I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entered into a conversation with a coach who says she wants to start her coaching business, but she “doesn’t have time.”
Does this sound familiar?
You have a full-time J-O-B. You have a spouse and kids and friends. You have errands and cooking and dishes. You have to get an oil change. And if it’s an oil change this week, it’s a doctor’s appointment next week, and a filling the following week.
Life is busy, and starting your own business seems insurmountable, given all the time constraints you face.
If you’re here, I consider you one of my unofficial coaching clients. So today, you can expect to get a little tough-love-style coaching. (You’re welcome. 🙂 )
If you don’t think you have enough time to start your business, you’re wrong. (I know. Ouch. But stick with me.)
This is NOT an issue of time management. It’s an issue of priorities.
You see, time is your most precious commodity. It’s a non-renewable resource.
You give your time to the things you consider most important.
Sometimes, when you’re not paying attention, your calendar gets full with the “external.” Maybe a friend invites you to lunch and you pencil it in. You realize you’ve run out of milk and you have to run to the store. You volunteer to run a bake sale at your kids’ school, and that’s an hour out of your day. See where I’m going with this? We allow outside influences (friends, family, boss, kid-related activities and events, etc.) to add countless items to our calendar all the time.
In cases like these, life happens TO you. It really can feel like you don’t have time to think about, focus on, or (especially) work on your business.
Don’t worry, there is good news in all of this: you can regain control of your time and your life. And you can make the time to work on your business.
It’s all about priorities.
Here’s a simple exercise for determining where your priorities are now, whether they align with what you want them to be, and how to adjust them if they don’t.
Identify What’s Most Important to You.
I always love a good brain dump! Take a few minutes to write down the things that are most important to you, right now. These may take the form of goals, like running a marathon or starting your business, or activities, like spending time with your family or exercising. Then, prioritize them. Put a #1 next to the item that’s absolutely the most important to you, and go from there.
Identify Your Current (Real) Priorities.
When I say, “Identify your current priorities,” I mean, figure out where you’re investing your time. Look at your calendar or schedule for the past several days or week, and write down the three activities on which you spend most of your time.
Compare Your Current Priorities with the Priorities You Chose in Step 1.
Once you know where you’re investing your time, evaluate whether those activities are in alignment with the most important things in your life.
If your current priorities align with the three most important things in your life, that’s great! And if your business isn’t on either list, that’s okay—now may not be the right time for your business.
On the other hand, you may identify your top three priorities and realize they’re not the most important things in your life right now.
Adjust Your Schedule.
Becoming conscious of where you’re investing your time versus where you should be investing your time, if you want to focus on your priorities, is an important step toward making time for what truly matters to you.
Now, it’s time to make changes to your schedule that empower you to give time to your true priorities.
Here’s another piece of coaching: you may need to let go of some things that are not easy to let go of.
- For example, if you’re accustomed to working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in your day job, consider working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and working on your business for those two remaining hours.
- If you’re accustomed to waking up at 7 a.m. to start your day, get up at 5 a.m.
- Take shorter lunch breaks.
- Spend a couple of hours every weekend morning working on your business.
- Say no to lunch out, so you can work on your business during day-job lunch breaks.
I’m telling you, this works.
A recent graduate of our Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp was supporting her husband, and they had three kids under seven and a fourth on the way. Her business was a top priority, so she got creative and resourceful and was able to get her business up and running by fitting entrepreneurship in with her family (and other) responsibilities.
A current Bootcamper has two kids, a full-time job, and a part-time job. She’s supporting her husband. Getting her business up and running is a priority. That’s why she finds time to work on it! She wakes up earlier, takes shorter lunch breaks, and finds little chunks of time—because it’s important to her.
Even small chunks of time can yield amazing results. (Think about how much you get done in an eight-hour period before you go on vacation!)
Repeat This Mantra:
“I have all the time I need for my priorities.”
Once you get used to prioritizing and setting your schedule around your priorities, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.
I’d love to hear from you!
Post in the comments below: right off the bat, can you think of anything you’re spending your time on, that’s not actually one of your priorities?