Time Management Skills for Small Business Owners

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Time management is something we hear a lot about but never seem to get an understanding of what we need to do about it. In this article, you’ll get 4 time management skills for small business owners. You may not like them, but they work.

1) Log your time
Take a day or a week. (A week is preferable) Log all the time you spend doing all your activities. You can grab a sheet or use a spreadsheet depending on how analytical you are. Start from the moment you wake up and end when you go to sleep. Track every single thing you do in a day and the number of minutes it takes you to do it.

2) Go over the log and identify your big time wasters.
Categorize your activities. Figure out how much total time you spent on each activity. Determine the percentage of time you took to do each activity category. You want to find areas where you’re spending too much time like meetings, email, phone calls, etc.

3) Apply the 80/20 rule to your time.
The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results come from about 20% of your activities. You need to figure out those activities that give you the best results and increase the amount of time you spend on them. You’ll need to keep analyzing this and keep increasing the time on the activities that only get you results. The rest is not important.

4) Delegate your time. 
If you spend a bunch of time on your email, find an assistant to handle your email responses and send you only the most important ones. Email is usually a big time suck. Give away those activities that don’t get results. Give them to an employee who can handle them for you and train that employee to do them for you. Then, trust that employee to do the job you’ve trained them to do and move along doing the things you need get you the best results.

I hope these tips have helped you with your time management. If you’ve got questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

4 Tips on Finding Your Path and Purpose in Life

4 Tips on Finding Your Path and Purpose in Lifepath

I remember an adult once telling me when I was young that I needed to try different things in order to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember thinking, “How could I possibly just fall into something I love by chance? Into something I’m meant to become? Is it perhaps a bit more predestined than that?”

I’m certain it’s normal to search for meaning and purpose. It is, after all, our nature as human beings. I was reminded this morning of an uber-successful millennial who struck it rich with a tech startup and become an instant billionaire, only to reach age 30 and realize no one cared about him and he was doing something that left him empty. The point is that everyone wants perfection.   Everyone wants financial stability. Everyone wants productivity and some degree of a routine. Everyone wants certainty. Everyone wants to give love and to be loved. The reality is that these things just don’t exist because the perfect version of yourself is constantly changing as you learn and grow! As you expand, your goals expand with you.

Isn’t the search, perhaps, less about attaining the perfect life and more about finding the perfect path?

The Perfection Competition
As you browse through Facebook and Instagram you will see updates and posts of what other people are doing and accomplishing. For me, this has led at times to feelings of jealousy or thoughts that perhaps I’m not accomplishing enough or getting enough out of life. I’ve realized that, when I set concrete goals for myself that are followed-up by smaller goals that help me achieve the big ones, I become more confident. I feel more productive. I feel like I’m on the right path for me. All of a sudden, I can’t identify as much with someone else’s’ perfect life and I feel more fulfilled with my own. So, I’ll ask you, what are your goals for yourself?

Learn the Signs of Misdirection
Feeling uncertain about your life, your goals, or your purpose is all normal. But what’s not normal is to feel uncertain every minute of every day. If that’s going on, I can say with complete certainty you’re not on the right path. Red flags and alarm bells should be going off all over the place for you right now! Instead, try to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings so you can be prepared to take action. Begin briefly journaling those feelings along with your ideas for what may be causing them. What is the root of it all?

Ask for Help
I know for a fact that I am my own worst enemy. But I have to stop and remind myself that, many times, I’m doing better than I think I am. Thankfully, in my case, I have two trusted people who remind me of that. I can be open and honest with them and they will give me a candid opinion of what I should consider changing. Everyone needs someone in their life that won’t just tell them what they want to hear. Do you have someone like this?

Purpose is Divine
I am a Christian and it’s taken me 33 years to realize that, when I focus on anything other than my faith and God’s will for my life, I grow unhappy, worried and frustrated. We all have talents. We all have a reason for being here. So instead of trying to figure it out for yourself, try praying about it. Now that I finally feel like I know what path I’m on, I pray daily that God will give me eyes to see Him, ears to hear Him, a hunger to do His will in my life, and that He will help me with each step along my path. For me, He has been faithful and helped me realize that I can’t do this alone. He has called me to be greater and, because of this, he has blessed me with purpose and passion! So are you praying regularly for purpose?

 

Integrate Life into Your Today

shutterstock_176813414 copyLet’s all just face it, sometimes it is just what it is.  I’m a wife first. A mom second. I’m a business owner third. And I don’t always get a hot second to spend on myself. True, we have complete control over the great majority of our circumstances, but sometimes elements of the life we have now are unchangeable – at least for the time being.  I don’t want to change anything about life today except for one thing…I want to slow down and enjoy it more! There is joy in living in the moment, so why waste even a smidgen of happiness or a minute of life???

The poet, William Earnest Henley, said it best in his poem Invictus when he wrote “I am the master of my fate”. You always have a choice. Choose wisely. So since I often have to talk out loud to myself to get myself to listen, here’s some advice I’m shouting today:

1.) Every day do at least one thing that makes you happy. There is no magic list. Do not listen to anyone else’s suggestions. You know what makes you smile, so smile today!

2.) Make a plan and make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, or jump starting your morning with caffeine – make this a priority on a daily basis.

3.) Make a mental list of the things you have mastered already in life. You know what they are – these are the areas where you receive accolades, awards and “at–a-boys”. You have a full twenty-four hours every day. Pick one, do it better than anyone else can, and feel fulfilled and accomplished.

4.) Be a friend, call a friend, help a friend or make a new friend. Interpersonal relationships have tangible power. Infuse each new day with a heaping dose.

5.) Feed your body; eating healthy foods increases your stamina and keeps illness at bay. (It’s shameful how lucky I feel on days where I miss only one meal!) Feed your mind. Read, read, and read. Keep abreast on current events, buy trade journals in your area of expertise, subscribe to how-to publications – just read daily. Lastly, at least once every day, do whatever feeds your soul.  Prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, Bible study, journaling; whatever gives you inner peace.

Become your own life coach, and integrate life into your today. When you are ready to integrate new life into your financial future, make us the friend you call. Contact us  – you will be happy you did!

The North Side of Average

Rob, Jake, Addie Claire, Valerie and Kaitlyn
Rob, Jake, Addie Claire, Valerie and Kaitlyn

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is the ability to affect other people and inspire with our language.  In the beginning of all creation God spoke and said “Let their be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).  God’s words created light and, hence, sight for us all!

In my career, I’ve worked with those who couldn’t see how they could possibly become successful or were blind to how they could take their lives or businesses to another level.  My prayer is that my words and the gifts God has instilled in me will be a light to your life.  My mission is to help inspire others to become extraordinary in all that they do!

I’m a mother, a wife, and an owner of multiple businesses.  I’ve had incredible success and have also made many mistakes personally and professionally in my 33 years of life.  There’s a good chance I’ve been where you are today!  If you’re ready, I want to help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made and achieve success much faster than I have.  Please join me on my life’s journey to the north side of average…

-Valerie Leonard