Time Management: It is the number one topic that comes up when I ask my followers what they are struggling with right now. Which is unsurprising given how important our time is, especially in business. It is also something that we struggle with as there isn’t necessarily a prescribed system we can follow to improve our time management.
We can’t make more time, time is a finite resource and it runs out. So how do we manage our time and our selves better?
Time Management in Business
Well, in business, one of the fundamental problems is that people often ask themselves the wrong question. For example, one might say:
I write five blog posts a day – how do I write more productively in order to spend less time writing each post.
And indeed, that is a valuable question.
That is not the first question you should ask yourself. You should first ask yourself –
Why am I writing five blog posts? Is this the most effective way to achieve my goal.
Time Management Step One: Effectiveness
A lot of us use blog posts as a fundamental part of our business; to improve SEO, to prove our authority and to attract traffic etc. However due to this quasi blogger/business status, we often narrow our focus and miss the big picture.
Our goal is not to produce blog posts – it is to make profit.
Now I know that sounds cold. Believe me the thought makes my anti-corporate heart squirm.
We go into business for many reasons, to make a difference, to spread a message, to promote good – and these are all considerations that deserve their own time and significance. However, at the end of the day, if we don’t make profit – we don’t stay in business and we don’t get to spread our message and fulfill our purpose. So profit has to be a big consideration, even if it isn’t our only one.
So, to go back to the point. If your purpose in writing blog posts is to draw traffic to your website (in order to introduce them to you and your email list etc) is this purpose best served by writing five blog posts?
Or would it be better to write one or two blog posts and use the freed up time to promote your new posts?
‘But,’ I hear you say ‘that might be all very well, but in this case I haven’t made any more extra time, I’ve just changed activities’
True, however, firstly, by spending more time promoting than writing you will be bringing in more traffic. Which in and of itself is more efficient.
Secondly, while you may not have gained time to do other things, you are now using the same amount of time working on your business but getting better results.
This is the best time management for your business.
If we then say that this is the most efficient, possible way to achieving your business goals THEN we can move onto the original issue of freeing up some more time for you to do ‘other’ things ie time management for you.
The second half of this equation is taking your efficient systems and doing the tasks involved in a more productive way.
To use our example, spending more time prompting your posts than writing them might be more productive for your business. However, if you originally spent nine hours writing blog posts and one hour prompting them and now you spend two hours writing blog posts and eight hours promoting them – you’ve gained more traffic. But you, personally, are still spending ten hours on business either way.
Gaining More Hours
If you are to ‘gain’ more time there are now two options.
- Now you are being more efficient, you can now spend eight hours total on business and still be achieving the same or better results as when you were using your previous, ineffective method – therefore freeing you up two hours; or
- You can work out a more productive way of promoting your blog, allowing you to achieve the same results in less time; or
- You can be a total time management powerhouse and do both.
So for example, you could more productively promote your business by automating your social media posts. Or you could start ‘batching’ your blog posts. Or writing outlines for your posts, allowing you to be more productive in your writing time.
Whilst you can certainly be more efficient in the current tasks that you are doing, the biggest time save for your business is being more effective.