Rose Muthoni @rosemuthoniN
There is never enough time in the day, we often find ourselves saying. There is so much to do but very little time to accomplish all your tasks. Unfortunately, whereas tasks keep increasing, time remains constant.
Many start-up owners almost always suffer from burnout because they use time that should ideally be used to rest, to accomplish as many tasks on their to-do lists as they can. But even though we cannot stretch time, there are many ways you can curve out more time for the things you need to accomplish.
Believe it or not, most of our time is wasted. It is important to identify things that are taking up time or causing procrastination, and make changes accordingly. Here are some easy ways to maximise your time so that you can achieve more.
Set clear goals
Define what your goals are. What motivates you? What would you ultimately want to achieve? Is it a business that earns you Sh1 million a month as profit? Is it just expanding your business influence? As long as you have vague goals, you will always fall back to procrastination mode.
As you well know, procrastination is the thief of time. However, the more you want to achieve a goal, the more motivated you become. With a goal in mind, you have the ability to break it up into achievable milestones that will begin to get you there.
According to the goal-setting theory, based on work done in the 1960s by Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham, there is a strong relationship between how specific a goal is and people’s job performance. According to the Entrepreneur’s explanation of the theory, specific goals generally lead to better performance than non-specific or easily achievable ones.
Routine is key
Success rewards routine. If by now you do not have a set routine, then you are wasting your time. It can be as easy as determining what time you wake up every morning and deciding what your morning rituals will be. It can be sorting out the mail or some bit of accounting for your business.
This always sets the mood for the rest of the day. You might not be a morning person, but I am sure you can set up a timetable to follow for yourself whatever time of day you feel most productive. Remember, discipline is key when it comes to running a successful venture. So set up a routine and by all means, stick to it.
By setting a routine and sticking to it, you will find that after a while, it is easy to make time for things because it becomes a habit.
It is impossible to be accountable to yourself. It is very important that you have someone or something to keep you accountable. You can always report to your mentor, your business partner, or a friend. They must be very influential in your life to be effective accountability partners.
By all means, do not make someone who reports to you your accountability partner. You will be inclined to “abuse your power” whenever they try to make you accountable.
According to Entrepreneur, a leading website that carries news stories about entrepreneurship and small business management, when you know that your accountability partner will be checking in, you will probably be more likely to make time for projects or tasks.
Just the very fact that someone has their eyes on your progress can be a powerful motivator to stop procrastinating and to start working on what matters.
Get rid of bad habits
Your lack of time can only be linked to one thing, bad habits. This is a sour pill to swallow but the first step towards change as they say, is to accept that you have a problem. Do you sleep in? Do you binge watch TV? Is your eye glued to social media all the time? If you are a victim of any of these three vices, then you have bad habits.
It does not mean you are evil though, it just means you are human. You need to unwind from time to time to stay sane. Take each day as it comes.
For example, you can decide no social media for two hours a day. Instead, you can use this time to build your career by reading or learning a new skill that you previously said you did not have time to achieve.