“I haven’t got enough time” How often do we all say that?

For me when it came to running my business last month, I said it more times than I dare to think about. 

Last month, I had far from a “normal” time.  I had the builders in the house and despite weeks of planning beforehand I was unprepared for how horrendous that would be.

And of course nothing runs smoothly. My builder was great but I began to dread a sentence starting “Karen, …”.  It usually meant something wouldn’t fit, or was damaged or needed an immediate decision on.

I had no focus or energy to think about anything else. And my to-do list kept growing. And the days ticked by.

Even when I got a quiet moment to work, my mind was buzzing with and worrying about the kitchen/new heating system project.  As a result no work got done and I felt even worse that I’d wasted that time slot.

I felt I was way behind where I wanted to be in both businesses (The Business of Holiday Rental and my own holiday cottage business).

I just didn’t have the time!

Looking back, there’s no point beating myself up and saying you should have done this, done that, silly me for wasting those time slots.  That would serve no purpose.

It was exceptional circumstances and disruption.  But it’s got me thinking about time management and using time wisely.

On a normal (if there is such a thing) working day, when we think about all we want to achieve and all that we have to fit our business-time around, it’s natural to constantly telling ourselves ” I haven’t got enough time”.

And do you know what, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The more you say it, the more true it becomes.

It’s easy to waste time taking on the burden of being time poor.  Which actually doesn’t get items ticked off the to-do list.

And when you’re stuck in overwhelm, it creates, well, more overwhelm.

So when faced with a big to-do list and when feeling overwhelmed where do you start when you do find a pocket of time?

  • Get all your to-dos out of your head, onto paper. This frees up brain space, reducing the feeling of overwhelm.
  • Accept that you will never ever finish everything on your to-do list. As by its very nature it’s something that keeps getting added to.
  • Just make a start!  Do that first thing on your list, or even the first task you think of. As often it’s hard to prioritise one task over the other when the to-do list is long.
  • When you’re busy see it as a good thing.  As long as you’re not being busy for the sake of being busy. Being busy means you’ve got an active business that needs your attention.
  • When you sit down to work, make sure you do. Ban all distractions. It’s amazing what you can fit into that spare 20 mins before you have to take your son to football, or to catch the bank before it closes.  Use that time slot wisely.