At a recent Women Unlimited Business Club meeting the ideas were flowing thick and fast and there was real excitement at the new-found potential for our businesses. We were invincible!
Then, one business club member asked a very sobering question, “but where do you find the time to do all this stuff?”
This stopped us in our tracks. Where indeed? Running your own business is demanding, time consuming and overwhelming when you think of all the stuff you need to do to achieve the results you want and deserve. Add being a partner, parent, child, sibling, friend and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer into the mix and you have quite a challenge on your hands.
We all looked at one another, crestfallen. We weren’t invincible after all and we couldn’t possibly bring all these brilliant ideas to fruition in just one lifetime. Might as well give up and go home.
Then, one brave soul offered, “well, I spent an hour and half playing Tetris last night…” and then another, “I’m addicted to email!” and then another, “I can’t stop watching Cash in the Attic!” (Not really, but you get the point).
At Women Unlimited we love “A-ha!” moments. From one person’s honesty, a group “A-ha!” was created as the realisation dawned that we all had a lot more time than we thought. We just had to use it wisely!
So with the words of Owen Paul’s 80s chart smash “My Favourite Waste of Time” ringing in my ears I thought about how to stop our own favourite wastes of time sabotaging our plans:
Identify your favourite waste of time.
Being aware of your favourite waste of time will help you keep track of how long you are devoting to it. You'll be surprised!
Give yourself a time limit.
Sounds obvious but how many hours have you lost to your favourite waste of time? Set an alarm if it helps, but be strict. You can always go back to it later.
Ask yourself if what you are doing is helping your cause.
Are you really heading towards your first million by playing Candy Crush Saga? (My favourite waste of time). If it isn’t getting you to where you want to be, how much time should you be spending on it?
Plan your day the night before.
Writing your “to-do” list for the next day not only clears your head for a good night’s sleep, it also helps you to focus. By allocating time slots to each task you know exactly what you are doing and when, so your favourite waste of time is less likely to creep in, and you’ll get more done.
Do a “time audit”
I’m not talking about complicated spreadsheets here, just a simple checklist in your head of where you are spending your time and whether you could make any improvements. E.g. do you really need to make yourself five cups of tea between 9am and lunchtime? Is it imperative to check your Facebook page twelve times a day? What could you be doing instead?
Don’t just travel on journeys.
Technology allows us to be online pretty much all of the time now. This isn’t always welcome but it does mean we can multitask! On your way back from the school run, listen to that audio about marketing. Catch up with email on train journeys*.
*this may depend on seat availability…
Do the worst thing, first thing
The less you want to do something, the more likely it is that your favourite waste of time will need your attention. RIGHT NOW! Avoid the trap by getting the horrible job done straightaway and move on to the next productive (and hopefully more fun) task.
Understanding what you’re sacrificing in favour of your favourite waste of time will help keep you focused on what's important and give you back time you didn’t even know existed!
For more information on Croydon Women Unlimited Business Club CLICK HERE
For more information on Owen Paul’s favourite waste of time, CLICK HERE :)
Member since: 9th August 2013
Virtual PA supporting growing and dynamic businesses. Presenter on Croydon TV. Leader of Croydon Women Unlimited Business Club. Fan of the onesie and lover of life.