Deciding to own your own business is a great, big leap of faith! You are the boss! With all the wonderful things that come along with being your own boss, a lack of time management can rob us of our joy.
Protecting your time is crucial for productivity and maintaining our joy. From what must we guard against, to preserve our precious time?
- Stat checking – I LOVE stats. the first time I signed in to my Google analytics, I was giddy. Here is the problem with spending my time on stats. They do not produce sales. I cannot will someone to visit my shop or blog just by hitting the refresh button. So, I reserve stat checking for my monthly business review to make sure I am getting an increase in traffic each month.
- Social Media check ins – Social media is an amazing tool for finding your tribe and making connections with customers and other business owners. Receiving likes and comments can feel like validation of our products. Which is great! Here is the catch, too much time on social media can bog us down. We cannot waste time chasing recognition. Instead, choose to visit a social media account with intention. Whether it be to post, interact with customers and other accounts or find new groups to join. Keep your time meaningful and intentional.
- Never-happy or indecisive customers – Can I see that in every color, style and angle? We want to please our customers and provide customer service that goes above and beyond. Sometimes, our "helpfulness" gets taken advantage of and we are stuck working on a project we loathe. Stop those customers in their tracks but giving them two, simple options. Option #1 Let me know when you have decided what you would like to purchase. Option #2 This project may be outside of the scope of my business. I can refer you to someone else who can help you. Don't try to make every sale work. You will only exhaust yourself with little reward.
- Groups, promotions, etc. – Depending on how many social groups you collaborate with you may find yourself receiving multiple requests for giveaway items, booth set up at an event or an invitation to another group. It is great others are recognizing your business but not every request will work for you. If the project or group will not add value to your business, politely decline. You will have plenty of the right kinds of opportunities to participate.
- Multitasking – You may be questioning why I would put this on my list. Aren't you getting more done in less time, saving you time? Yes and no. You are checking the boxes off of various tasks but nothing is getting done well. Our minds work best when we can concentrate on one matter at a time. This is the case over the long term as well. If you want to revamp a part of your business, stick to one task at a time so you know it is getting done well.
As a small business owner myself, I feel the constant pressure to be all things at all times. It can be exhausting but when I take a step back and eliminate non-value adding tasks from my to do list, I can feel a weight lift off my shoulders.
Now that you have gained back a few hours of your time, what should you do with them?
- Create new products/ content.
- Create new relationships.
- Find new opportunities for your business.
- Take a break and spend time with your family.
- Make a step by step plan for your business.
- Do research to improve your business.
What are some ways you protect your personal time?
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