5 Unexpected, Critical Ways You Could be Limiting Your Business Success

by Andrea Feinberg, MBA

With the demands of serving customers, managing employees, and the daily tasks required just to keep a small business up and running all pulling at you, it's no wonder "time management" seems like a useless effort. However, managing your time is key to business success. Here are five things that can help you manage your time more wisely.

Before I hear another small business owner tell me that they can’t manage their time and it’s frustrating and ulcer-producing, let me spread a ray of hope here:  it’s not time you’ve got to manage; it’s yourself - your actions and decisions - through the flow of time.

That means self-awareness is an important part of success with time. Here are five ways that self-awareness is an important success marker for effective use of time:

1.  Be aware of your energy patterns and when, during the day, you tend to be more alert, creative and productive. When you know that, you can schedule necessary tasks according to the degree of complexity they may have.

2. Know yourself with respect to your priorities. When you know that, it’s easier to establish how much time - and how soon - any individual project needs to be fairly handled, according to its priority to you.

3. Also - know yourself regarding any hidden reasons you may have for procrastinating on projects. Are there any anxieties around planned tasks causing you to delay their implementation? What association do you have with a particular project - like whether it’s a big risk or departure from your usual business process - that adds a dose of hesitation to executing the plan?

4. And know yourself with respect to your willingness to push your own priorities to the bottom of a to-do list in exchange for your agreement to take on someone else’s project. The more you do this, the more you’re likely to both subjugate your priorities to others AND wear down your personal batteries of productivity and advancement.  Not good.

5. Finally, consider if your own need to control is preventing you from effective delegation - a huge opportunity because so much of what takes up our time doesn’t need to be done by us at all.  Did you read that? It doesn’t all have to get done by you – just those things that no one else is capable of doing and that category may be smaller than you’ve been willing to acknowledge. The more you believe ‘only I can do this right’ the more likely nothing you do will get done completely and with your full creative powers on tap.

What all this means is the more you try to book yourself solid with appointments, plans and massive to-do lists, the more frazzled, frustrated you become and the less productive you are. How’s that for irony?

Know thyself and act accordingly - you’re a better judge of what needs to get down and how to do it with passion and purpose than any time management book, course or guru.  Pay attention to your gut (as soon as it calms down) - it’ll give you a better scheduling device and resources for completion than you may have been willing to acknowledge. 

Andrea Feinberg, MBA, Cert. Prof. Behavioral Analyst, Cert. Strat. Business Leadership Coach and Cert. EQ Mentor helps Small Business Owners unwrap from the daily grind and focus on big picture tomorrows, resulting in more money, more free time and a better night's sleep. Is this an appealing vision? Then visit her site at www.morefreetimezone.com for tips to make it happen in your business.

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