There are two schools of thought on time management. There is the one group that says everyone should take time to smell the roses (or is it coffee) and experience life to the fullest. Then there is the other group that says time stands still for no man (or woman) and you need to make the most of it while you’re here. I agree with both parties and do manage to work both ways. As someone who has multiple businesses going on at the once time management is something not to be taken lightly. Where I find many people going wrong is that they are on one side or the other, but need to challenge themselves to reach a place in the middle that works for them. Many of you and I have in the past focused on the time for personal satisfaction or were way on the other side focusing on business satisfaction. If you focus on personal satisfaction then personal issues dominate your time and you may run fast for no one. That is fine and dealing with artists as I do I also find that many of them do not complete projects promptly. On the other hand I work with many entrepreneurs who are focused on business are stoking the fire like crazy trying to get everything done and attain their goals. These folks are on the other side of the fence and sometimes as my wife reminds me from time to time need to slow down and smell the roses. Both groups are right so how do you find a happy medium?
For me the happy medium comes from a partial blend of both formats. In my past career my days routinely started at 3.a.m. in the morning. I worked a 60-70 hour work week and was gone for a week at a time for the most part. I ma not complaining about that as I chose that profession and enjoyed it very much. When I left to start my own business one factor was driving the decisions, time! I wanted time for me, I also however wanted to be successful so business was important for me as well. The challenge was finding middle ground. Middle ground was found by setting my own set of rules. I found I am a morning person, I enjoy the freshness of the day. I also found I felt better with exercise therefore that was important to my day. I hate traffic so I arrange my schedule around those factors. So it works out like this.
I am up at 6 a.m. each morning and put in the important information first. I start by reading for an hour, I then write for an hour, I then take two hours for myself and go for a walk, make breakfast, shower, etc. I then set my hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m as my regular hours. If I choose to work at night that is my choice. I try not to book meetings before 10 am if possible. Now I do change things around to meet client demands, but for the most part I choose how I want my day to go. I am willing to work six days a week and some time do seven, but try to have Sunday for me if possible. So try doing the same for your business if you find yourself in a tangled mess with time management. Remember you can have the best of both worlds, you just have to schedule it.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant. He specializes in the transportation and creative markets. For more information on Bruce visit his website at www.outridge.ca