A few nights ago, I was out to dinner with a couple of students from my group coaching program. Both of these students are in the beginning stages of their businesses (we’re talking year one) and the conversation moved toward time management tips.
Since I’m on year five of running my own business full time, I decided to share some of my insights with them. These tips were based on the questions they were asking. Now I want to share some of those time management tips with you.
Work based on your natural energy flow
One of the time management tips I share with my students is to do was to track their natural energy flow for the next few weeks. We all have different body rhythms and it’s better for us to work with them instead of against them.
More specifically, I asked them to pay attention to how their body reacts throughout the day. Are they a morning person? When do they feel most creative? What time of day allows them to focus most.
Everyone has different answers to these questions. Based on your answers, you can schedule your day. For example, I like to ease into my workday and I’m more focused in the mornings. This means I’ll give myself a couple of hours each morning to chill out before tackling my to-do list. I also hate working at night. To me, that’s personal time so I make sure to clock out by five or six at the latest.
Someone else might prefer to work at night and go the gym in the morning. Or, they may find that they need a break midday.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Since we are hard-wired to believe in “business hours” I find that several beginning business owners feel guilty for taking a morning off or working on weekends. Some even feel bad for going out on a Monday night instead of a Friday like their friends with day jobs.
To this I say enjoy your freedom. Part of the reason you likely want your own business is for the freedom to be flexible with your time. Rather than stressing about when you should and shouldn’t be working, just be flexible. As long as the work gets done it doesn’t matter.
Granted, this takes time. I also still struggle with it myself sometimes. In other words, this is one of those time management tips that is ongoing.
Work around your life (not the other way around).
We all have different life circumstances that can affect our schedules. The good news is you can account for it when you run your own business. That’s why one of my time management tips is to work with your life.
For example, I’m single and don’t have kids. This means I can work whenever I want. However, I have friends with small children who get their best work done when their kids are in bed for the night.
When it comes to time management tips, these are the three I have found to be most helpful when new business owners are trying to figure out their schedules. If you’re in the beginning stages of your business, I want you to know that you will figure this out with time.