It’s about time.
Not Einstein’s theories on time travel; not about how much time it takes to drive cross town when we are late for an appointment; and not about how much time is left until Christmas.
It’s time we focus on Time Management. That’s getting organized, setting up a workable schedule, consistently working a set time frame, and getting things done the first time every time, so that we can spend time doing other things besides worrying about getting things done.
As with all Tuesday In Focus entries, when I say “we”, I’m really talking about me. But feel free to take what I say, and use it; if it seems helpful.
Most self-employed people I know have a collection of self-help books on their bookshelves, especially Network Marketers. Part of my new time management program is from “If you haven’t got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?” By Jeffrey J Mayer. I have owned the book for several years, but like most self-help books, sometimes they are bought with good intentions, but left mostly unread. I changed that last week. I read it, and have implemented the strategies.
Also in the interest of this new time management program, I have ordered a FranklinCovey personal planner through my Quixtar business. Just like a budget in financial management, one needs to have a “budget” for their time management. A planner takes care of those time allotments.
Now if you are employed somewhere, a good deal of your time is allotted for you, by your employer. You can still gain a great amount of control over that time, using a planner effectively and using the “clean desk” techniques of Mr. Mayer.
But for me, I’m employed during the day, and self-employed in my spare time. That “spare time” was the crux of my time management problem.
So, based on my goals and what I want to achieve in life, I need to use my time more effectively. Sometimes, I “sign on” the Internet with great intentions to write, to meet new contacts, to “take care of business”, only to “sign off” three hours later, with nothing accomplished but reading my email and chatting and surfing the blog world. Oh sure, it may have been “Quixtar-related” or reading some Comedy Writing group, but no money was made. And, to make matters worse, I could have spent the time with the kids or my wife, but I had it in my mind that I was “working.” I might as well been just sitting in front of the television.
Now, I’m not advocating giving up television (like some network marketers do). Everyone needs a little “vegetable time”. I have my favorite TV shows,(Lost and Star Trek: Enterprise) and I think it’s perfectly okay to watch TV. Only now I plan on scheduling that time.
Also, my business is important, so my family knows that it takes some time away from them, but I wouldn’t dare miss my kid’s school program or not take the time to teach my daughter to drive, or not take time to listen to my wife tell me about “her day at work”.
So I asked myself, “Based on your goals and when you want to achieve them, what nights or days, are you available to build your business; and barring unforeseen circumstances, consistently build your business during those times?”
This is what I have come up with.
Monday through Friday, from 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM, I am on the job with my partner working on our various construction projects. Because I am organized and using a schedule, my mind is not thinking about other jobs and activities, and I give that job my full attention. That makes me a better worker, a better contractor, and allows me the security and income to focus on my other activities in my “free” time.
If you have a job, I highly recommend this mindset. There’s no shame in giving your employer “your time” in order to be secure.
I plan to awake one hour earlier each morning, than I do now. This will give me 2 hours of free time before I go to work. I will use these two hours for planning and reflection; reading emails and responding; message board and internet community postings and replies and catching up with my blogger friends.
In the evenings after work, I will devote an additional two hours to the same activity, as well as writing for this little blog and for comedy writing and ventriloquism practice.
Saturdays, will be split between family activities and concentrating on specific marketing for my Quixtar business.
Sundays will also be split for family activities and will act as a “catch-up” for any unfinished projects.
I have also allotted time for those occasional off-days one experiences in the construction business.(like rain). I will have a list of “rainy day activities” that will be devoted to administration details, market research, and intensive email campaigns.
The key, like all the other Focus series, is a focused commitment and consistency to the plan.
I will operate on a level of awareness about my time, and all those concerned will be made aware of the schedule. No chaos, no confusion.
If you decide to make the same kind of time commitment, notify those involved in your time, as well.
Make a schedule and stick to it.
Oh yeah, and have a good time.