There’s no such thing as “not enough time”. There is the time that there is and none of us can increase or decrease it. I wonder how much time do you waste at work each week?
We often hear others, and indeed ourselves, uttering those great words “I don’t have time for that”. Again, there’s no such thing as not having the “time for that”. If I say that I don’t have time for that, I’m simply saying that I’m not prepared to allocate time for that. It’s a question of two things : time allocation and wastage of time.
Whether or not we like to acknowledge it, the fact is that we all choose what to do with our time and, consequently, what not to do with it. Sometimes, we choose to waste it. Indeed, sometimes that’s perfectly fine and we call it ‘downtime’, ‘vegetating’, or whatever you’re having yourself.
But here’s the thing. Unconsciously wasting time can be a terrible hurdle to you getting on with your business. I hear people regularly telling me about the time they waste, for example, on social media. Mindlessly scrolling down the Facebook or Twitter feed. Engaging with stuff they really don’t need to be engaging with. A tap of the ‘like’ button here; an inane comment there; now and again a love heart…
I’m a big fan of social media. It’s a wonderful place to learn and communicate stuff, with Twitter being my favourite. It’s also a great way of driving people to your website and, ultimately, making sales for your product or service. But if you’re running your own small business, like I am, you’ve simply got to control the time spent on these platforms.
I used to be very good. Then I went through a phase where I started to spend too much time on them, looking at cute photos of cats and reading unimportant news stories. I’ve now gotten much better again, thankfully. I can tell you that just these last two weeks, I’ve sent proposals to a number of target clients which I wouldn’t have forwarded had I been wasting too much time on things bringing no benefit to my business. Now it’s up to me to follow up.
Nor, by the way, do I spend my evenings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever. But that’s another story and you might reflect on how much of your precious family time gets wasted glued to smartphone screens …
How much time do you waste each week?
So here are some tips on, yes, reaping the benefits that social media offers your business but, no, not wasting time looking at that cool video showing goats leaping across a mountain gorge.
1. Just because it’s coffee time, doesn’t mean it’s ‘get distracted’ time.
2. Make a list. You hate lists? Doesn’t matter. Make one anyway and do it every single working day. On the list, jot down small jobs and break up big jobs into smaller tasks. You’ve got a huge tender document to complete by Friday? Do one section today, one section tomorrow, and so on.
3. Schedule your posts for your Facebook page and other platforms. Do that on, say, Monday morning before 10 am. Then all you have to do for the rest of the week is interact and engage with those commenting, which is what it’s supposed to be all about anyway. Right now, I’ve got 15 scheduled posts already up.
4. Never visit your personal ‘newsfeed’, aka ‘home’ on Facebook during office hours. Indeed, only use the Facebook Pages Manager App when on that tool for work.
5. Stop checking your social media, email, etc, so often.
6. Get yourself a task timer.
7. Turn off the radio, stop talking to time wasters, etc.
8. Stay focussed and resist the temptation to drift …
So sit back and reflect on how much time do you waste each working week. I’m sure you’ll realise that improved time management is achievable, if you put your mind to it. And by the way, did you watch those crazy goats?