By Mindee Doney
When my clients are struggling with a task in their business I’m often amazed at how it fixes itself with a simple awareness of how they are spending their time. Their sales are not as strong as they would like but they can’t tell me the last time they spent a dedicated day working with brokers, distributors or cold calling. They wish they had more PR but all they have done is tweet and ping the Today Show staff on and off. Their bookkeeping is a mess and they have no idea if they are actually making money – also no idea when they last organized their receipts and expenses. It all comes down to a connection between your mind, body and heart in how you are spending your time.
Regular awareness of what you are doing is crucial to successful time management. You can’t be so wrapped up in a reactive state of putting out fires all day that you forget you have the ability to change the situation you are in. To control who you are with, what you are working on and what your attitude is in the middle of it all. You own the energy that brings you the circumstances of your day. Your response time, temperament and chosen priorities connect all the people, places and experiences in your life. They may or may not come together just the way you envisioned them, but recognizing your decision-making role in all of it will always find you better off when seeking changes
An honest look in the mirror is usually the best place to start if you are constantly feeling like you are out of time. What does your typical day look like? What tasks take up most of your time? What has been your attitude during tasks you don’t necessarily enjoy? What have you been ignoring? What do you desire to have more of?
When you find yourself in those difficult moments, accepting the truth of how and why you got there is the first step to getting out. Here are a 3 questions I ask myself often to stay focused and intentional with my time:
1. Do I need this or just want this? If it is not critical to what matters most to me, I let it go. Insatiability is a Mompreneurs worst enemy. Set your benchmarks for what you truly need (amount of time with family, time to exercise, time with partner, time for yourself, time in business). Make diligent choices to get all of what you need first. Including money. You need to know…. how much you need to work… for what you need to make… to pay for what you need to live. Not your new outfit or fancy trip or weekly pedicures or housecleaners, only what you need. Let’s hope you know those are wants, not needs.
2. What is MOST important for me to accomplish right now? I make a 30-60-90 list of big picture tasks instead of a daily to do list. I organize it by urgency and check in with it often. It lets me know when and how to allocate my time for the big picture instead of getting so wrapped up in the little details. It also gives me a great sense of accomplishment in the times I am feeling less than productive or guilty for what I haven’t gotten to yet.
3. How do I want to feel when I go to bed tonight? Productive, Energized, Loved, Tired – what can I do today to get to the heart of those emotions. Not all days are the same. Weekends I want to feel relaxed and loved and blessed for time with my family. Work days I want to feel energized and productive and successful. I make regular decisions with activities and time management to achieve those emotion.
Be aware of the time you share. Especially in the early years of running a business, time is just as important as money and your product or service. Unlike those things though, you cannot earn or make more of it. Once it’s gone its gone forever. Take the “time” to truly know where you want it to go and check in with yourself often.
Be Well, Dream Big, Live Simply!
Mindee Doney:: Author, Inventor (Boogie Wipes®), Idea Consultant.Tired of chasing her kids runny noses, Mindee herself ran with an idea she had for a saline infused nose wipe she called a Boogie Wipe ®. In 2007, she partnered with Julie Pickens and by 2011 grew her concept, to $12 million in sales, with distribution to 50,000 retail locations in 8 countries. She managed all PR, marketing and branding herself and landed Boogie Wipes® on the Today Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutch, Good Morning America, in People Magazine, The NY Times and countless others. She is the author of Get your Own Juicebox – Confident Moms raising Capable Kids and consults an exclusive group of start-ups through her company Juice Box Consulting.