I had to chuckle as I read the subject line in an email from Chris Brogan recently Could I Send You Some Money? I knew he wasn’t going to send me money but the hook intrigued me. The article was excellent (as always) and discussed methods to audit our time to gain more money quickly.
The post made me think about time-management and productivity and how it applies to the entrepreneur.
How can we audit our time?
Do you come to the close of your day and feel that you really didn’t carry out anything significant? Do you know how you are really spending your day? It is so easy to go through the day with no clear plan or purpose. Here are some recommended areas to audit:
Work to complete – I recommend that you review this often and assess which activities are making you money and which you activities you are not passionate about or don’t make you money.
Family time – With my husband and 5 children I have to make this a priority. Protect this time.
Poof time – In the early days of the Mac we had the computer in our kitchen and it had the game “Super Color Tetris” on it. I could spend hours playing that game and trying to beat my high score. I would finally tear myself away, usually with a child on my hip, to start dinner. The addiction to that game was real. Thank goodness when the updated Mac operating system came out the old version didn’t work any more and I didn’t like the new one. Do you have a time-waster in your day which you look back and say “poof” that time is gone and can’t be retrieved?
Relaxation time – We all need time to decompress and fulfill the creative genius inside of us. Everyone does it differently, but enjoy this precious time.
After we audit our time; what can we drop?
I mentioned in #1 that you should make a list of activities that you do in your day that are necessary but you are not passionate about them and they don’t make you money. This is work that you can outsource to a team member. Find someone to fill in the gaps and you focus on those money-making ideas. That is how I can send YOU some money!
Do you find that people want to meet with you for lunch or dinner but that cuts into your family time? Ask them to meet you for coffee or just an online Hangout. Your time and your family are precious and can’t be replaced.
Work on that #3. If you an online or game addict, make a change … end that addiction. Replace the time you spent on the addiction with a productive task. It will take some self-discipline but you can overcome this.
My idea of relaxing is grabbing my camera and usually one or more of my children and going on a hike. Nothing relaxes me more and gets my creative juices flowing. Make sure you feed your creative genius and make it a priority. It is part of who you are and you can’t flourish if you don’t take care of the whole you. Just be careful that in feeding this creative genius that there is balance. If I take hours editing photos and viewing photos online then I am taking that away from money-making activities. Balance is key and scheduling these times are vital.
Calendaring is Important!
My business coach drills this into me.
If it is not the calendar then it is not real.
I do believe it is important to calendar to your time. Put your ideal number of client hours into your calendar and work on filling that time. Leave a break for distractions (with 5 kids I always have those) but stick to your schedule.
Put aside time for professional development and ships. Ships are those things you do to keep your name out there to bring in fresh contacts and referrals. If they are not on the calendar or to-do list they are easy to miss.
Put aside the time on your calendar for relaxation. Schedule that mani/pedi and make it a priority on your calendar. Book a massage or carve out time for that hike.