As a business owner you have 100% responsibility for creating your own life. Many go into business because they want a better “lifestyle.” But all too often what happens next robs you of that said “lifestyle.”
As a business owner you will spend a lot of time outside of your comfort zone. Learning how to be a better entrepreneur is a job you will have for the life of your business
There are thousands of trainings, programs and apps designed to help us. So why do we struggle to manage this intangible thing which we all know is so precious?
There are many, many reasons. Enough to fill multiple books. But one of the main reasons is a failure to create a structure that works for us. What do I mean?
Well, I always say that our diary is like a closet. It’s either organised with items grouped together. Lots of space and easy to find things. Or it’s jam-packed. No order. Clutter everywhere and just looking at it makes you feel stressed.
If your diary is the latter then I urge you to make a change. And I urge you make that change today.
Great time management requires 3 things – structure, systems and disciple. But if we haven’t decided what gets stored where in our time “closet.” It’s going to be impossible to be efficient.
Many years ago, I learned about the concept of the “Default Diary.” In simple terms a Default Diary is a plan for how you will spend your time each week. You group similar activities together and then commit time blocks in your diary.
Now I must confess that it took many attempts to embrace this system. But persistence pays. And now I can’t imagine life without the structure of my Default Diary.
Being more accessible than we have ever been before has a consequence. We don’t just feel busier – we are busier. As a business owner there is more “stuff” that needs managing. For example, 10 yrs ago many of the social media platforms didn’t even exist. and neither did the task of managing them.
So it has never been more important to bring structure to how we spend our time. Creating a “Default Diary” is one of the first steps. And you can put one together in just 4 easy steps.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR DEFAULT DIARY
Step 1: Set the Boundaries
Work out how many hours you want to work every week.
If you are going to put trade your life to run a business it’s important to work the hours that you want. Your business exists to serve your clients. Your business also exists to serve your life.
Step 2: What Is Your Job?
Work out how many “hats” you need to wear as a business owner.
Most business owners have at least 6 “hats” to juggle. They include strategy, marketing, sales, finance and administration, operations and team. It’s important to spend time wearing each of these hats every week. That way you can stay on top of the important things in your business. Do not let the “doing” work prevent you from truly managing your business.
Work out how many hours you need to spend wearing each hat every week. For example, I like to work 30 hours. That comprises of
Strategy: 3 hours
Sales: 4 hours
Marketing: 4 hours
Operations: 12 hours
Finance and Administration: 6 hours (including emails)
Team: 1 hour
Now you are ready to decide “when.”
Step 3: Create Your Ideal Schedule
Work out the flow of your week and when are your most ideal times to wear each hat. It helps to create a visual representation of your Default Diary.
Now as things come up, you can decide whether they need to be actioned now or whether they can wait.
You’ll find that most things can often wait for your scheduled time.
Step 4: Make it a Habit
Getting organised and breaking all the habits that make us unproductive is not easy. We have unconscious competence in our habits. That is we do them without even thinking about it. Breaking those habits requires conscious effort
In order for a system to work, you have to work the system. Until you have unconscious competence I suggest you print it out and keep it in front of you. Alternatively you can colour code your electronic calendar.
Having a Default Diary offers many benefits. It ensures that we work in the important areas of our business every week. Thus preventing those nasty surprises that happen when we neglect certain areas.
You’ll probably spend the rest of your life mastering time management. It’s one of those skills that you can never be too good at. But since time is our most precious asset, that’s not a bad thing.
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My name is Anthea Horvat. I am a Business Strategist and Mentor. I am also the founder of Business Fusion and the Business Masters Club™. I specialise in helping Australian, established, service based business owners to increase their profitability, scalability and saleability.I help them to create their ultimate business.
Over the last 15 years I have had the pleasure and honour of personally mentoring over 2,200 Australian business owners to create their ideal business. I believe that life is too short to be stuck in a business delivering mediocre financial rewards and lifestyle.
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