In my business development coaching practice, one common challenge that often arises is time, or lack thereof. Time in itself is not the problem, the issue is about how well we become a master of using our time effectively and efficiently, rather than being a slave to it. There are only so many hours in the day and days in the week to get things done, and as a solopreneur we are limited by our own physical capacity. There seems to be less and less time to get things and many more demands on our time and attention these days. We have a lot of potential distractions and a ton of responsibilities that each requires attention.
How do we take back control of our time, our schedule and our business so that we are able to make progress and achieve our goals?
The keystones of time mastery include being able to plan your day, make appointments with yourself, use the ‘little-bit-at-a-time’ approach, and know your most productive time of day to get things done.
Mastering time management.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, Gladwell talks about the number of hours of practice it takes to master a skill. Evidently, one arrives at the point of mastery after putting in 10,000 hours of time into that particular skill.
Based on this principal, it’s no wonder that time management is such a challenge for most of us. Can you say, with confidence, that you have put in 10,000 hours of persistent effort to be the master of your own time? I can’t.
Let’s get on the right path to mastery by implementing these 5 Time Mastery Tips:
- Learn and put into practice the four D’s. Make a decision about every task that comes across your desk. You are going to DO it, DEFER it, DELEGATE it, or DELETE it.
- Adopt a D-I-N Attitude. Exercise your “do it now” mindset muscle. If you decide you are going to do something, then do it now and don’t procrastinate. If you put it off, it zaps more of your energy, because it takes up space in your mental bandwidth and it becomes a heavy burden.
- Spend time, planning your time. Becoming clear on your priorities for the year, quarter, month, and week enables you to be very focused with how you spend your time, so that you don’t get sidetracked with activities that are not contributing to fulfilling your priorities.
- Be proactive, rather than reactive with your time. Do you spend most of your time putting out fires and reacting to situations? By spending the time to plan ahead, you can give some thought to potential pitfalls and risks that lay ahead, so that you’ll be much better prepared to respond rather than react to challenges.
- Identify time wasters and eliminate them. Where do you waste time during your week? Who in your life is a time vampire, draining you of your energy?