that have nothing to do with growing their business, sharing that they’re binge-watching the latest on Netflix… Then they would say, “Oh, I haven’t had time to do the exercises you set. Hmm, time to rethink your commitment to your business I think.
The purpose of this post today is not to shame you. It’s to make you aware.
So let’s look at those 3 time taking culprits in a bit more detail.
Social media eating away at your time?
I want to make one thing absolutely clear. ALL social media sites are set up to be addictive. Facebook is a business, Instagram is a business… These business ideas were just an idea in someone else’s head at one point. Every time you go on to these sites, you are fuelling someone’s dream.
Do I want you to stay away from social media completely?
No, I love social media and spend time on various sites most days.
What I do want you to do is ask yourself 3 questions.
- What am I actually doing on these social media sites?
- Is this helping me achieve my goals?
- Could I spend my time differently to achieve the things I really want in life?
During my business here my Social Media time is connected to my business. So, yes it’s helping me to achieve my goals. However, I make sure that it’s monitored. I go in, do what I need to do and get out.
If I want to just browse, chat with friends and see what everyone else has been up to, just for the fun of it, I do that out of my work hours or on my work breaks.
Just make sure that you’re not getting to the end of the day having spent hours on social media and doing nothing productive in your business.
Television taking up valuable time
I hear a lot of successful people, guru’s, coaches… say that they don’t watch television and recommend we all ditch TV altogether. I personally think it’s entirely up to each individual. I love watching TV and Films. My son and I usually watch an hour-long program together in the evening or watch a film together. I love it and so does he, so it’s not something I’ll be giving up any time soon.
What I do want you to do is be aware of how much TV you’re watching and why. Is it a habit that you’re just doing for the sake of it, or is it something you thoroughly enjoy and do it mindfully?
Is watching hours of TV stopping you from doing something you really want to do? Is it stopping you from building the business you want?
What about browsing the web?
Let’s face it everything we could possibly want to know is just a click away on the web. It truly is amazing. But again I want you to think about how much of your time is spent browsing the internet. Why are you doing it and is it stopping you from achieving what you want?
So let’s say you have a dream to write a novel but you never seem to find the time. You spend an hour or so on Facebook catching up with friends, you watch an hour or maybe 3 hours of TV in the evening and probably, although you’re not really sure on times, spend around 2 hours browsing the internet each week.
Let’s add that up.
- Using 1 hour per day social media time
- 1 hour each day watching TV
- 2 hours per week browsing the internet.
That’s 16 hours a week. 832 hours per year. That’s a lot of hours isn’t it?
(And many people spend much more time on each of these activities)
Let’s say that would be author cut back on these things and freed up 8 hours each week. And let’s say that person could write 1000 words in 1 hour (That’s very doable). That’s 8000 words in 1 week.
According to Writer’s Digest between 80,000 and 89,999 words is a good range you should be aiming for. (for an adult novel)
So based on our 8000 words a week, that would be author could easily have a first complete draft typed up in just 10 weeks.
Definitely worth thinking about isn’t it? Or better still actually doing. What time could you free up to achieve your goals?
What about fitting in some extra exercise?
What could you do in 8 hours a week?
According to NHS.UK To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do:
- At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and
- muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
Based on this information you only need a minimum of 4 hours and 30 minutes.
And what about completing those exercises on the course you paid for that will change your life?
Have you bought a course and not completed it. I’ve definitely done this. Sometimes because the course hasn’t been what I expected and sometimes because I never committed the time even though I knew the information would really help me.
Now when I buy a course, I make sure that I commit to completing it. I actually schedule in time blocks to work on the course. Even if that’s only an hour a week or 10-15 minutes a day.
So how are you spending your time?
If you are one of the people, who say ” I haven’t got time to work on my business.” – Be really honest with yourself, look at where you can free up time to work on your business and work smart – Work on priority business tasks first. Make it a commitment.
If you’ve read this and still feel like you don’t have enough time
Now, I know that there will be some of you reading this who are still thinking “But I really don’t have enough time to work on my business. I want you to commit to a set amount of time each week. That may be 10 minutes every morning, 1 hour a day, 1 hour each week. Let me know in the comments below. The rule is that you only do your absolute priority tasks during this time. I believe that if you really want to build your business even the busiest people can achieve this. Once you’ve made this a habit, add a bit more time until you find a level that works for you.
Downloads to help make the most of your time
I have a few downloads that I feel can help you buikd positive habits in your business and make the most of your time.
Keep it simple – My Simplicity Goal Setting Pack will really help you to get clear about what’s most important to you in all areas of your life and focus on those things. This will mean that you always have time for the things that really matter. (Price at time of writing this post £9.99)
I also have a Simplicity Week Planner to help organize your week better to focus on those important things.
Law of Attraction Business Planning Pack – This pack really helps you gain clarity and use the law of attraction daily to help create the business you want.
Reach out for support
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I no longer offer private coaching but you absolutely can leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to support you in creating the business you want.
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