PRIORITIZE. This does not mean just prioritizing work projects and what's on your desk. Prioritize your life! Include time for the gym, family, Sunday dinner, church, vacation - whatever is also important outside of work. Many of us (me included in the past) are terrified to take our eyes off our businesses for fear we will lose money or clients and so your days become completely focused on work. Every other aspect of our life is an “Add-On.” Work is first, and then we try, often unsuccessfully, to grab a few moments petting the dog or being a spouse, or taking a walk – and we think this is trying to be balanced!! And, we tell ourselves we have to do it in order to make money. Untrue!
Prioritizing means you have several aspects of your life, and when you work, you work a prescribed number of hours, and then YOU TAKE TIME for other parts of your life! It’s crucial to your success to “Take” time for activities other than work. I know this is uncomfortable because this lack of balance is very common pattern with entrepreneurs, and it’s hard to give up.
But, here’s the kicker: if you have more balance, you will be far more efficient at work, the work you do will be higher quality, you will be much less exhausted, and your business will thrive. TAKE the time for the important things outside of work, and you will be surprised how positively it affects your bottom line.
DELEGATE. This is another giant topic. You say you can't delegate because you can’t afford it, but generally it’s because you don’t want to let go of control. Also, delegating does not necessarily mean adding a ton of staff. I had a client who recently realized that hiring a maid for $50 a month to do her laundry and run some errands would dramatically impact the quality of her life. Sometimes you can trade services. Do you think Oprah and Bill Gates do everything themselves? Yes, it is a risk, but my experience is that every client who started seriously delegating saw their business skyrocket - and had much less stress. Start making notes where someone else could do the tasks you do or where you could expand your services using other professionals.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Many entrepreneurs wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they stopped working like maniacs. It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to lack the skills of ongoing physical fitness, personal growth, connection to family, contribution to the community, and a commitment to mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. These are the skills I personally believe are crucial to real success in life. Taking care of yourself is a critical personal responsibility. Eating properly, getting sleep and exercise, feeling good and having fun is an absolute necessity if you want to make money.
Of course there are more, but these 3 are pretty darned important. Got other thoughts? Be sure to post them (http://firedupforsuccess.blogspot.com) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, remember, you are not a victim of some mysterious time-robber. Every minute of every day you make decisions as to what you are going to CHOOSE to do with your time, and what you TAKE your time for.