There are many time management apps available online or for your mobile phone – and they’re like crack. It’s easy to become addicted to these tools. We feel like we’re really getting a handle on our hectic schedule by finding and implementing the latest time management app. But they’re bad for you and your business. Here’s why…
Time is one of your most valuable assets. In fact, I’d even argue that it’s potentially more valuable than money (because you can always make more money but you can’t make more time). We all start the day with the same amount of time and way we use it will determine the quality of our life.
Most service business owners view time as something that needs to be managed so that they have time to squeeze everything in during their busy days. I believe time is something that needs to be mastered so that I can spend the right amount on my business but MOST of my time doing the things I enjoy with the people I love. The difference between those two viewpoints is profound; don’t underestimate it.
In my book The Secrets of Business Mastery, I reveal the exact ways that I master my time. These are the same strategies I used that helped me go from working 18 hour days on the “hamster wheel” that most service business owners are running on, to running a $23 million dollar (and growing) business that serves 65,000 people in Central New Jersey with 100 trucks. I didn’t build this business because I got more time in my day than anyone else, I did it because I learned to master the time I had. (By the way, I have more time to spend with my wife and kids than I ever did before, too).
Here are a couple of points from my book:
- Rather than using a time management app on my phone, tablet, or computer, I go “old school” and use a pad of paper. Yes, a pad of paper.
- Every single day I write out my schedule on a blank sheet of paper. This exercise gives me the ability to think about what I’m doing. (Compare this to the more common practice of opening the day on your calendar and simply doing what is scheduled each day).
- I block out chunks of time to focus on specific things.
- To avoid creating a backlog of commitments, build in some buffer zones between each chunk of blocked-out time. (If you find that buffer zone time is not used to complete the blocked-out task, you can use it to quickly complete a few small tasks).
- Oh, and stop multi-tasking. It’s not as effective as you think.
Most people think that running a business successfully is about managing your time effectively. I don’t believe that’s true. I believe that you master your time and that allows you to run your business successfully.