By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
How many of us have wished for more time at one point or another – or possibly every day! During this month, as we celebrate American’s freedom with Independence Day in the United States, it’s a wonderful time to think about another kind of freedom – the freedom of time.
But what does “time freedom” mean to you? Are you working 50-60+ hours/week and either going without enough sleep or missing too many events with family and friends?? Are you convinced that there are more than 24 hours in a day and you just keep searching for those extra hours?
Think of Freedom of time as the ability to spend your time as you see fit. So often we hear the “if only” complaint. “If only” I had more time I could take those seminars, apply what I learned, develop better processes and procedures, hire an assistant, do more marketing, spend more time with my family, and on and on.
So ask yourself how much does freedom of time really mean to you? Do you honestly want control over your time or would you rather let other people’s priorities (OPP) direct your time? How has that been working so far for you?
In honor of July 4, here are 4 suggestions to implement and after trying this for at least one month, evaluate.
- Check emails, texts and phone calls twice a day – 11 and 4 are great times to do these tasks. This is a hard one but definitely worth setting the habit in place.
- Have an assistant review your business emails and identify the ones that need attention during the two times a day mentioned above. If you do not have an assistant yet, you need to set time aside to hire someone ASAP even part time. Remember that if you work alone, you have a “job” – if you have a team, you have a “business”.
- During your first meeting with a client introduce your project manager (or if a small team, your assistant) and explain their role in the project and why your business functions this way and how it makes it more efficient. Train your clients that they should interact with the project manager (or assistant) because they will be just as, if not more knowledgeable about the details of the project. Let them know that if they ever need to speak with you, you are available and will be overseeing the work of the team, and they will just need to let the team member know they want to speak with you.
- “Train” your clients from the very beginning. Don’t forget you are running a professional business – which means you have set business hours and an answering service for a reason. Remember, it takes 15 minutes to resume serious mental tasks after interruptions!
Well, when talking about time freedom that is also true. Are you ready to fight for your freedom of time?