Does It Feel Like Time Just Evaporates On You?

Time is elusive.

Do you ever say to yourself “where did the time go?” or “I didn’t have time to do what I wanted to do” or “I didn’t think it would take that much time”?

If so, you are not alone. One of the biggest challenges I faced when I began my business was time. I uttered all of the above and then some. The biggest one though was that I didn’t think things would take as much time as they did.

Time threw me off path many, many times. Time felt so elusive to me. It was a challenge finding time to get the things I wanted to and needed to get done. That meant I wasn’t achieving a whole lot – oh wait, let me rephrase that, I was achieving a lot – a lot of nothing! And once I was able to solve time being elusive to me, I was then able to achieve the results that I wanted – which was to start my business and work with amazing people like you to help you reach your goals and dreams.

How to get time on your side.

You need to know what it is you are doing each and every day and yes, practically each and every moment.

My clients do not like to hear that. They like to work in a free-flowing way. And when I tell them that they can do exactly that and be productive when they get time on their side, they are excited to get started.

Also, it’s the time piece that often throws people off. That place of not knowing how long something will take or how to be efficient with your time so you are completing things, moving things forward and seeing the results you desire. This is why it is important for you to get time on your side.

First of all, before you do anything, the one thing you need to do to get time on your side is to list out everything that you are doing.

Create a list of everything you do.

If you are struggling with time, it may be that you don’t 1) really know what you are doing and 2) have no idea how long things take to do. Since figuring out what it is you are doing means you’ll easily be able to figure out how long it takes let’s first get clear on that.

  • Get out a piece of paper or use your favorite electronic device and start listing everything you are doing in your business – don’t edit just write.
  • Categorize your list – you can use headings such as working with clients, marketing, administration and so on.
  • Drill down within those categories – marketing may mean networking, writing, creating copy, things of that nature – get clear on exactly what it is you are doing.

Establish a timetable for getting things done.

Then, once you have your list, estimate how long you think it is taking you to do each task, make sure you write it down. From there before you begin that particular task, note the time (I like to write it down) go to work and when you have completed it check the time again and note exactly how long it actually did take you. As a result, you now  know exactly how long it takes for you to do a particular task!

Finally, another thing you’ll do is to assess how you did. How close were you to your time estimate? If you were spot on, awesome – if not, you now know exactly how long it will take you to do your task – make sure you mark that down too so you never need to say again “I had no idea how long this would take” because you will know!

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Do you wish you had more time?

When I first began my business, one of the things that I used to say was “I wish I had more time.” Here is the kicker though, no matter how much time I had, I never felt that I had enough of it.

TimeAre you someone who constantly feels as if you never have enough time or wonders where your time went?  One thing that might help you is to learn how you use your time that will make the biggest difference for you.

Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law where work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion? It’s so true!  If you have an hour to get something done, it will take you an hour and if you have 15 minutes, then well, it will take you 15 minutes. So you can absolutely create more time simply by completing your tasks faster.

So that said, some tasks need to be done faster and some do need time to unfold and to build.  A key for your success is to know without a doubt which tasks need to be done quickly and which tasks need more time.

Most people struggle with the challenge of trying to figure out what is a priority because they think that everything is a priority. Stephen Covey created a Time Management Matrix to be able to help you prioritize better and have a better understanding of what is truly important and needs to get done and what is just urgent and has you hopping around putting out fires.

If you find that you are putting out more fires than you are getting to your important things, learning to implement time producers and eliminate time wasters is something that you can benefit from. In my brand new e-book 5 Essential Steps to Creating a Successful Business that is Profitable I have a section that will help you become a master of your time.

Download the e-book now and get started on being a master of time. After you have downloaded the e-book and taken action on creating more time for yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and victories, email me at kim@kimravida.com to share!

 

 

Who exactly is in charge here?

Adhesive notesAre you a sole practitioner (aka solopreneur) working for yourself? Do you ever ask yourself the question “Who exactly is in charge here?” I know I have and so have my clients!

As a matter of fact, I asked myself this question just recently when I realized that my schedule was running the show. It was prompted by a call I had with my accountability partner; she asked me what I had on my calendar and task list. As I began to read off everything to her, I realized I had a lot of stuff that I wanted to do one day yet was not supporting me today. They were causing me to feel stressed out and as if I wasn’t getting anything done!

And then it began… with a sweep of a mouse and a click, I deleted 10 tasks right then and there while we were on the phone. After the call I decided to do what I knew needed to be done. I moved what wasn’t a high priority to a main list, and then used that list to put what I wanted and needed to do onto my schedule. Because it felt so good, I decided to do the same thing with several things in my personal life, too!

What I asked myself was “Is this a want to do now or a want to do some day?” If it was a ‘now’, then I scheduled it. If it was a ‘some day’, I then asked myself “If it is a ‘some day’, will I really do it?” and if the answer was no – I deleted it or threw it out. If it was a yes, I put it in a place where I could see it again at another point in time. It was liberating and freeing… and all of a sudden I wasn’t weighed down anymore!

So, my friend, that leads me to this question, Where are you holding yourself back from completion?

The other thing my accountability partner and I talked about was how we spent a lot of time planning and not so much execution. Therefore we committed to each other to spend 10% on planning and 90% on execution. I can say “So far, so good” on that one. I’m feeling pretty good about myself, let me tell ya!

I realize now that I wasn’t in charge of anything, I was allowing other people to set my schedule; when they were available, I would be too even if it meant that I put off something I needed to get done. I allowed tasks to rule what I was doing without prioritizing or even asking if the task was moving me toward my goal, backward or in a holding pattern. I wasn’t clear; I just was doing stuff because I felt that I needed to be doing it and not question it.

I’m far smarter now and have a clearer strategy, yet I can get caught off-guard too. Here are several tips for you to be in charge of your life, your schedule and you to-dos!

  • Be clear about why you want to do something. Do you know your why? Why are you going to do this task, what will you gain from it, it is something that will move you forward in your business and/or in your life? Those inquiries are key; otherwise you will end up doing things willy-nilly and then wonder where all your time went.
  • Is this something that needs to be done now or later? If it is a ‘now’, then schedule it into your calendar and then do it. Honor the time that you chose to complete your task. If it is a ‘later’ and you are clear about why you want to do it, put it on a some day list or maybe list, but don’t allow it to take charge.
  • Be real with the delete key. Is this something that you really need and/or want to do? If the answer is ‘no’, then delete it or throw it out. Holding onto something that you really don’t need to do or want to do is a surefire way to keep yourself in overwhelm, stressed out and absolutely frustrated. Let it go! Trust me on this one. There will be other things that come to you which will be a perfect fit.

Don’t allow your to-dos, calendar appointments and other people’s priorities to be in charge of you and your business. You are the one in charge of you, your schedule and your results. Just make sure you are working on the right results!

Have a thought, comment or suggestion? Please feel free to share either by sending me a personal email at kim@kimravida.com or comment below!

How to Use Time to Your Advantage

hour glassHave you heard the saying, time is money?  It is true in one sense, but you can make more money, you cannot make more time.  Time is elusive and we can be masters at wasting it or maximizing it.

As a business owner, are you wasting time or maximizing it?  Are you like Goldilocks and using it ‘just right’?  I work with many clients who are trying to do everything themselves on time management because when you are a one-person show, you better use your time wisely.  Remember, time is not like money, there is no opportunity to get more of it or make more of it.  Once gone, it’s gone.

So how do you learn to use time to your advantage?

There are many time management books, articles, and tools out there but most of them miss the boat.  (I should know, I’ve tried more than I can name!)  But why?

Because I’ve learned that the single most important thing you need to use your time wisely is to know how you work.

  • Do you have energy in the morning, afternoon, or evening?
  • Do you like to work on the computer or handwrite your ideas?
  • Are you visual, auditory, kinetic or a blend?

Once you know this, then you can implement time management tools and tricks that make sense for you.  Stop trying so hard to fit a square peg into a round hole and maximize your time like you never imagined!

Lead Yourself to Mastery in Your Life & Business

MasteryAs business owners (and especially soloproneurs), it is easy to fall into this trap of “jack of all trades and master of none”.  Yes, it is a trap and no, it doesn’t have to be this way.  True, you don’t have to be a master at everything, but it is important to be a master at a few things that will lead and drive you to a successful and profitable business.

I love the word “mastery”.  It sounds powerful and it makes me feel good.  Mastery as defined in the dictionary means:  1) expert skill/knowledge or outstanding ability and 2) complete control.

Well, I don’t know about you, but early on in my life and business I had absolutely no control and did not feel as if I had any expert skill/knowledge or outstanding ability.  So, had I heard the term ‘mastery’ back then I would not have liked the word as much as I do today.

I was a jack of all trades doing everything by myself and also doing everything that sounded like a great idea.  And guess what?  Doing it all myself and doing everything that sounded like a great idea actually wasn’t!  When I decided to only work on things that I either had mastered (coaching my clients) or was in the process of mastering (networking/connecting), my life and business became joyful, profitable and fun!

I’ve recently titled a program with the word ‘mastery’ in it because it gives my clients a feeling of anticipation.  It’s the anticipation that will help them be motivated so they too can master the skills they need to be in complete control of their lives and businesses and to take action to reach their goals and have what they want for themselves.

Motivation is a key factor in running a successful and profitable business.  What it boils down to, though, is leadership of oneself and perhaps others.  So if we are to reach a place of mastery, what are some things that we might have to master?

I’m really happy to tell you that it is not as painful as you might think and it can be used for business owners as well as anyone wanting to improve their lives.

Here are three ways in which you can lead yourself to mastery in your life and business:

  1. Get a clear focus.  Decide what it is you want to accomplish.  When you know what your outcome is, it is easy to know what you need to do.
  2. Be specific.  Now that you have your focus, the next step is to decide how you will get there.  This is the time to be specific.  Is there something you need to do, have, or find in order to get started?  List out what you need and must do to reach your goals. Until questions are answered, it’s impossible to lead yourself to completion.
  3. Put your specific action steps in your calendar.  Without this last step, all the focus and planning in the world won’t help you, you need to set aside time to get it done.

When we master something we get a sense of satisfaction, we feel proud and we are excited about it.  I know I want to shout “I did it!”  It is such a great feeling.  That is why aiming toward mastery gives you the anticipation that you are working toward controlling your life, your business and ultimately your destiny.  Wouldn’t you want to hold the position of mastery in your life?  I know I sure do!

You know I love to hear from you, so please feel free to email me at kim@kimravida.com or share your thoughts, insights and revelations below.