Three keys to taking control of your time
Summer is soon coming to an end, and we are heading toward the last four months of the year. Fall is a precious time to buckle down and get some real work done before the holidays are here. You may feel busy at every moment, but at the end of the day, are you pleased with your results?
No matter how rich, powerful, knowledgeable or gifted you are, if you don’t know how to make the most of your time, it’s likely that you will always struggle to accomplish your personal, career and business goals.
Because I’ve managed to accomplish a lot throughout my career, I am often asked how I personally manage my time and stay productive. It’s a topic that has always been popular with many of my corporate training clients as well as members of my event community.
While days still get crazy for me at times and I am not always my best in this area, it has taken me years, hundreds of dollars spent on time management courses, productivity books, seminars and a ton of trial-and error to find some of the best strategies that are right for me and that I use to this day.
One of my favorite lessons came from a report on time management secrets written by self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur Ali Brown some years ago that I still refer to often today. And, because there is so much more I can write than space in this article allows, if you like what I share in this article and you want to dive deep into this topic, then you’ll absolutely love my training and upcoming event focused on time and productivity secrets.
Here are three keys on how you can keep control of your time:
Key #1: Understand what your time is truly worth
Let’s say you make $100,000 a year, and you take a self-paid, two-week vacation every year. Here’s how you would calculate your hourly worth: First, calculate your weekly gross income: $100,000/50 = $2,000 per week. Next, calculate your hourly income: $2,000/40 hours per week = $50/hour. In this example, your minimum hourly worth would be $50 an hour. (Note, for entrepreneurs, please don’t use this as a guideline for what to charge your clients per hour. It doesn’t take other factors into consideration.) Using this example, think about what you did today. How many hours were spent on the $50/hour jobs, like face-to-face networking and online marketing? And how much time did you spend on the $10/hour jobs, such as running errands, organizing, etc. You may be surprised to learn that you’re wasting time and money on less important tasks and on tasks that many administrative assistants could do for $15/hour.
Key #2: Understand what being productive truly means
When you wake up tomorrow morning, there are probably 20 things you could work on for your work or business. You could spend some time promoting on social media, making calls to potential clients, studying your marketing stats, organizing your desk or sending out an invoice. And understandably, most of these items could be perceived as important to the livelihood of your business. But which tasks keep you busy, and which actually make you productive? Being productive means that you are investing your energy and time into only those tasks that actually make a difference in your life. Best-selling author Steven R. Covey (of the “7 Habits” series) makes this distinction even more clear. It is: knowing the difference between your compass and your clock. Your compass is concerned with where you’re going – What is your path? What are your goals? The compass steers you in the right direction, and keeps you aligned with the big-picture goals you’ve set for yourself. So, if you’ve set a goal to get four new clients by the end of the month, it suddenly makes it very clear that cleaning your desk, sending out an invoice and checking marketing stats are not the most meaningful actions to take in order to reach your goal. Your compass guides your clock.
Key #3: Set up systems to support your productivity
To dramatically increase your productivity (which leads to profits), you must start using and leveraging four things well: lists, calendars, team and tools. Each one of these systems takes time to discuss, yet when set up correctly, can help you work smarter, faster and better on a daily basis. As a productivity trainer for more than 13 years, I share techniques in these areas with my students that can often save them up to eight hours a day! This means what some people do in eight hours on their jobs, others can do in five seconds! The interesting thing is that most people have these tools already at their disposal! If you would like some of these tips, be sure to reach out to me.
Want to learn more?
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, then you’d be interested in attending the next Entrepreneur Night hosted by the Bahamas Chamber Institute on Thursday, August 18, 6:30 p.m. at British Colonial Hilton. The focus is on time management and productivity – from managing your calendar, to working smarter with your tools, to improving your personal energy levels for the highest productivity zones ever! You will learn some of the best strategies for mastering your time and ultimately, your success. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get all the details.
If you want to schedule a possible time management talk, group training or online learning course for yourself or employees, contact me.
• Keshelle Davis is a master trainer in the areas of business skills, financial literacy and personal development, a speaker, author and entrepreneur. Her roles include executive director of the Chamber Institute, the education arm the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce; president of Creative Wealth Bahamas and founder of The Training Authority. Keshelle was listed as The Nassau Guardian’s Top 40 under 40 for the 40th anniversary celebrations of The Bahamas. Contact Keshelle at email@example.com.