Time Management is Life Management

by Citadel Escrow Team

According to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Obviously, Socrates did not live in the 3rd millenium!

Examining our lives seems like a luxury we might squeeze in between chauffeuring the kids, household chores, planning and preparing meals, hostingbusiness-man-juggling-work-and-time dinners for business prospects or the PTA auction winners, working an extra 15 hours a week from the computer in the den, and running to the store for necessaries, IF we didn’t also have to find time to get our own hair cut, take the dog to the vet, grab a few pages of that book we’ve been trying to read for a month, sneak in a Pilates class, take the car in for servicing, and we can’t leave out the mandatory catching up on email and Facebook! Plus those things I left off the list to save printer ink.

Some 80% of the businesses in the U.S. are “small businesses”, which means in reality that after the entrepreneurs spend 40-60 hours a week performing or providing their business product or service, they can then spend another 10-40 hours working ON the business itself. It also means that rather than having one set of tasks and responsibilities, these small business owners have to master their own product or service AND accounting, business law and local ordinances, personnel practices and regulations, technology and its constantly evolving requirements, marketing, networking and more. Do you see the word “heroes” in here?  The time crunch of most modern people is overwhelming. The possibilities for a sinkhole at any time are endless.

What Are Some of the Traps We Can Hope to Avoid?

  • Interruptions. Even the best planned schedule can fall victim to phone, doorbell, family crises, personal distractions or illness, and email and texts! Consider “closing yourself off” and having your assistant screen the incoming distractions.
  • Too much to do, too little help. Having an assistant who has the skills you most need, from chauffeuring to drafting final presentations, will make you so much more effective, and probably more than earn double the cost with added revenue.
  • Procrastination. There are only three things to do with the stack of things you have put off. DO them, DELEGATE them or DISCARD them. Step 1 is not to add to this pile any more. Take each new to-do, choose which “D” applies when you pick it up, and do it. Step 2 is to take an hour, use that time to elect the appropriate “D” for each item, and separate your stack of items into three stacks. Use post-it notes to label each stack as “priority”, “delegate”, or “needs instructions”.
  • Lack of Clarity. Procrastination is often the result of having all the individual tasks and thoughts that crowd our days mentally undefined as to what is important, urgent, and not important. Nor does every new item come with a pre-determination as to its best management or handling, benefit or value. Looking at each item from the perspective of goals and missions rather than process may help.
  • Success. It is a trap as well as a reward. As success grows, so do the demands. This is where many businesses fail, by not taking the time quarterly to assess and review, and to build “infrastructure” mentally or physically where it is needed. Call on your own personal “board of directors” – this may be friends, family, competitors, or related industries from whom insights can come and be enormously valuable. Look at where your business or life is likely to be in the next year, as well as the next five years, and make changes where needed. Even if it feels uncomfortable now, keep in mind that change is also renewing. And consider that top winners may never be caught up. It is okay!

What things will you do to get yourself out of these time management traps?

Cheers,
The Citadel Escrow Team

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