Everywhere we look commerce is bustling, parents are busy with their little ones, everyone is trying to juggle family life, work, and personal time. ALL THE THINGS take up so much time and one of the most common phrases I hear is, “I just don’t have the time, I am so busy.” Today we are going to crash the limiting belief that there is not enough time in the day. We are going to talk through what limiting beliefs are, how you can overcome them and what to stop doing, as well as how to reclaim your time.
The topics we are going to cover are:
- Limiting Beliefs
- Mindset - How to beat the limiting thought of "no time"
- 5 questions to ask when prioritizing
- Eisenhower Matrix (Imporance vs. Urgency)
- How to identify activities that you need to change
- How to be more efficient with your time
First, what is a Belief?
A belief is something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
So, then what is a Limiting Belief?
A limiting belief is something that you consider to be true about yourself or others that is holding you back in some way, shape, or form.
Why does this matter?
Each of lives and operates within a complex set of beliefs that shapes the world as we see it every day. These beliefs are ideas we consider to be true.
They may have been instilled in us as children or we may have attained them along the way.
Regardless of their onset, we function, process, and perceive information through these ideas.
Think of your beliefs as a strainer and all the information you process daily as water; the water filters through the strainer and as such is interpreted.
If you have a limiting belief, then as you process information, you may misconstrue the information to be something that is not true, unattainable, unreachable, unrealistic, or impossible.
These beliefs can hold you back from taking chances, making changes, or adjusting your next steps.
You have the power to change your mind and the way you think about time.
What does this have to do with time?
Our beliefs shape our perception of time.
Time is the one currency that each of us holds in the same. It is the one thing that we all have. Each of our lives are filled with 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year.
We need to learn to differentiate between fact and belief.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”— Tony Robbins
If we believe that there are so many things, we need to do within a 24-hour period and there is not enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done…. done, then perception becomes reality.
Per Bill Cox Coaching, there are two myths that we perceive to be true about time:
1: I just need to manage my time better
2: I don’t have enough time
How to beat the management of time from a mindset perspective
"I just need to manage my time better."
When we consider time as currency, we choose to view it as a trade-off. You trade your time for the priorities you choose to invest in.
So, time is not the issue, it is how you re prioritizing.
When you get really clear on what is most important you live for those priorities and reduce the activities that do not meet those needs.
"I don't have enough time."
By continually telling ourselves this we create a perception that becomes reality. The consequences of living in this scarcity mindset is that we are constantly feeling under pressure, stressed out and always disappointed.
If we adjust this mindset to a place of abundance, “I have all the time in the world to get what I need to get done and to do what is most important," we begin to center and feel more fulfilled.
There is a healthy balance, however having the freedom to know you can cultivate your future with positivity and clarity of what to focus on next.
Karyn Hall Ph.D. from Psychology Today says, Sometimes, you may even “be seeing yourself as a victim of demands and expectations—your own or those of others. The truth is though, at some level the way you are spending time is your choice. There's a silver lining here: If you're frequently upset about not having enough time, maybe you aren't being mindful about your choices.”
So, the question is what are the priorities we should be focusing on and how do we gain that clarity?
Well, first we need to analyze how are we actually spending our time and what return are we getting from those activities.
5 Questions to Ask when you think about time in your life:
- What are the 6 most important priorities of your life?
- What do you need to do to give them the precedence that they should have?
- What activities repetitively show up in your calendar that do not tie back to one of these six priorities?
- What activities do you need to stop doing so that you can invest more time in one of these six priorities?
- When do you plan on beginning to implement these changes?
Learn how to Reclaim your Time
President Eisenhower developed the Eisenhower Matrix which was later featured in Steven Covey’s book, the 7 habits of Highly Effective People and helps each of us to decipher what is urgent versus what is important.
The saying goes, “Live above the Line”
As pictured below you will see 4 squares that show the urgency across the top and the importance along the side.
This time-management tool recommends that you spend as much time in the not urgent but important box as possible. Download your worksheet below to start prioritizing today!
Hit the easy button? Download your free cheat sheet template today!
Now, fill this template out using the following criteria within the 4 boxes:
- What is currently urgent and important
- What is not urgent, but important
- What is not important, but urgent
- What is not important, but urgency
How to identify the activities that you should change
Identify your comfort Activities (these activities fall into important not urgent, not important but urgent and not important or urgent)
Know what the activities are both productive and that you enjoy are also important.
By identifying these activities, you are able to limit the amount of time spent within these spaces.
Sometimes we can spend more time than necessary performing these activities, where if we put a time limit on them using a timer or some other sort of check and balance, we can regulate ourselves.
Recognize what is busy work versus productive work
Sometimes we use these activities to feel more productive, even when we aren’t.
Be aware of your mood and whether or not you are using these activities to somehow feel better about yourself.
In my opinion, mindfulness can get a bad rap because some consider it not be a tangible way to increase time in your day.
However, if you are mindful of the activities you want to accomplish and use tactics such as creating a results list (link) to know what you want to accomplish with in the day you will most certainly remain more focused throughout the day.
Write it down
Studies have shown that writing something down takes an idea and makes it more tangible.
By getting ideas on paper and out of your head you are scientifically allowing yourself to digest what is in front of you and formalize those thoughts in your head.
Often times we work to please others even when it does not suit our slated tasks and goals for the day.
Do not overcommit yourself. As Dave Hollis said at a conference I went to the other day, “if it is not a Hell yes, then it is a hell no!”
Know what distractions you can easily be pulled into. That may be customer requests, employee requests or questions, social media, television, family needs etc.
Be mindful of your location when working, the objects around you. An example is keeping your phone on silent may assist in less distraction.
Reducing your email distraction by turning off notifications that pop up each time an email comes in.
Reduce the number of tabs you have open on your computer when working on a specific task.
Be mindful of the time it takes to get something done and block off enough space between appointments so that you have time to digest the last meeting or discussion (this will help with your mind focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong time).
Keep moving forward and stop trying to make everything perfect.
Perfection is the enemy of progress. When we accept that good is good enough and stop the rework, we become more productive.
For example, when I am writing I take day one and write. Then on day two I go back and edit.
If I were to focus all my attention within one day on a particular activity it would burn me out, I would try to perfect the task and end up spending more time than necessary through over analyzing.
Take a breath
Studies have shown that by taking a break every 45 minutes we reset and become more productive.
As humans we are not meant to work on high, 100% of the day. We need to take breaks for our minds to reset, unwind and come back refreshed.
Get more sleep
Just as taking a break can allow our minds to recharge, so does sleep. Our bodies need this time to do the work we do not see.
We recharge and by getting 7-9 hours of sleep we a more energized body which correlates to a more productive mindset, 6 or less leads to burnout at work.
When we are more productive, we are more conducive with our time.
Systemize & Create Processes
When we create systems in our daily tasks, projects and work environment we make things easier on ourselves and increases our business’s productivity.
Systemizing creates an organized process for getting things done. By becoming more organized we save time, eliminate unnecessary issues, and ensure we are not constantly reinventing the wheel.
How to be more efficient with your time
Perform a task audit
Do a self-audit, what tasks are you doing that are repetitive? What parts of your business can you delegate?
Next, identify your core business processes.
Once you have written those down you can begin to audit those processes the next time you perform that task. Make this part of your regime over the next month.
Open a separate electronic document and write down each step you take in the process of that activity.
After, review the steps and identify if there is a way to Automate, Delegate or Eliminate a step.
Once you feel good about the process / changes you can Title the document and store it as an SOP for your business.
Here are some ways to systemize:
Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)
Create SOP's for your business so that your employees or contractors have a procedure for performing activities in a repeatable way. This also creates the ability for you to walk away, take a vacation, as when you are gone, you know that there is a system in place for getting things done properly.
Company Operations Manual
Once you have create your SOP’s you are able to put all of them in one Company Operations Manual. This will contain all of the necessary procedures for your teams in one place.
Company Operations Manual Should Include:
- Mission, Vision & Values
- SOP’s for Core Operating Procedures
- Legal Information (permits, licenses, certifications, etc.)
- Style Guide
- Subscriptions / Vendors / Preferred systems
- Client information
- Website information (hosting, domain, addl. details)
- Any additional details necessary to run your business
By creating a company manual you will also be able to delegate more easily which will in turn provide you with more time and freedom. The ultimate goal is to be able to go on vacation and feel 100% comfortable that the business can run without you for a period of time.
Additional Ways to Organize
Additional actions you can take to be more organized include creating organized naming conventions within hard or soft folders to store documents as well as keeping one centralize space for taking notes, while labeling and dating them so that they can be more easily referenced.
By using actual systems to automate your processes such as sales funnels, email service providers, electronic systems for data processing, customer relationship management systems or project management systems, etc. you are automating a process rather that having to manually trigger activities independently.
By automating you are working as the CEO of your business rather than an employee within your business.
Here are some of the ways I automate processes in my business:
Email Service Provider
- I use Convert kit as my email service provider to automate my sales funnels
- Convert Kit is an email service provider that is MUCH MORE than just that! They automate your processes in a way that allows you to be more independent.
- Setting up an email autoresponder system is like having an automated sales force that keeps your products and services in front of your leads. An autoresponder sequence goes out on a predetermined schedule and will typically have 5 to 7 emails and should have a combination of high-value content and specific calls-to-action.
- If you have not started an email list wait no longer! Seriously! Building an email list is one of the most important things that you can do for your business!
- I batch my content creation so that I use dedicated working time toward one focus, one day per week so that my mind is in the zone.
Project Management & Calendars
- I use Trello to create a content calendar for my blog and social media calendars. I sit down 1-2 times per month and batch all topics and content similar to a color-coded outline format so that I can reference when creating content easily.
- I use Buffer for all my social media batching. They have a free version that allows you to batch your work for up to 10 days across multiple social media platforms.
- I use Tailwind to automate my Pinterest postings. The graphics that I create for each blog posts also double as graphics for Pinterest, so each time I push a post live I create a pin whereby then using tailwind to automate multiple postings over time. This keeps my brand present across Pinterest and with my followers.
- I have created templates for each social media platform so that when I go to create a new graphic it is really easy to update the text, photos and brand colors. I personally do this in Canva. You will find this not only simplifies your process, but keeps your brand consistent over time.
- I have a WordPress website and use Updraft to back up my website. I use the free Updraft plug-in to back up my site daily and it automatically sends the backup to my Dropbox account.
Honestly the benefits of taking the steps to automate your business are invaluable. They will allow you to work faster and produce more while creating higher quality results with fewer mistakes. If you want more ideas on what tools to use in automating your business read my blog: The Most Important Business Tools to Create and Grow Your Business While Boosting Your Profits
If you take anything away from this remember that you share your perception of time and you control your priorities. You have the power to decide what is most important in your life and in your work day.
Be the CEO in your business and start automating your life now! Do all you can to get more freedom so that you have more time to spend with those you love.
If you want to kick the overwhelm and get your time back, I work with retail entrepreneurs looking to streamline and simplify their processes in order to grow their businesses. Click here to chat and I love to talk about how I might be able to help you!