Mind GamesIf you’ve been reading any of my work, then you’ve undoubtedly heard me talk about productivity and the mind games we play with ourselves. We’re our own worst critics – we can be very harsh and judgmental. I also talk about entrepreneurial business owners who do what they because they have a gift of talent to share. Running a business is often not that gift or talent.

Yet, when you want to make a living running a business doing what you love, run a business you must. Ugh. Sorry if that pains you! But wait, there is an answer. I’m struck by how many people struggle with time, time management and feeling out of control of what ‘needs to get done.’ We all deal with it. And, there are some simple basic solutions that will put your mind at ease and let you work when you should be working and relaxing when you need to be away from working without stressing in either situation.

The first step is booking what you need to get done on your calendar and coming to understand how long tasks take and what is actually realistic for you. Take your long to-do list. Look at it hard and decide what things are a priority to get done in the coming week. Estimate how long each task will take and then allot time for it in your calendar. Say you have 4 phone calls to make. You know each call (if you reach the person) will take between 15-30 minutes. Book 2 of the calls for 30 minutes each. When you make the calls TIME THEM. Yes, literally, time them. See how accurate you are. Next, find another task and do the exact same thing. Find out how long things take you to do. That’s the first step to sanity.

You can take a reverse engineering approach – for many this is easier. For one week, keep a diary of every business activity and how long it takes. Once you start to see what is involved with each task, you’ll know how to plan them so you can get more done and get rid of the things on your list that build up and build up because you plan them. Next, you look at which tasks earn you money. You must spend 70-80% of your business time in money making activity if your business is to stay financially healthy and support you.

If you spend just one week tracking your activities and organizing your business, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. If you decide to get into coaching and get another perspective and learn other tools, you can increase your results even more. Consider a complimentary coaching session to see how it works and whether it can benefit you – I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. Here’s to you!