Having trouble getting home in time for dinner? Feel like you’re working all the time?
Here are three ways to manage your work life so you can have more time for yourself. Even if you can only do one of the three, you’ll be surprised how much free time you can create. Enjoy!
1. Take a Long, Hard Look at What’s Really Important to You
Make a list of everything that’s important to you–family, friends, watching football on TV, etc. Rank them in order of importance. If family is at the top of the list, for example, then figure out how to create more time in your business to spend more time with them.
If you think you can’t do it, think again. I promise you it’s possible. Check out Tip #2 below!
2. Create More Time In Your Day
These days, everyone is busy. We are all multi-tasking, but small business owners are especially prone to feeling overwhelmed. Is it really necessary to do it all?
When was the last time you prioritized your activities? It may seem like you don’t even have time to prioritize. Taking that time will save you hours in the long run.
Here are some ways to make more time for yourself:
- Evaluate what you charge for your product or service. Is it competitive or do you think you’ve got to have the lowest price in order to make the sale? If you charge too little, then it takes more time to make the income you need.
- How to Do It: Brainstorm ways to increase your fees so that you don’t threaten the bottom line. For example, charge more to new customers and measure your results. Are you losing clients, gaining them, or staying the same? If you are staying the same or attracting more clients, then you are making more money by working less!
- Work more productively. Are you focusing on revenue-producing activities or are you spending too much time on administrative tasks? If it’s the latter, then you are not being as productive as you could be.
- How to Do It: Spend the first hour of each day only on those tasks which can make you money. No email, for example, unless it will directly result in revenue.
- Get organized. Organizing your time or even organizing your filing system will keep your business running smoothly. The less frenetic you feel, the more productive you will be.
- How to Do It: Use file folders on your computer to organize your work and/or emails by subject or client. Finding things easily is a great time saver. It also works wonders for being able to focus on what matters.
3. Set Limits
Set limits with clients, employees (if you have them), and even with friends or family members. Are you spending a lot of time on the phone dealing with issues at home or making plans? Explain to your family and friends that you need to limit personal time spent on the phone, so you’ll have more time to actually be with them!
How accessible are you to your clients or customers? Are you available 24/7? If you are, you shouldn’t be. It doesn’t serve you. And if it doesn’t serve you, it doesn’t serve your clients. How can you be at your best if you are working all the time?
To make a smoother transition from being available 24/7 to being available during specified work hours, make sure the time you are available to clients is as aligned as possible with when they need you most. Start keeping track of what days and times your clients seem to call most often. Set your working hours accordingly. Then make sure you schedule the same two days off every week.
Explain your new hours to your clients. You might be surprised to see how much they appreciate it that you thought of their needs when you made your new hours. Stick to your new hours and your clients are likely to follow.
Maintain your new hours, decide what’s really important to you, and create the time to have it. You’ll not only be happier, but you’ll also have a ringside seat as you watch your business grow.