The secret to a successful lifestyle of any Catholic entrepreneur is excellent time management skills.
But how do you exactly do that? With so many tools available to aid you on how to take charge of your time, which ones actually work?
As you scramble for time mastery, you may be falling into these six myths about what it takes to be a time management guru:
Myth #1: A One Size Fits All Approach
Yoon Cannon, a recent guest on my radio show, “Christian Women Entrepreneurs on Fire”, who currently had two high school kids and one in elementary, shared that guarding her time now is actually much more difficult than when all of her kids were younger. She said that you definitely need different time management strategies at different stages in life.
For example, when you have younger versus older kids, your optimal time management approach — from decisions about whether to have an electronic or off-line system, whether and how to time chunk, working from SMART goals or using more of a visioning approach — can change during different work and personal stages.
TIP: Constantly evaluate what is and is not working in your time management routine and be open to learning and incorporating new approaches you encounter.
Myth #2: Clear Priorities Are the Key
Your priorities or unfinished work around your priorities can actually be the root of your time management problems. When you have too many priorities, you neutralize your focus on any of them. And having conflicting priorities leaves your unconscious mind battling itself to figure out what to do next.
TIP: At the beginning of the year, make time for thorough planning of both your work and life goals. Take time to force yourself to narrow your focus on several crucial areas that work in synchronicity with all parts of your life.
Myth #3: All Interruptions Are Bad
Did you know that each interruption can cost you 8 minutes to get back to what you were doing? But when you can plan your interruptions by scheduling them in, you avoid sitting too long working which is not only bad for your body but is a productivity sucker.
There are times you want to completely shut out interruptions so you can get into the flow. But it may be a good strategy in the early stages of your business to allow for interruptions using technology to notify you of potential clients calling to schedule an appointment or key people you need to talk to if the alternative is a series of phone tag.
TIP: Structure your day to minimize interruptions. But, be strategic when deciding when to let them in your business day.
Myth #4: What I Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Me
Actually, yes it will, particularly when it comes to properly estimating the amount of time it takes to complete tasks on your to do list. When people are over-booked with bloated priorities, they don’t like to look at the facts about how much time each of the item of their list will really take to complete. This creates stress and laissez-faire approach where things are left to take their own course.
TIP: Estimate how much time the things you want to accomplish will take. When things will take more time to do, then you have to start eliminating or delaying the task, delegating the task, or finding faster ways to complete the task. Doing this regularly will help you break the habit of unrealistic scheduling.
Myth #5: You Can Operate In Peak Performance Most of the Time
This depends on what you are going through. If you have a chronic relationship challenge at home, your ability to employ time management strategies is not at full capacity. Or when you are in the process of making big changes in either your work or personal life, it is normal to periodically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode when approaching your work. During those times it is best to recognize what is happening, take a break, nurture yourself and get back to work as soon as you are able.
TIP: Recognize and address any outside factors that may be contributing to your seemingly lackluster ability to manage your time well.
Becoming a master of time is a lifelong journey. For the Christian women entrepreneur, it is your best tool to ensure the priorities you are living match up with the priorities your Maker wants you to live.
Biz and Life Tips for Catholic Women Entrepreneurs: Assess where you are today with time management and make a commitment to constantly grow in this area; it is the key to manifesting your Holy Spirit-inspired vision.