This past week I spoke at two women’s networking groups. At each I asked the question, “Do you set aside time to work ON your business?”. At one talk I was asked for clarification. “Do you mean, do we leave white space in our calendar?” To which I answered, that depends.
You see, I used to use the white space method to leave time to work ON my business but it didn’t work for me. Why? That’s because someone would ask me for time to meet and I would see the white space and schedule a meeting there. Or I’d be exhausted from such a busy week and would just decide to do nothing. I quickly learned that the work that needed to be done for my business wasn’t happening. Now, I put intentional appointments in my calendar for the work I know needs to be done and then the white space truly is white space. For others who aren't wired the way I am, the white space method does work. The reason it doesn't work for me is because I’m a very social person and I thrive on interactions with others. I much prefer to be meeting with someone than to be doing things by myself. (Remember that SWOT Analysis I mentioned last week? Did you download Ch. 4 in my book and do yours? If not, here’s the link again.)
Working ON your business simply means doing the things that need to be done for your business to function. This includes things as simple as keeping track of mileage and receipts, as well as things like taking time to contemplate which revenue stream is performing the best for you. It also includes time to deepen your knowledge about your area of expertise and reaching out to key people (past clients, referral partners and current clients) just to say hi. Clients in my Marketing Morsels Coaching Club take the 1st Thursday of each month to work ON their business at our Mastermind/Workshop. Those in my Magnify Your Marketing program take 3 intensive days to work ON their business by developing a business and marketing plan. So often we get bogged down with serving clients, networking and responding to emails that we lose sight of the other things that need to be done for our business to grow and be successful.
So, next time you plan your week or your month, take time to consider the often forgotten higher level tasks (or the simply mundane ones) and set time aside for them. As you regularly put this practice into place, you’ll start seeing positive results and be glad you did. Comment below and tell us where you land when it comes to spending time ON your business. I’d love to know.
Looking to build more time into your calendar to work ON your business with others? Why not join the Marketing Morsels Coaching Club. Come as a guest to our Monthly Mastermind/Workshop! They are always the 1st Thursday of the month and the next one is next Thursday, March 2nd. Use this link to learn more and register. Use the code COMPLIMENTARY to come as one of my guests. (Space is limited so register right away. Registration ends on Tues, 2/28.)
Have you ever wasted 30 min? If you’re like me, chances are you spend a lot of time saying to yourself “I just wasted 30 min.” What happens for me is that I get ready to work on a project and then something bounces into my mind that I needed to do. I'm sure it will only take a couple minutes…..and it does. The problem is that during those couple minutes, one of two things often happens:
Recently I was on a Q&A Call with my Coaching Club clients and the topic was time management. There were 9 of them on the call and each took time to share some tips and tricks they use to manage situation #1 above. In addition to each person being inspired by some new ideas, and the fact that they aren’t alone in this pattern, two themes came to light.
Situation # 2 above is different than #1 and we actually didn’t talk about that on our call. Often when I say “I just wasted 30 min”, I just finished scenario #2. I did that 1 thing that I thought would take a couple minutes and then did a few more 20 min things. As a matter of fact, I’m currently in this cycle as I write this blog post.
The "a-ha" that came to mind as I was saying, “I just wasted 30 min” was that I hadn’t. However, I say that all the time and cause myself to feel bad. I also lead those around me to think I wasn’t working (like family or my team or my clients). People think what we tell them. So, we need to change how we think and what we say. The reality is that I WAS doing work during the 30 min and it wasn’t wasted time, it was important. It just wasn’t on the list of things I had planned to do.
How do we get around this? The solution really is to stop overscheduling ourselves and to schedule buffers into our day. As I’ve paid attention to the tasks I’ve done this week, I’ve realize most of it wasn’t how I planned it to go. It also wasn’t wasted time, even though I said and thought it was. Each thing I did was something important that had to be done, often times it was something I didn’t realize needed to be done until I was in the situation.
By allowing space in our day we allow these things to be taken care of without associated guilt. We aren’t robots and our lives don’t happen in controlled environments. By allowing space in our schedules we can avoid feeling out of control when the unexpected comes up, as we know it will.
So, the next time you go to plan your day don’t schedule every single hour. Leave an hour or two for the administrative things you will need to do like checking email, returning that call, scheduling that meeting, updating that form, making lunch or breakfast, reading a book. While you’re at it, leave an hour or two that is totally blank. Something will come up that needs to fill the space and you’ll be glad it’s there. If nothing does, you’ll suddenly have free time to do something fun. How cool would that be?!
Here's a quick summary of how my year unfolded:
As you can see 2017 is going to be a busy year and a year that continues to build my foundation. This year's word is SURRENDER. It reminds me each day that I need to get out of my own way and surrender. Surrender by letting others help me, surrender by listening for God's guidance before just doing it myself and surrender to new ways and giving up old habits.
What is your word of the year? What was your focus in 2016 and what will your focus be in 2017? Please share in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!
Please tell me how you found me