How to master time management

Time management

One of the most important lessons you can learn in life is how to manage your time. And, it’s especially relevant if you’re an entrepreneur or on the cusp of becoming one because if you don’t learn how to master time management your business won’t get off the ground, let alone succeed.

Time is one of your most prized assets. Unlike money once you spend it, you can never get it back.

So, with 24 hours in your day, how can you manage your time better, become more productive, profitable and successful without working non-stop and sacrificing your personal life? And, whilst we’re on this subject, how can you ensure that you’ve not just swapped a job for a job (now called your business) with a lower salary, fewer benefits, more hours and more risk?

Here’s how.

My 3-step process for mastering time management

1. Discover how much your time is worth

First of all you need to become really time sensitive. The best way to do this is by determining your hourly rate. The exercise I’m going to share with you really hits home the point I’m making as you’ll discover what you’re worth. Once you know this, it makes saying no to some things much easier as you can literally cost it all out. I know this sounds unkind but always remember, what you say yes to means you have to say no to something else.

The easiest way to  understand your worth or more precisely what your time is really worth is by applying this formula. Please bear in mind that this is not a formula for determining your prices or rates, but it can be used as a starting block.

Income ÷ Hours worked = Hourly Rate

For example, let’s say your income last month was $12,000 and you worked 8 hours a day for 20 days. That’s a total of 160 hours. So, your hourly rate would be calculated like this:

$12,000 ÷ 160 = $75 per hour

Based on this example, your hours are worth $75. It kind of focuses the mind doesn’t it!

Now that you understand the formula, let me tell you a story to illustrate the point further.

Cue story…

The other week I met a chap at an event. He emailed me shortly after and said how nice it was to meet me. He then asked if I could meet him for a coffee, in London. I was intrigued and so I got straight to the point. I asked for an agenda, which enabled me to qualify him (a potential prospect) in or out. He liked the fact that I’d been so direct and then proceeded to tell me it was because he thought “I was cute.”  Now, whilst I was flattered, he was no Hugh Jackman, and as there are costs associated with getting to London, aside from my time, I decided to apply the formula and work out the costs involved. Needless to say the meeting was not worth my time, so I declined. I did give him an option to meet with me when I was next in town (with a group) and he seemed happy with that.

2. Assess how you’re spending your time

The next thing you need to do is to take an honest assessment of how you’re spending your time. Think about the tasks you do for your business. Ask yourself whether they’re core business tasks, or business-related tasks.

Core business tasks are those that are directly related to growing your business and driving it forward, e.g. business development activities, business planning, creating new products, etc. These are the tasks that enable you to work ON your business.

Business-related tasks are those that support your core activities, like invoicing, organizing, etc. These are the tasks that enable you to work IN your business.

As an entrepreneur, you want to be mostly working on your business, not in it. And, as a rule of thumb I’d apply an 80:20 ratio.

Here’s the reason why…

If your business doesn’t run unless you’re managing it, all you’ve done is swapped your old job for a new one. However, your new job has much more risk, requires you to work more hours, has less security, fewer holidays and a low salary. And that’s not good. I’m sorry to break it to you, but if this is how you’re working you’ve just ended up employing yourself as an administrator, bookkeeper, PA etc.

3. Learn to delegate and outsource

You can’t run a successful business without delegating and outsourcing. It just doesn’t scale and you’ll end up burnt out. The more you learn to let go and delegate to other people, the more you can focus on the activities that will make a difference to your bottom line, and your lifestyle.

So what’s it going to be?

Are you going to let someone else do the administrative tasks so you can concentrate on generating revenue? Or, are you going to continue to be too afraid to delegate or outsource, and risk your health and business in the process? If you’re still not sure, just look at the savings you’ll make by employing someone else to do these tasks.

Let’s use an administrator as an example.

If your hourly worth is $75 per hour and you pay $20 per hour for an administrator, you’ve just saved $55 because you can now use that hour instead to generate revenues for your business. By adopting this approach you’ll also build your business faster.

I know it’s a leap of faith but trust me on this. This was the approach I used when I built my 7-figure business. It works. If you have the money, reinvest in your business and you’ll reap the dividends.

Now I want to hear from you…

When it comes to time management, what types of jobs have you delegated or outsourced – PR, website, marketing, sales, accounting, admin, cleaning? How has it benefited your lifestyle and your business? Let me know by leaving your comments in the box below.

Thanks for participating!


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Jane Frankland is a successful cyber security entrepreneur, consultant and speaker who has had a diverse career encompassing art and design; business development; and operations. Having held directorships and senior executive positions within her own companies and at several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business development solutions. Right now she is writing a book on gender diversity in cyber security and is focused on increasing the numbers of women in the profession.

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One Comment

  • Excellent time management tips. Personally I prefer to think of it as priority management because that's how I determine what makes it on to my daily/weekly/monthly task lists. Thanks for the inspiration!

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