The life of an entrepreneur can become jumble when it comes to Time Management. Especially when we are talking about having some social time. You see the problem is, we usually enjoy our work, so it doesn’t seem like work!!! Before we know it we have been brainstorming or writing for hours, forgotten to have lunch, our nails look like shit and our friends think we have forgotten them!! Add to the mix that you are working from your home office and before you know it, it’s been 5 days since you had a non-work related conversation and put on high heels and a face!! It doesn’t have to be like this. Here are my 5 simple rules for Time Management – and having a social life. 1/ Mark out your calendar every week, with what is happening. Work, family, personal, clients etc. 2/ Decide if you want to spend some of the spare time on yourself or being social 3/ Work out who you would like to spend some time with 4/ Spend 15 minutes on the phone – asking!!!! 5/ Get out there and have some fun I know that all seems stupidly simple, but the reality is, so few of us do it. Then we get to the point we are exhausted and don’t even know where to go out, if you did want to. This balance is particularly hard for some of us – single mum here. I have totally failed at having a social life, over and over again. Which is ironic given I would go to the opening of an envelope when I was in my 20’s. These days I reflect on my Top 5 Passions when I am scheduling my week. My #3 Passion is being surrounded by like minded, fun and inspiring people…..BUT….if I need alone time, that is equally important. If that’s the case, I pick up the phone and just say ‘hi’ to someone I care about. Being social, does not mean another hour on Facebook by the way. There is a big wide world out there, and we need to make the most of it. If you are busy, like I am at the moment, it’s not an excuse to not be social either – just do it in a different way. Invite some friends to brunch – always a lot quicker than dinner, or ask someone to do a walk with you – and get your exercise in. As for me, tonight I’m child free, so it’s dinner with a fabulous business woman I know – then some me time (ie curling up and watching Ray Donovan).
Do you think you are good with Time Management? I always thought I was good at it, till I looked at it really closely. When I did that I found literally hours being lost…arghghg. Hours I was never going to get back. Here are a few quick things to look at for Smart Time Management. How long do you spend travelling every day? How long does it take you to do your grocery shopping (including the travel)? How long do you spend cleaning, ironing, house maintenance and gardening? How long do you spend lost in the internet? If you are spending a couple of hours a day ‘lost in transport’, either be productive with that time – or work with a bit more flexibility. For example, if you are in your car, instead of reading all the content you like online, download some podcasts and listen to what interests you. This is also so much more motivational that listening to the radio, or the sound of the traffic around you. If you are on public transport, you could do the same – listen to some audio, you could do some productive reading or as I’ll talk about next – do your grocery shopping!!! Another option is speaking to your boss (or you as the case may be) and come up with a more productive working schedule. It may be ok to start and finish outside the major traffic times. Better still, maybe you could do more work from home. After explaining that wasted hours, and the extra stress this is often an easily accepted change. I like shopping. I’m not going to generalise and say ‘most women do’, but I will admit that I do. Mostly though it is a complete waste of my time. Do I need to be going up and down the aisles collecting things? No. These days I order most of our groceries online. There are some great apps you can use to mark items as they run out, you can set standard shopping lists and delivery times and then just add extra items. Another great thing to do is order your meat straight from the farm. This is SO much cheaper and the quality is far superior. You can also get your fruit and veg delivered every week – and it’s all the great seasonal produce. The house stuff. I know I feel better and work better when my house is sparkly. Is it the best use of my time doing it? No way. Not much needs to be said on this one. If you earn (or can earn) more in an hour than you can pay someone to do these chores – then do it. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Just do it. Now to the internet…….that great big black hole that can trap you for hours. I know I’ve been a victim (willing) of internet amnesia. Whilst sometimes it’s interesting, therapeutic and fun to trawl the internet – a lot of the time, it is just a waste of our time. Spend a couple of hours finding what really interests you, will benefit your business or life and what you find fun to catch up on. Subscribe to these things and then only log on to your subscription method at certain times of the day. I like to catch up on You Tube subscriptions over lunch, blogs while I’m sitting on my deck having my morning cuppa, the news later in the morning and other items when I need a break from what I am doing. You also need to include scheduling things like Facebook at certain times, otherwise it’s easy to lose hours in there. Smart Time Management is so much more than this, but I promise you, if you action just these little tips you will gain hours back into your life every week. Hours. Hours that you were wasting. Hours that you will never get back. Just action one thing a day over the next 4 days and claim some time back. I’d love it, if you could comment below on the impact it had on your time.