Time Management Sucks!
Ok, now that we got that off our chests…
Embracing a few time management principles IS the key to getting your business from point A to point B.
However, it is also the #1 most dreaded, overlooked and ignored principle by entrepreneurs from all different types of industries. So how does anyone ever get from a mindset of dreading time management to actually digging it?
I recall when I first started coaching, a client of mine took my task to him to, “Schedule his day out ahead of time” and he assigned it to his “Someday Maybe” folder in Outlook! That pretty much summed up the mindset that I would personally encounter with the majority of my Mortgage and Real Estate clients going forward in my career. It also pin-pointed to me exactly which “pain” I had to help coach my clients through right out of the gates in order to move them forward in their businesses.
Now I have met some phenomenal, almost super human, time management gurus, but what I have found is that the vast majority of the population simply cannot envision themselves as ever being as well organized, as calendar-savvy or really even as THAT interested as these time management loving types seem to be. And here’s the thing…if you can’t envision it, you won’t connect with it and if you can’t connect with it, you’ll likely stick it in your “Someday Never” folder!
Time management does not have to be the three headed monster that you may have been imagining, nor do you need to become a calendar junkie in order to see some positive movement in your level of efficiency and effectiveness every day. Indulge me just for a minute by playing the, “What if” game. Ask yourself the following “What if” questions and then immediately subscribe a picture in your mind before moving on to the next one:
What if I knew my weeks would end with more victories?
What if I felt in control and focused every day?
What if I was more effective with my team?
What if I planned more and reacted less?
What if I spent more time with my family?
Is it really worth missing out on all of those things and feelings you just imagined? The real truth is that what you envisioned is attainable, but not if you aren’t willing to do things differently, in order to gain different results.
Did you know that many entrepreneurs aren’t planning, organizing and using their calendars due to a subconscious avoidance to doing the, “tough stuff” like prospecting and selling? Not YOU, of course, but I’m sure you have a friend, right?
Like anything we want to change, we first must recognize and admit to the fear that is holding us back. If you don’t admit to having a problem, how are you ever going to fix it?
The second step is to give yourself a visual reminder, one that you can’t avoid like setting the scrolling banner option on your PC to read, “Spending 20min to plan out my day will save me 3 hours of wasted time.” Or writing this same message on a white board strategically placed in your office. It may sound trivial, but the mind works in mysterious ways and you are just going to have to trust me on this one and if you want to know why I’m so sure of this, you can always email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, as a third step to sloughing one of the three heads of your time management dragon, commit to using one calendar and entering the following time-block items into it each week:
Client appts. (Key: instead of asking clients when they are available to meet or be called back, immediately offer times that YOU have available and let them choose)
File review (Key: mornings are the best time for this so that you know where your “hot potatoes” are going to be in your day)
Calls to past customers & business referral partners (Key: don’t over complicate this. It could be just a check-in call, a call to have coffee, sharing an idea, giving happy birthday wishes, etc.)
So here it is in a nutshell…
Admit to the fear (whatever that is for YOU)
Give yourself a visual reminder
Set recurring time-blocks into your calendar (You can do all three of the suggestions above, or just start off with one until you find that you are consistently sticking with it and then move on to the next)
Easy-cheesy! Yes, say it out loud…THIS IS GOING TO BE EASY-CHEESY!
Are you still waiting for the answer to my opening question…” So how does anyone ever get from a mindset of dreading time management to actually digging it?”…When what you envisioned from the “What if” game starts to become a reality. It CAN happen! Start with these small steps today.
The time for action is now! It’s never too late to do something.
-Antoine St. Exupery