One of the biggest problems I hear about in my work is ‘lack of time’, ‘too busy’ and ‘can’t get done what I wanted to do’. Usually, this is followed by a list of reasons, like ‘something else came up’, ‘balancing family/friends/pets/children with work’ and ‘it’s not quite right yet’.
All of this is perfectly valid, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with this myself at times but I have found ways to improve on this.
So how can we make sure we use our time effectively? Here are my top tips to help you balance your life with your business and use your time effectively.
Know your ‘Why’
The easiest thing you can do to start using your time more effectively is to go back to basics; the fundamentals of your business, the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. Check-in with your ‘Why’. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why did you start your business?
Get really clear on your ‘Why’, write it down. Check-in with your ‘Why’ regularly to make sure it’s still right and nothing has changed or shifted slightly.
Now, look at your activities. Are the things you are spending your time on supporting your ‘Why’? Are you doing the right things to serve your purpose, and your business’ purpose? Or are some of your activities distractions? Have you got a little bit side-tracked? It happens very easily.
Usually, because we find certain things easier than others; we work within our comfort zone. If you find your activities don’t support your ‘Why’, your purpose, then change them. Be honest with yourself, be brave when working outside your comfort zone and see your results change for the better!
Done is better than Perfect
Aiming for perfection is a key cause of procrastination. I hear about this time and again from women who are working hard towards something, yet they never seem to complete it or launch it, simply because they want it to be perfect. They keep going back to it to try to make it better.
The fact is that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’. All that happens is that you use your valuable time and effort without reaping the results.
Ask yourself what is behind your quest for perfection? Because I’m sure it’s to do with how other people see and judge you/your business/your product or service. That’s OK, it’s completely normal. But is it necessary? Does it serve your purpose?
Here’s an alternative approach that could get you more results as well as more information about what is important to you clients. Launch your thing! Complete it and put it out there as soon as it’s good enough, as soon as it meets its objective. You will get results, your clients will get value from it and they will give you feedback from which you can learn. You can use this to tweak and improve.
Find balance. Balance is what brings everything together in a way that you can take forward. Our time is always split between constantly competing factors, such as family and work. Creating a balanced routine that serves all the different parts of your life will help you use your time more effectively.
You can create a weekly or monthly schedule and plan in all your usual activities, ensuring that they serve your purpose. You can even leave some time for unexpected surprises such as a child who has to stay home or having to take a pet to the vet.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it simply has to be good enough to start. You can tweak it as you learn. Using a schedule and building a routine does require discipline and it takes time. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can spend on different things to ensure that you can be disciplined with how you use your time.
Using these three tips, you can find ways of using your time that work for you. Your activities will be aligned to serve your purpose, you will make progress and reap the rewards while you learn and improve. You will find the right balance for you which ensures you have enough time for all the different parts of your life; family, work, hobbies, friends. It sounds like a happy life to me!