Many people I've talked with have shared they become very frustrated that they don’t have time to accomplish all that they would like to. Others say that they repeatedly find themselves overextended, volunteering for various organizations and juggling that along with their other obligations. Before long they begin to feel overwhelmed and resentful. And other enterprising businesswomen are trying to figure out why they haven’t reached their goals yet, i.e. to make an additional $5000 in 3 months. I’ve definitely found myself in these situations from time to time.
The most common reason this happens is because we aren’t aware of how much time we actually have. For some reason, we really think we can do it all. Something needs to be done, we have the skills to get it done…up goes our hand, we’re your girl! We add it to our To Do list and off we go. Another meeting, another raised hand and so it goes. Before long we are cranky and just trying to keep our head above water.
Think about what would happen if we didn’t know how much money we had in our checking account. Stop by New York & Company to check out that $35 off of $75 sale, $70 off of $150. Write the check or swipe your debit card. Swing by the grocery store on the way home & pick up the stuff you need for the bake sale. Get home, make sure the kids get started on their homework. You realize you forgot to pick something up for dinner while you were at the grocery store so you go ahead and order a pizza and salad. Sounds like a great day…except that it’s 2 days before payday and you actually only had $17 in your bank account. *sigh*
So how can we know exactly how much time we have available in our account? I came across this great tool a few years ago. It’s quite similar to balancing a bank account. Before you know how much time you have to spend, plot out the time that you already have dedicated to other things. Your week may look very different than the sample below. Be sure to look at spiritual obligations, family obligations, time for yourself, work schedule, volunteer obligations, organization obligations and any others you may have. Block them out in the Chunk Your Time Worksheet.
Once we are able to see what we have already “spent”, we’ll know how much is available. Given the sample below, I can see that I might be able to fit in client and prospect calls from 9-11am 3 times per week. I could probably also fit in a few hours in the evening throughout the week. Knowing this, I may look at my goal of $5,000 in 3 months and realize that I need to adjust the timetable to 4 or 5 months. Or I may realize that in order to meet the original goal, I need to really stay extremely focused during the time I have available and not take on any new projects. The key is that now I know and I can take whatever action I choose.
Download your own copy and take charge of your time.
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© Teresa Cleveland, The Entrepreneur's Toolbox