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time management for small business owners

6 Steps For Making Business Wishes Come True

Bad Christmas GiftDo your family members write a Christmas Wish List for each other? Mine do. Ever since we were children we made a wish list for Christmas. And now that my family members live across the country from each other the annual Wish List is a welcome tool for helping us shop for each other. And I have discovered something amazing about this exercise…..when I share a wish list with my husband, sister and parents I tend to get what I want for Christmas! No more tacky Christmas sweaters and no more black socks….when I ask for what I want it tends to show up!

Do you do the same for your business? Do you have a wish list and a plan for what you want in your business in the coming year? Too many business owners put off this thinking until well after January 1 (if they ever do it all). Don’t wait! While you’re making your Christmas Wish List for Santa, take some time to make your Business Wish List too!

6 Tips For Writing a Business Wish List:

1) Acknowledge your wins.

What did you accomplish this past year? What results did you create? What are you most proud of?

Too many of us only focus on what’s wrong and what needs doing next. This mindset keeps us in constant state of angst, always looking for the next problem. Take a moment to reflect on your successes! Acknowledging your wins helps you see what’s working so you can set goals to build on this in the coming year.

2) Focus on your top goals.

Write down your most important objectives and outline the steps to make them happen. This makes your goals attainable and easier to focus on. You will start to see how to achieve them by just taking one small step at a time.

3) Prioritize your goals.

Give a higher priority to the goals that mean the most to you, and the goals that will make the biggest positive impact on your life. Even when they are long-term goals, ensure that you work towards them a little each day.

4) Have a clear plan of action to make your goals real.

Key Step! Consider how much time and effort each step of each goal will take to complete! Then, transfer each action into your calendar throughout the coming year. It’s not enough to think about WHAT you need to do, you have to plan WHEN you will take each step to achieve each goal.

5) Measure the progress of your efforts.

Keep a list of your accomplishments as you achieve them. Then, share them with the world. Be proud of every moment and movement knowing that success builds on success!

6) Take your planned action step when you’re most alert and productive.

We all have a time of day when we tend to do our best work. Plan your actions for this time of day (mornings often work well). You’ll feel great taking an important action and getting it out of the way before your day gets busy. And this successful step will lead to another and another.

 

You can make your business wishes come true! Take time now or over the holidays to create some goals and a plan for how to achieve them. If you’d like some help to structure your thinking and create your plan, give me a call at 403 669 8684 and I’ll be happy to help you!

 


Mastering Time Management

distraction at work, time management

It’s powerful having email, chat and browsing at our finger tips. It’s also incredibly distracting. Technology is helping create an attention-deficit society where almost everyone complains about not having enough time and being too busy. Strengthening your time management skills is also a matter or strengthening your attention management skills. If you often hear yourself saying “I’m too busy”, it’s time to evaluate your situation and commit to some new time and attention management skills.

Evaluate Your Current Situation

Start by identifying your current time and attention management effectiveness. When you struggle to get things done, what do you think causes is? Are you experiencing constant interruptions? Are you lacking a prioritized to-do list? When you do successfully manage your time, what do you do differently? If you know what to work on, that’s half the battle.

  • For instance, you might have good time management in your home life, but lack the ability to get your tasks done at work. So what’s different at the office? Are phone calls, emails and other people taking your attention away from your tasks? Have you neglected to block time into your calendar to focus on your to-do’s? Are you working on your most important tasks when you’re most alert and productive or do these get left until last when you’re most tired?

Step back and examine, objectively, how you’re managing your time and attention and I’m sure you’ll discover what you can do differently. 

Use these techniques to strengthen your time management skills
  1. Confront procrastination. “Procrastination is the thief of time” Edward Young (1683–1765). Procrastination is a symptom of an underlying issue. Ask yourself why you’re putting things off. What’s the root cause of your procrastination? Resolve the root problem and the symptom will go away.
  • Perhaps you’re expecting too much out of yourself and feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay, and even more productive, to take breaks. Then, when it’s time to work, you’ll feel refreshed and motivated to get the job done.
  • The root cause is often a fear. Regarding the project you are putting off, what are you afraid of? Identify and face the fear and the procrastination will go away.
  1. Get organized. It’s easy to waste time if you can’t find things, or if you aren’t sure what task you’re supposed to be working on. Organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. Set goals, create action steps and schedule when you will work on each action step. You must know WHAT you’re working on, HOW you will complete it and WHEN you will work on it.
  2. Work when you are most productive. When in your day do you perform at your best? Schedule your most intensive thinking activities for when you feel fresh and best able to think. Turn off your phone and email and give yourself a set period of time to work. Once you complete the task, you’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction and then you won’t be as bothered if the rest of the day falls apart because you have completed one of your important tasks.
  3. Learn to delegate. When it’s appropriate, delegate tasks in order to save yourself time for things only you can do. One of my clients used to say “I hold my people able”. Your team might not complete the task exactly the way you would, but with clear delegation on your part, you should only need to review the completed work while saving yourself the time of doing it yourself.
  4. Celebrate your wins. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, what’s outstanding and what the next problem is. Take a moment each day to acknowledge your wins. Look at what you have accomplished (no matter how small). Celebrating your wins will keep you in a positive frame of mind and will increase your productivity day after day.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Your productivity is a direct function of how well you manage your time, tasks and attention. Commit yourself to being focused and attentive. Take action in alignment with your commitment and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

 

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura was a 2018 Woman of Inspiration Finalist and a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Triple Your Productivity: 7 Secrets of Being Productive

When looking at a long to-do list, it’s easy to think that there’s not enough time to get everything done. Actually, there is. The problem is, you’re wasting too much time and spending your time on the wrong things. There are CEO’S who run multiple companies simultaneously and still have time for dinner with the family each night. They have learned and practice the secrets of productivity.

The 7 Secrets of Being Productive:

1) Learn how you waste time. We can’t change what we’re unaware of. Determine how you waste time at work and home. Keep a time journal for 1 week. Document what you do all day. Notice when you’re letting meetings or phone calls run overtime. Notice when you’re sick of work, tired, bored, or stressed.

  • For your own education, keep a timer at your desk. Keep track of how much valuable work you do each day. This doesn’t include time spent checking your email, looking out the window, chatting with a coworker, or drinking coffee.

2) Eliminate distractions. While some people can concentrate with chaos all around them, most of us do our best work with as few distractions as possible. Control what you can in your environment. Turn off your phone! Open email at designated times you determine! The fewer distractions you have, the more you will accomplish.

3) Prioritize your priorities. If you have 10 priorities, you don’t have any priorities at all. Develop a list each evening of your three top priorities for the next day. Do everything you can to accomplish those three things. Avoid wasting time each morning trying to determine how you’ll spend your day. You should already know when you wake up.

  • Priorities are often mini projects with a number of action steps needed to accomplish them. Break your priorities down into those action steps. Then, book your action steps into your calendar like an appointment. It’s not enough to know WHAT you’re going to do, you also need to know WHEN you’re going to do it.

4) Spend time on the most effective actions. There’s a difference between being busy and being effective. Imagine you’re having a dinner party and your house is a mess. You could be busy cleaning out your bedroom closet, but that’s not accomplishing much in this instance.

  • All activities aren’t equal. Spend your time doing the most important things, even if they’re the least enjoyable. If your activity is not enjoyable, do it first thing in the morning when you’re most fresh.

5) Take regular breaks. You might be able to work hard from 8am to noon, but you’ll have nothing left in the afternoon. Studies have shown that taking a 10-minute break each hour greatly increases productivity over a full day.

  • Give yourself an even longer break every few hours. You’ll stay fresh and find your ability to focus is less-compromised later in the day (to learn more, check out the Pomodomo Technique)

6) Develop a morning routine. Productive people follow a morning routine. Get out of bed early and get your day started productively. Have a good breakfast, exercise, meditate, or do whatever else will get you primed for the day.

  • Apply the same concept to work. Have a work routine that addresses those tasks you do each day. Plan them, book them in your calendar and get them done. This way, you have control over your day instead of your day controlling you.

7) Choose the best time for each activity in your life. Do you go shopping at the most convenient time, or do you go when everyone else is at the store? You could save a lot of time by going after 7pm in the middle of the week or early on Sunday morning.

  • Consider how and when you do things. Could they be done in a better way or at a better time?

 

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How will you use yours?

I’ve helped many of my clients to get more done with the time they have. Together we evaluate how you’re using your time, both productively and unproductively. We find your weak spots and I provide tools and resources to help you get more done in less time, while also delegating more effectively. If you’re ready to take on your time management, contact me and I’ll be happy to help!

 


Time Management: learn to block your rocks!

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”, Steven Covey

Today’s leadership lesson is not your typical “time management” conversation.

When I first start working with my clients they are often feeling overwhelmed with their schedule. They feel like a million small urgencies are flying at them all at once and they often complain that they never have time to address important, non-urgent matters in their life and business (ie. planning, exercise, family, even sleep).

If you’re feeling similar to my clients, today I want to help you change that. I’m going to give you an easy and very useful tool for helping you think about and schedule yourself based on your priorities. This tool has a made a world of difference for me and my clients so I’m confident it will make a difference for you too, if you apply it. I call the idea, “blocking your rocks”

Lead To Succeed: Block Your Rocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Check out Steven’s video here:

Now it’s time to “block your rocks”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

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