Time Management, What Is Working For You?

stopwatchWhen I first decided to take the plunge into running my own businesses, I really had no idea the amount of work that it takes.

Sure I have skill sets that I can utilize to make some money, but there is way more to it than that. While I kind of knew in the back of my mind that I would be doing most everything myself, I thought for sure it would be easier.

One of my biggest struggles has always been finding the time to get everything done.

At first I was trying to dabble in several ventures at one time, which ultimately lead to me not putting in enough time and effort on any of them.  Once I decided to let go of the ones that were taking up more of my time, and making me less money, I saw a great increase in my productivity.

That said, it was still not enough.  Clearing my plate of extra work definitely opened up some free time for me to tackle some other objectives in my main venture, currently web presence development, but still felt overwhelmed at times.

Now that I have been doing it for some time and have built up a little client base, the struggle has returned.  Not only do I want to keep growing this business, but I also have to make sure my current clients are taken care of.

This is hard to do when you are actively the

  • Salesman
  • Accountant
  • Developer
  • Manager
  • and so on
  • and so forth…

Driving several hours a week to meet with new and old clients. Spending hours on the phone per week working out technical difficulties and putting out fires, as well trying to chat with new potential clients.

As you can probably see, these things could easily be broken up into jobs of their own for separate people.

Here is where it gets good. While I feel like I am almost ready to bring on another person, I am still more interested in fine tuning my own FULL LOAD work skills. My mind set that if I do figure out some better systems to help me be more productive now, in the future I will be able to take on even MORE. From what I understand, it is only going to get harder as this beast grows larger.

Now here is the kicker, there is one thing that I am doing now and doing daily that really helps me knock things out.

The 50 minute timer.

Yes, you read correct, a regular old timer.  I am not sure where I first read or heard about this idea, and I have definitely found many others who already do this, but it is a life saver.

Before I started timing my work schedule and actually sticking to it, I would have a list of 10 things to do in one day, and maybe get one or two of them complete. I would be bouncing all over with out much focus.

Now that I am actually making myself sit down and work on just one thing for 50 minutes, my productivity throughout the day has increased.  Unfortunately I do not seem to ever have a full 8 hours in a row to sit down and do 50 minute blocks of work. This system does however give me a little more control over my list, and the result is that I fit in at least four, if not more, of these blocks a day which is way more than I was getting done before.

So, if you are not already working on some kind of similar system, just give it a try. Most phones have timers on them, if not there are some free timers available online.

Close down everything besides your one task at hand, start the 50 minute timer, and see how you do. I promise you will get more done in that 50 minutes that you have all morning 🙂

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