Not enough hours in the day? Maybe you're doing it wrong.
I try to fit as much as possible into every single day, and yet I still find that no matter how many resources I allocate to myself, my brain is working in overdrive and my list just keeps on getting bigger and bigger.
Being a 'true entrepreneur' and not a person who is in business just for lifestyle reasons or because they were born into it, is exhausting - sometimes in a good way, and other times in a bad way.
I lay awake in the middle of the night not thinking about what I haven't done, but what I could be doing. It feels like my brain just won't stop, and apparently I am not alone. Many entrepreneurs feel the same.
When this realisation awakens you, it's time to take action. While you may be similar to me with having multiple assistants, and the best technology - it is proven that these things alone won't achieve the time management required to optimise your life both inside the office and out.
Interestingly enough, prioritising life requires careful consideration and a ruthless management process. That means when people want to 'chew the fat' in a meeting or catch up, you have to be disciplined to cut it short and move onto the next more productive area or task in your life.
Also noteworthy is your mindset. A healthy mind, gives you a productive life, and a happy one too. If you are able to departmentalise your life, and only put energy into the things that deserve your time and headspace, you will find that your productivity and output will quadriple. Think about it... if you don't expend energy on things that have easy solutions, then you will be able to tackle it with gusto and move on without expending energy on focusing on the 'past' or things you cannot change.
The habits that have helped me manage my time more effectively are:
1. A firm focus on mental health: This means that I put a conscious effort into ensuring that I don't take things personally, and control my emotions on all situations, as it's just another 'thing' in life. The more positive I am, the more productive I am. Try meditation, counselling, reading books on psychology and ridding yourself of negative people in your life.
2. Food for thought: What you eat affects your ability to concentrate and be healthy. If you eliminate all food sensitivities from your diet, you will immediately see a change in your energy levels. I did this a few years back through blood tests, and I couldn't believe how well I slept and operated by eliminating food that doesn't agree with my body.
3. Use technology and turn it off: Use technology as a platform for managing your time, and be disciplined in using it. However, when it gets to 7pm at night, turn all technology off and that includes your mobile phone. If you are able to completely switch off each night, you will find that you wakeup with clear mind, and your sleep is restful. The use of technology whether its watching television at night or checking your mobile phone, is not healthy 24/7. It won't make you more successful and it definitely won't decrease your stress levels.
4. Manage the people around you: From work colleagues to friends and family, manage their expectations upfront by giving them an insight into how your brain works. That means sharing with them your challenges with time, and your need to be healthy in all aspects of your life. Set aside time each week for family and friends, and schedule meetings religiously while you are at work. This may seem robotic by nature, but if you put all of these ideas into action, you will find that they benefit from your ability to stay present in the meeting and not wonder off thinking about the next thing you have to do.
5. Do all the hard tasks in the morning: When you are fresh and your mind is clear, that's when all the challenging tasks on your list should be done. You will action them more appropriately and with better structure if you are fresh.
6. Set priorities and stick to them: So often we say that something is a priority only to realise that we forgot about it when something else came up. Don't. You won't be able to be the best version of the entrepreneur that you want to be if you easily more around priorities according to the next thing that comes up. Stay focused and make sure you cross of each priority before starting the next.
7. No and yes are powerful words, use them wisely: The power of saying 'no' is exhilarating, if you say it with conviction and reason. Likewise, saying 'yes' is equally liberating. Good managers make decisions fast and effectively. They don't sit on their hands and waste time deliberating.
8. Delegating tasks is your friend: Know that 80% is more than ok and micro managing is for unsuccessful people. The more you micro manage, the more you hold yourself and your business back.
If you do the above, you will not only have more time in your day, you will also be more successful. I've tried it, and I guarantee it works.