What does an average day look like for you? Would you describe it as chaos? It’s a funny thing to consider that technology is ostensibly supposed to streamline our lives, but we seem to be more pressed for time than ever. Wake up before the sun rises, prep for work, drop kids off at school, head to the nearest traffic jam. Get to work. Experience endless meetings and conference calls. Split at closing time. Kid’s athletic practice. Home. Dinner. Pay bills. Glass of wine. A good book. Drift off to sleep. Repeat 5x per week. And then you get two recovery days to load up and do it all over again, one half of one of those days dedicated to preparing for the coming week.
Where does all the time go? Reread the first paragraph.
One of the most liberating aspects of becoming your own boss is time. Specifically, time management. It’s a very familiar refrain for our clients to express this as the top reason for wanting to own a business of their own. It’s freedom, really. Freedom to set your own schedule. We all know that there are many situations in life—even daily—that can’t be predicted. But to have the framework of time management on your side for a change can be a life altering reality. Because when you master it, you’re likely to wonder why you didn’t take the entrepreneurial path sooner.
Here are three key factors to time management that you can put to good use in your own life:
If you don’t set and stick to a budget, you’ll never have any idea where your money goes. Likewise, if you don’t take an evaluation of your time, you’ll never be able to manage it. For one week, keep a journal of your time. Write down how much time you spend in traffic. In meetings. Talking on the phone with friends. And watching TV. If you place the entries into an Excel spreadsheet, you can get a quick weekly sum total in each category. Prepare to be surprised at the final tallies. Once you’ve become aware, begin to eliminate the wasted hours and focus on productivity.
We all have trigger behaviors that lead to wasted time. Most these days can be traced right back to that device you hold in your hands for hours at a time. Social media, Candy Crush. Texting. But there are others as well. Your time management evaluation should show you the key areas in your life where you can implement improvements. Many parents have reported an uptick in quality time by eliminating the “time thieves” in their lives. And that can create quality family time.
Plan, Prioritize and Execute
Spend a few moments at the beginning of each day in mental preparation for the tasks which lie ahead. Have a plan of action and make sure to prioritize what truly needs to be accomplished. Can your clothes wait at the dry cleaners one more day if it means you can make that trip to the grocery store for a nice home-cooked meal? Execute your plan of action every day. Be ready to adjust on the fly. Plan, prioritize and execute. Make it a daily occurrence and it will become a routine.
We hope you’ve found this advice helpful and are ready to take stock of your own level of time management. If you’d like to get an idea of what this exercise might look like when you’re the boss, we can help. Just reach out to one of our qualified FranNet representatives and we’ll have an interesting and engaging discussion about your future.
Let’s chat! There’s a local FranNet consultant right in your market who knows that market inside and out – knows the personality of the market – knows the competitive landscape. FranNet has a great track record of assisting individuals on their path to entrepreneurship, and one of our franchise experts would love to provide you with guidance free of charge. Sound like something you might be interested in? Get started here and find your local consultant right now!