Monday, September 12, 2011

Take time to make time

How often do you start your week choosing to implement great ideas and big plans, only to spend your time in a state of disarray because of crisis situations created by others?

Maybe one of these look familiar:
  • You have a great plan to expand your business, say open another store or office. But, hiring and firing staff, putting out fires seems to be all you can do. Your people are constantly knocking on the door with an emergency that only you can fix. There's just not enough time!
  • You know you need to take care of paperwork for your taxes or maybe it's that an audit is looming in the near future. But, your clients are so needy. They are constantly calling on you for something. They are your bread and butter, so you can't put them off. But, when can you ever get to the part of your job that always seems to come last? There's just not enough time!
  • Homework, lunches, practices - all are things you do for your kids because you love them. Your days and nights are filled with doing, doing, doing. When could you ever take the class at the gym you think about? How could you actually use the college degree you earned by creating a small business?  There's just not enough time!
There are all sorts of ways we could look at these situations. But, let me give you one good tip for today: Take time to make time. Yes, that's right. It's like investing money to make money. You don't just get more money by doing what you're already doing. The same is true with your time. By setting aside specific, planned time to accomplish what is really important to you, you will create time. 

Let's get out your calendar (oh, you don't have one? get one!) Look at your day or your week. Block off an hour a day, or two mornings each week, or a day a week, to specifically work on your goals. By blocking off this time, it means blocking out everything that doesn't have to do with completing the goal. This means:
  • No phone interruptions - don't answer the phone! You have voice mail. They can leave a message. If you are in a situation where there may be true emergencies, then provide a means for contact if they really, really is an emergency. Plan ahead what the definition of an emergency is and stick to it.
  • No email, Facebook, internet - staff off the computer. If you need the computer to complete your goal, then very carefully guard yourself. Don't even log onto sites that are not completely necessary to your task.
  • Block your access - tell your people your people ahead of time that you're not available during the block out times. If you have to, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door. Again, if there are true emergencies, make provision before hand.
Warning! Taking this time will feel strange to both you and to your interrupters! Changing your availability will be an adjustment for everyone. Expect resistance. Stick with it. Be firm. If you let one or two slip in, then you've established a weak boundary. 

Taking this time will pay off in a huge way! I promise. Do you need help organizing and goal-setting? Please give me 30 minutes to chat with you to talk about ways Shine Consulting can ease the load. Drop me a line at and we will set up a time to visit.

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