Lately, I have been speaking with so many entrepreneurs who feel there are not nearly enough hours in a day. They are feeling overwhelmed, overworked and just plain tired. Many feel they are so close to burnout they are afraid to add even one additional item to their plate.
When I work with entrepreneurs who feel this way, the first thing I say is before we can make things better we must first do an analysis. Where are you spending your time? It is important to be honest with yourself because you cannot do better until you know better.
Many will provide me with an accounting as to how they believe they are spending their time, but often this is how they WANT to spend their time and not how they are ACTUALLY spending their time.
For this reason, I believe it is important to be honest with yourself and track your time for one week in 30-minute increments using a spreadsheet I provide to them.
Once we have tracked their time for at least a week we begin to look at their accounting for time and ask the following questions:
- What are the time wasters (eg. phone calls, office visits, distractions, etc)?
- Are there things that should be delegated and done by others? and
- Are there things that could be automated?
Time wasters are a big source of inefficient and overwhelm in a business. When you begin to track your time you can be more honest with just how much time you are spending on things like phone calls and people coming into your office for conversations (especially the ones that go on and on about nothing in general lol)!
When I did my own analysis I discovered my biggest time waster was social media. I would go onto social media with the intention of posting something and before I knew it I was commenting, liking and time was passing by. This was why I knew this was something I needed to both outsource and automate. Once I did it was amazing how much time I gained in my day.
So what are your time wasters?
Where are the gaps of time going by for you that need to be better utilized?
Many people believe that it is faster and easier to do it yourself and thus are not delegating many tasks that are eating up much of their day.
Think about this …
How much is your value per hour?
How many tasks are you doing each day that are far below that value?
Begin to look at your accounting of time and be honest with yourself as to what tasks you are doing that really should be delegated. (And if you aren’t sure how to delegate we really should talk!)
The next thing to look at within your time accounting is what are the tasks that could be automated? These are those tasks you are doing again and again, but perhaps could be accomplished with the right systems in place.
Automation was the key to my issue with social media!
Sometimes the thing that keeps us from automating is because we simply aren’t sure if something can be automated. If you aren’t sure simply google “software programs to [insert what needs to be automated]”
When I googled “software programs to schedule social media posts” I was given lots of really great options and was able to find one that worked for me.
So, for those of you that are feeling overwhelmed and are ready to do a true analysis of your time, I invite you to download this simple excel spreadsheet that allows you to track your time. Be honest with how you are spending each 30-minute block of time daily.
If you work hours outside of those shown on this spreadsheet, be sure to adjust it to make it work.
Even better why not include every hour of the day and track your personal time too and look for the time wasters, delegation and automation tasks in your personal life too. Yes there are personal tasks that can be delegated and automated!!
Once you have completed the time tracker, I would love to have a conversation so we can see how you can better utilize your time and become more efficient!