5 Ways to Manage Your Time When It Feels Like You Have None
Running a small business is a tough enough gig on its own. Between managing a team, consulting with clients and keeping up with operational tasks, you have to find time to socialize, be a parent, and strike a good work-life balance.
With time, you find a pattern that works for your family and your entrepreneurial brain. A schedule that allows you to check off everything on your laundry list of duties. But then something unexpected happens—an illness, a major disruption to your industry, or a global pandemic—and all bets are off the table.
Effective time management skills are a must-have skill for any business owner, entrepreneur, or self-employed individual. But when a crisis strikes and your routine is thrown out of the window, figuring out where you need to invest your time and energy can feel daunting.
Knowing how to regain control of your time—even when it feels like you have none—can have a huge impact on both your business and your mental health. But these five strategies will help you get things done, no matter what.
Make a List of Your Priorities
Grab a pen and paper and jot down all of your current commitments, listing them in order of importance: business meetings, projects that need to get finished, childcare and family obligations, and the ever-important self-care practices that help you keep up with it all.
Next, schedule each item into your calendar so you can see if there is physically enough time to fit it all in. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and remember that balance is key—business is important, but personal obligations and time to recover are even more important in times of crises.
If you thrive on routine, embracing a little spontaneity in your schedule isn’t easy. But having a little flexibility doesn’t mean your days will become a disorganized mess. Just look at the parents who shifted to homeschooling at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. Some woke up earlier to get things done before the kids had online classes, or moved around deadlines to get things done after the kids had gone to bed.
The point is to maximize your time and productivity while leaving a little wiggle room for “real life.” That way, when your car breaks down unexpectedly or your kids come down with the flu, you’re better prepared to handle the disruption.
Learn How to Delegate
You may think you possess the superpower of doing two things at once. And although we don’t want to strip you of your bragging rights, the reality is multitasking often leads to lower productivity and higher levels of burn out.
Now is the time to lean on your inner circle, whether it be delegating tasks to your trusted team members, or asking for a little support from your family. Remember, being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.
Set Technology Boundaries
One of the biggest time sucks happens to be an important tool for running your business: email and social media. While these tools are vital to client communication, the constant ping of notifications can easily derail your productivity.
Dedicating a specific window of time to checking emails and social media notifications is a sure-fire way to regain control of your time.
Step Back and Enjoy the View
Believe it or not, taking a break can be the most effective use of your time when things get overwhelming. When stress becomes an everyday constant it can begin to negatively affect both your health and your business in serious ways.
If you just focus on the grind that’s all you’re going to get—you have to know when to step back and enjoy the view that you’ve worked so hard to create. Trust us: taking a day off isn’t going to derail your business.
Feeling overwhelmed and having trouble managing your time?
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