What is Time Management & What Does it Mean for Business Owners?

What is time management and why is it so relevant for business owners? The reason it plays such a big part in the business coaching process is because good time management is one of the very basic foundations for a strong business.

"Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else."Peter F. Drucker

If a business owner can manage himself or herself well then they'll stand a much greater chance of managing a business well and other people too.

Most entrepreneurs hate the idea of being trapped in a 9-5 job - that's why they create new businesses.

However, if you don't take control of using time productively, all you really end up doing is creating a job for yourself where you don't even get weekends or holidays off!

Covey Seven Habits

Stephen Covey's book '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' has a really good section on time management where he breaks down tasks and activities according to their relative importance and urgency.

The basic idea is that you should be spending most of your time in Quadrant II (see below) on important tasks that drive your business whilst reducing the time wasters. 

Importantly, if you do this you end up with less problems and crises occurring in your business.

Covey's Time Management Matrix for Small Business Owners

This is nothing revolutionary. The interesting thing though is that most of us know this stuff but don't do anything about it.

So what stops people from managing their time better?

What is time managements affect on your business?

There are emotional pay-offs to staying stuck. 

Intellectually you may know that having good time management makes sense for your business but something stops you changing the way you operate.

Most likely you know how to be a good time manager, you just don't have enough reasons to do anything about it.

Therefore, a business coach might help you uncover some of your unconscious reasons for not changing.

You can do this yourself by doing an honest assessment of a) what poor time management is costing you and your business and b) what is stopping you from changing it.

Here are some examples:

Reasons to become better at time management:

  • The business is chaotic
  • There are lots of problems
  • I'm stressed
  • I'm frustrated because I don't seem to be getting anywhere, the business is treading water
  • I don't have enough time off
  • I can't seem to get much done
  • There are important projects left incomplete
  • The team is getting bigger and needs to be more organised
  • There's no time to start fun new projects

Reasons not to bother becoming better at time management:

  • I get a buzz from being 'busy' and reacting to crises/I'm addicted to the adrenaline
  • I feel important and needed
  • I'm fearful of greater success (unconsciously)
  • It helps me avoid difficult tasks like business planning
  • I won't have to tell other people to stop distracting me
  • Time wasting distractions help me escape from what I don't want to do

Priority Tasks

The tasks in 'The Zone' include things like business planning and having staff meetings. Compared to the high energy of more urgent tasks they can seem quite boring but when you're calm and centred you are far more creative and productive.

Zone tasks prevent future problems and grow your business. Once you get past the need for the adrenaline rush of less important tasks, you will feel more empowered and in control of your own destiny.

The key to knowing what time management is and how important it is to your business comes down to realising how dysfunctional your business truly is without it.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • What have you done this week to move your business forward towards your goals?
  • What activities do you spend too much time on?
  • What is time management (or the lack of) costing my business?

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