Building a business isn’t easy and it requires a lot of time and energy to be successful. For the majority of entrepreneurs, challenges are met by putting in long hours and trying to be more productive. However, this leaves little time for family and friends, exercise, and hobbies. While it’s generally accepted as just part of the cost of doing business, eventually, a hectic schedule and overdrive pace will take its toll. This can lead to health issues, deteriorating relationships, and personal dissatisfaction. You might also come to despise your own creation and view it as a curse, rather than a blessing.
Best Ways to Manage Your Time and Energy
If your business is an energy drain, it will do more damage than just make you tired. It will also cause you to make decisions that aren’t necessary in your best interest, or, your employees’. You’ll probably begin to rationalize assigning certain responsibilities to different team members, it won’t necessary be for the good of the company, but rather, just to give you a break. That’s not a good practice and will lead to even more poor decisions.
The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. In each, energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing specific rituals—behaviors that are intentionally practiced and precisely scheduled, with the goal of making them unconscious and automatic as quickly as possible. —Harvard Business Review
If you feel tired, unenthusiastic, and generally uninterested, it’s because this very phenomenon is happening to you, and, it’s time to realize its unhealthy impact and do something about it. Your energy, like your time, as the nearby quote states, is finite. Both must be managed in order for you to be productive and content. If you’re not productive and content, then, you’re sabotaging your own company, and doing your employees and customers a disservice. The best way to manage your energy is to manage your time and here are some ways you can improve your time management skills:
- Create useful lists. One reason people tire is they are hand-wringing over what needs to be done and that often wastes enough time to cause them to rush. When you write down a list, you have a clear, actionable plan. Prioritize your lists and entries to ensure that you have ample time for what’s most important. This might take some time to master, but, eventually, you’ll become more organized and discover how much time was wasted when you didn’t have lists to follow.
- Minimize company meetings. The not-so-subtle truth about meetings is nothing actually gets done. Okay, so you lay out a course of action, or, come-up with a strategy, but, you don’t execute during meetings — you execute after them. So, keep company meetings to a minimum to increase productivity.
- Take advantage of waiting times. You wait in traffic, you wait at the doctor’s office, you wait, you wait, you wait here and there. What’s more, you’re fully aware of the fact that waiting means time is being wasted. So, make it productive. These are great times to go over or create to-do lists, write out a grocery list, reply to email, make a phone call, the possibilities go on and on.
- Stop trying to multitask. There’s a persistent myth that multitasking is a way to get more done in less time. However, when you multitask, you’re asking your body, mind, and senses to do something that isn’t natural. It’s counterproductive and conducive to making mistakes. Instead, focus on one thing at a time to do it right.
- Delegate responsibilities. Delegating doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. It’s part of being a good leader and giving others the power to unleash their own potential. It’s also a great way to avoid multitasking and get more done.
When you accomplish something, be sure to reward yourself. Do so in a healthy, upbeat way and without excess. You’ll find that you enjoy what you do more and be more optimistic about the future.
As you transition into 2016, knowing you have a finite amount of time to achieve your goals with the energy you have, what will you do different to better manage your time so that you remain energized, productive and get results?