Anyone else struggle to find enough hours in the day?
If you’re an entrepreneur, I know you’ve got your hand raised. Between cultivating a thriving business and real life, time is often your most scarce resource. Requiring us to burn the midnight oil, the early morning oil and any other oil we can find.
For many, a packed schedule often results in burnout and eventually closing your business.
There are so many things to consider when creating a plan for your business’s success, but the most important is creating a sustainable lifestyle. If you’re to develop a company that can support you for the long haul, then let’s reclaim your most precious resource: your time.
Combining together my printable Time Landscape and these proven strategies, you can avoid burnout and build a sustainable business.
Using the free Time Landscape, the first step is to get brutally honest about where you are spending your time. Time is a form of currency, and you can’t reclaim your time if you don’t acknowledge where it’s all going. From there, you can evaluate what needs to come off your schedule.
If it’s not making you money or contributing to a thriving personal life, outsource it or find a way to minimize the time commitment.
Unless you’re a copywriter, every newsletter you write is time away from your partner. Every hour at the grocery store is time you could have been meeting with a potential client. Every photo you try to edit is time away from the very thing that can bring a little sanity back into your life….cough pedicures cough!
Set Realistic Expectations
Most of us have unrealistic expectations of how much we can get done in the time we have allotted. When developing a to-do list, designate your focus to ONE THING.
For instance, when working ON my business, I give myself ninety days to implement any big projects such as a website redesign or launching a new email campaign. And when working IN my business, I have one big client project I tackle each day.
On a typical workday, I tackle my client project first and then move onto making progress on my ninety-day project. Any additional tasks that I can complete in the time I have left is a bonus.
Treat Yo Self
Pedicures and a Rolexes not your deal? That’s cool. What if you gave yourself a lunch hour to read that book that’s been sitting on the nightstand? How would it feel to have a hard stop at 7:30pm 2-3 nights a week? What if scheduling a girl’s night didn’t feel like an Olympic sport?
One of the most critical aspects of creating a sustainable business is making for what you love outside of work. When you are thriving in body, mind, and spirit, the business will also thrive. Simply because you begin to operate your business from a place of peace and rest that allows for exponential productivity.
You wouldn’t believe how many entrepreneurs go back to traditional employment because they want to work LESS. Being intentional about your time off the clock is just as crucial to your company’s longevity as your efficiency when you are on the clock.
Communicate With Your Friends & Family
“My husband wants me to stop working when he gets home.”
“My friends just think I work all the time.”
These are just two of the sore spots I frequently hear from my fellow entrepreneurs. I get it, you have to get the work finished, but friends and family don’t understand that some days you can’t clock out.
One of the best ways to solve this is to sit down with your loved one and create a schedule. Pre-planning the nights you need to work late or start early gets everyone on the same page. Working long hours as an entrepreneur is unavoidable, but keeping the lines of communication open and expectations clear can keep your relationships healthy.
Let’s Make It Happen
Ready to Reclaim your time and cultivate a sustainable business? Here are some simple directions on how to fill out your time landscape. Grab a few markers and highlighters in different colors.
1 Fill out the day to begin when your typical day starts, 6am, 7am, etc
2 Color in the blocks of time that have firm commitments
3 Choosing another color shade in the blocks where you have softer obligations as far as scheduled but still must be executed every week.
4 With two separate colors mark off the remaining time you have for work and life.
Now ask yourself: is this sustainable?
Do I have uninterrupted chunks of time to get work done?
Is there enough room for rest?
Do I have flexibility if an emergency comes up?
Is there time to participate in the things that fill my heart up?
If the answer to any of these questions is no… it’s time to make a little more room in your schedule. Your ability to thrive depends on it.