Time is money – how to spend it wisely

Joe Shervell gives some tips on time management for people running their own businesses.

Finding the perfect balance of professional life, family time and personal time is no mean feat. It’s easy to focus on one aspect of your life to the exclusion of the rest of it… and between being an entrepreneur and a parent, when do you find time to be you? Time is money; it should be budgetted and spent wisely.

Here are six easy tips to help you make the most of your time and still get time for yourself and the things you enjoy!

Have a plan

Setting  a plan to spend time on each of your responsibilities can be an excellent way to manage them effectively. During the day you need breaks from work, and this is an ideal time to take care of other jobs, freeing up your time in the evening. Give your business three to four hours in the morning, then use your break from work to do a little shopping or maybe a little exercise. Use the opportunity to prepare ingredients for dinner in the evening – then you can spend less time cooking and more time relaxing. 

When the day’s done, leave it done

How many nights have you laid awake worrying about what tomorrow will bring, or plotting to deal with that problem client or project that seems to have no reasonable resolution? This is not time off. Once you shut down your business for the day, let that be the end of it. Leave your business in your office and focus on spending time with your family. Use the opportunity for downtime to unwind and cool down from the day’s stresses. Talk about anything except work, because rehashing your day can bring problems back to the forefront of your mind. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

Take care of yourself

Sitting behind a desk eight to fourteen hours a day is not healthy, but too many at-home entrepreneurs do exactly that. Schedule in regular breaks from your business. Keep your cell handy for those situations that simply can’t be addressed any other way, but go for a walk or a jog and do some stretches. You’ll find that you feel more centered, calmer, and alert. The needs of your family and business are important, but you need some time and TLC as well. Once you’ve worked for the period you’ve alloted each task, don’t keep going. Relaxing is just important for a healthy worklife as the work itself. 

Don’t give out your home phone number

Have you ever heard the saying, “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine?” While you want to take care of your clients and your business, they need to be aware that you are more than just a business person. Most businesses have set working hours. Outside of these hours, do not allow intrusions into your personal space. This can leave your family wondering whether they are as important to you as your business and subject you to interruptions and contact at all hours of the day and night, interfering with the other aspects of your life that are just as important, if not more, to you than your business.

Plan your work and work your plan

None of this should be taken as saying your work and business aren’t important. They have their place in your life too. It’s easy to get so caught up in the workday grind that you forget there are other things out there too, so have a consistent plan for how you manage your working day. Be sure to build in time away, both during the day and whatever days off you choose to set, while allowing ample time to deal with the needs of your business. By doing this, you’ll see yourself meeting all your business and personal goals more quickly, with less stress and friction in and between your personal and professional life.  This will mean your work and relaxation will all be of a much higher quality.

*This article was supplied by Joe Shervell, a business-training enthusiast with an interest in small businesses. He supplies this article for www.phoenix-training.co.uk, experts in business training. 

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