I tell my business team all the time….being busy, checking off items on a to-do list, booking up every minute of the calendar does NOT mean you are making progress. We can be busy movin’ and groovin’ but doing all the WRONG things. What we are all looking for as entrepreneurs is progress…results…numbers that move in the positive. And to make sure that everything we do moves us forward…we have to take a hard look at some areas of our life and work.
First, what is your priority? NOT priorities. By definition, priority means ONE thing. For instance….Family. I want my time with family to be quality….so no more random TV. When I am with my family, we are talking, watching something that will grow our minds and then discussing it, working together on a game or puzzle, having fun or even doing a DIY project together. I don’t define Family Time as being in the same house or room but we aren’t interacting. I am building a business for my family…it is financial and time freedom…but I still have to work my business. A business won’t create financial and time freedom by itself. You have to work it. Does this take away from my Family Time? Not if I define Family Time as quality time. I can still make quality Family Time happen and work my business. Staying healthy benefits my family. If I am healthy I can work better and when we play…I play better. So, working out, walking, eating right….just because I take time for those things doesn’t take away from my priority.
But here is the kicker….what do you eliminate? What do you delegate? What do you temporarily put off? You have to set some boundaries or you will convince yourself you have to do EVERYTHING because Family is your PRIORITY. You children don’t need to be in 2 or 5 after-school activities. In fact, experts would argue that your children need boredom time…down time…creation and alone time. They don’t need to be busy from dawn til dark. Maybe…TV only happens on weekends for a specific period of time. Weeknights are for reflection, reading, personal time and quality conversations. Maybe you need to delegate household duties. Children CAN and SHOULD be contributing to the household. (this could include your spouse, significant other or anyone else livin’ in your home!) Maybe, you make Thursday night…house blitz night….it gets clean from top to bottom, laundry DONE, yard mowed. You might need to add some VERY specific things to your calendar…family meetings (so they really know what you are working on and why…they can also “plan” for your busy seasons)…spouse dates (not just dinner and serious talk….but some play…go karts, bowling, WITHOUT kids)
Second, have you done a time audit? You might be surprised where you ARE spending time. 30 hours of news shows and reality TV can be a downer and drain on your attitude and altitude. Are you are doing ALL the housework because “they can’t do it as good as you”…and they won’t if they don’t practice? You allowed the kids to enroll in 4 activities because you don’t want to be a “bad” mom. I don’t remember my mother being “bad” because she said…Piano or Dance…one or the other…but not both. I don’t remember my dad being “mean” because he said….football or boy scouts. There are limits to time, resources and our ability to do things well. Sometimes we have to reduce to become focused and GREAT. 4-5 things might mean you are “okay” at lots of things but MASTER at none. This applies to LIFE and BUSINESS.
Or my favorite dilemma as reported by coaching clients…..You are CONSTANTLY reacting to OPA….Other People’s Agendas….clients, hubby, business team, kids, or pets. Not everything requires you to drop everything and respond. Sometimes people will have to wait. And their lack of planning doesn’t always constitute an emergency reaction on your part. For instance….it is Sunday night, kiddo needs poster board for a project tomorrow. To make a point…they might have to experience points off for not planning ahead…just like you would in your business if you didn’t project manage. Your “points” off is losing a client or potential pay. These are harsh lessons but they won’t kill your child to be docked points. They need to learn to tell you on Friday that they have a project to complete. How about the client that has an “emergency”? But you have calls and projects booked. (and those are important to growing YOUR business) You can be honest and say…I will get to your issue but it may be later today…OR at the latest tomorrow. Most of us know…unless someone is dying….it isn’t an emergency that will kill a business or someone else. And again, as a business owner…they have to OWN their own poor planning.
And THIRD, what is income producing activity? I hear this from network marketers….I am posting, I am doing training and team events, I am busy! But are you doing the ONE thing that actually translates into your business growing? Conversations? Posting is great…but doesn’t make you money. Training is super…but doesn’t make you money. Hangin’ out with all the team and getting pumped up is AWESOME…but it doesn’t make you money. What actually makes you money? You have to know the 20% of your activity that translates into results and DO THAT!! A LOT of that! You might have to reduce all the busy to get to THAT more!
If you are a coach, you have to add value and connect with people. Are you hosting free groups and pop up events to share with your ideal clients….or are you just posting about stuff and NEVER talking to real people offline.
If you are freelancer, you have to connect with people to secure clients…build small to get bigger projects and referrals. Do you call past clients? Do you ask for referrals? Do you offer some small specials to generate new leads?
What activity brings you the most results? Where do you spend your time….REALLY? And what is your priority…and how do you REALLY define it—global and general doesn’t work.
The YOU challenge…audit yourself….and spend time on GOIN’ instead of just MOVIN’!