Take Control of Your Schedule

“My schedule is booked, things at the office or nuts, and the demands of my job and family unrelenting. I am doing everything I can to just stay above water and not drown.”

Sound familiar?  Is it true for you or your employees?  What are you doing about it? With most small business owners the answer is:

Running out of time

What are your time suckers?

“I keep doing it – I just need to get through the next few weeks and then things will slow down.”
or
“Some things just are not getting done – there’s no way I can keep up.”

If the craziness is no longer working for you and you are looking to regain some control of your schedule here are some tips that might help.

It is impossible to manage time but you can have better control if you know how you are spending this limited resource.  Start by assessing your time utilization.

1.    For the next week document how you spend your time.  Write down all of your activities and the time committed to each.  Include everything – scheduled and unscheduled events, commuting, meals, e-mail, TV, conversations at the coffee pot, etc.

2.    After completing your documentation ask yourself the following questions
a.    What did you actually spend your time doing?
b.    On what did you anticipate/ expect to be spending your time?
c.    How do you feel about how you are actually spending your time?
d.    What action will you take from what you observed?

Next once you have a good handle on what’s filling up your schedule look at habits you can develop to help you regain control of your time.

1.    Sitting on e-mail is a huge time waster. Small business owners are the biggest offenders of e-mail addiction especially since the advent of smartphones. Build blocks of time into your schedule to read and respond to e-mail.  If you have a handheld device first respond to a message by asking yourself “is this urgent or could it wait until later?”  Chances are it can wait.

2.    Do you have an assistant?  This person can be your right hand and a key to your success.  Small business owners are guilty of trying todo it all themselves. Learn to ask for help and cultivate a good working relationship with your assistant.

3.    Take care of yourself.  Having control of your time takes energy and stamina.  Pay attention to what you are eating and drinking.  Have breakfast at home and resist that pastry and coffee at the morning meeting.  Get away from your desk even if you only walk to the bathroom or kitchen to wash your hands.  Better still go outside for a walk around the block.  You are no good to the company if you are not able to be at your company.

4.    Develop a routine.  Get up and go to bed at the same time.  Arrive to and leave work at the same time.  Schedule coffee with colleagues.  Schedule dinner with you family.  When developing a routine look for balance between rigid and flexible.  Sticking to a routine requires discipline but it can also be taken too far.

It all makes sense and seems easy enough yet taking control of your schedule is going to require time and effort.  This investment is worth it if you are truly tired of the craziness.  The pace of business will continue to increase.  Take control of your time right now and develop the habits that will support your success today and in the fast paced days to come.

Looking for someone to hold you accountable?  Want someone who’s only role is to support you achieving success? If you would like more information on to be more efficient and effective for your company, contact a senior consultant with Ember Carriers at (513) 984-9333 for a complimentary consultation to discuss your company’s needs.

Web: www.embercarriers.com|Twitter: www.twitter.com/embercarriers|LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mhladio

Source: Brooke Ingram, Coaching from the Top  Blog
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