The Great Balancing Act: Managing a Job and a Business

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How often have you wondered “where did the day go?” Good time management skills are always beneficial but when you are attempting to hold down full-time employment and run a business as well as, ideally, having some kind of personal life, they are essential.

Improving your ability to manage your time is a vital step towardprofessional and personal success. There are a few top tips that can help you achieve this with productivity and prioritization leading the way.

Being busy is not the same as being productive:
You may often feel that you are working non-stop but are still not getting anything important done. If you are not spending your time on the right tasks, you will not see results.

Think about what you are doing and what it is likely to achieve. Is it worth it? Will all this “busyness” get you closer to your ultimate objective? What should you be doing instead?

Do not multitask:
You have been told the opposite for years but the latest research reveals that multitasking can seriously hinder performance and productivity. In contrast, focusing on a single task at any one time can double your performance and output. So, if you have a job and a business and are thus especially pushed for time, this one tip could make all the difference.

Perhaps an inexpensive egg timer could help you stay on track? Set a reasonable time to complete a job and then see if you can beat it. Whatever happens, stick to one task and only move on when it is complete.

Create daily to-do lists and set daily goals:
No day is the same as the one before. As a result, you need a fresh to-do list and set of goals every day. If you do not manage to get through all the items on your list, move them to your list for tomorrow but only after asking yourself “are these tasks/goals still important?”

Some people find it helpful to divide their list into two, with half the list to be completed before lunch and the other half after. Whatever your approach, get your list together the evening before so you do not waste your morning coming up with your plan for the day. Also, you could wake up with a fresh perspective on the day’s activities.

Focus, focus, focus:
Do not let yourself get distracted. This is easier said than done but all it takes is a bit of self-discipline.

Think about devoting the first couple of hours of your day to key tasks and goals and only then check your phone and emails.

Make time considerations part of your decision-making:
When you are working and running a business, you cannot afford to pursue time-consuming tasks. Think about time when you are deciding on a course of action. A solution may not initially appear ideal but if it saves you time, it could be the best choice.

Oftentimes, a quick solution is preferable to a drawn-out, complex resolution.

Delegate
As an employee or as the head of your own business, it can be a challenge to allow others to take the reins but delegation is essential when time is short.

Do not demand to do everything yourself and do not micro-manage. Instead, benefit from the skills of others and allowcolleagues to support you as much as they can.

If you are holding down a job and running your own business, you will know how time-consuming this can be. Managing your time effectively can be a real balancing act but while it is challenging, it is far from impossible.

All of the above advice shares one basic element: achieving more in the time you have. This should be your over-riding goal whether you are assessing if a task is important, sticking to one activity before moving on, writing a to-do list, eliminating distractions, thinking about time when deciding what to do next or delegating a task to a colleague.

As you confront a seemingly endless pile of work, you may feel that there simply are not enough hours in the day but this is not the case. Do not get down-hearted, the time is there, you just need to know how to use it.

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Monica Davis

Monica Davis

Monica Davis is an entrepreneur, award-winning brand narrative strategist and media consultant who helps high profile individuals, CEOs, and entrepreneurs develop effective messages and stories, and reach larger markets. She is also the publisher of Exceptional People Magazine, a professional and business development publication. Her work has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, USA Today, WorldNews, YahooFinance, CNBC, and more.

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