As purpose-driven entrepreneurs, we all want to create impact and revenues. But there’s a 3rd dimension that is less spoken about and yet equally essential: time. so here are some time management keys to help you!

Time might be one of the reasons you became an entrepreneur in the first place (like me!). The freedom to work at your own path, to take time for what is most important in your life (whether that’s friends, family, love, health, or all of the above). The freedom to spend the 70 000+ hours of your work life on something that truly matters.

At least in theory. Coz in practice, “time” might be one of the biggest struggle of all !

Maybe you work a lot, and yet there is a disconnection between the amount of time you put in, and the actual results (I’ve been there, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be like this).

Maybe you feel overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to do, and there are time where you are super productive (which feels awesome) and others where you feel so slooooooow (which feels awful).

And trust me, I’ve been there! I think one of the main reason is, school did not prepare us to be entrepreneurs, but employees. As an entrepreneur, you are not paid for the amount of time you put it or the importance of your position. It’s the result of that work which matters. The outcome of your actions. The efficiency of your strategy.

One day, I decided to make a change in my (newish) entrepreneurial journey. I decided to master my time and focus on improving the efficiency of my actions, because I did not want to burn out (like I did in my corporate job).

In just a few months, I’ve turned things around :

  • Waking up full of energy
  • Working 4.5 days a week, and never (ever) working during the weekend
  • Knowing exactly what to focus on at any given point in time
  • Certain that the time I am investing in each actions will have a direct effect on my goals
  • Embracing all my different levels of energy without ever feeling guilty
  • Driving my business confidently, instead of pushing behind the car (uphill) ^^
  • I even took 3 weeks of workliday, travelling & working part time, and had my biggest month in terms of sales

10 months down the line, I’ve actually sold out all my programs – serving 15 individual clients simultaneously. Which means I not only earn more revenues then in my previous corporate job, I also maximize the impact I can have in the world (and I’m already working on ways to scale that as well!).

Impact and Revenues CAN work hand in hand.

AND it doesn’t have to be tiring (or hard) !!

What I am going to share with you in this article are the 2 time management keys that have allowed me to reach this “triple balance” : one key is about performance, and how to maximize your time to reach your goals. The second key is about embracing your natural rhythm instead of fighting against it, to never feel tired (or guilty when resting).

Time is of the essence : how to make your goals i.n.e.v.i.t.a.b.l.e.

Time is the only resource that is fixed and limited by essence. We all have 24h per day.

Yet, some people manage to create an abundance of success and impact during that given time, while others spend years and years to reach their goal (or end up giving up along the way).

How come? It all comes down to what actions you decide to take during those 24h. Hint : working “a lot” is not the answer, that would be too simple. It’s working smart that is essential ;)

How to work smart ?

Well, the foundation is to separate planning from doing. If you start your days thinking “hum, what will I work on today?” and just get dragged by one idea to the other, one opportunity to the other, one facebook post to another blog article, no wonder you don’t move forward as fast as you could.

It’s like going from Paris to Rome bike without ever looking at a map. Taking whatever pretty road, following butterflies and letting hitch-hikers decide where to head towards.

> Instead, select a destination (=super precise goal), map out the different roads & steps you’ll need to take and by when, and then stick to your plan as much as possible.

  • For each step, you can define key activities (also known as “to do”)
  • Each item of your to-do needs to have a value (spending time tweaking your website or scrolling through facebook is not worth the same as negociating a partnership or talking to a qualified prospect, although they can all make you “feel” busy)
  • It’s also important to allocate an amount time in advance and try to stick to it (example : write blog article, medium value, 2,5h)
  • Last but not least : automate and/or delegate low-value tasks, so that you can spend YOUR precious time on things that actually matter most ;)

And most importantly (what 99% of the people forget when they set goals) : look back at your plan regularly, measure how far or close you are to your goal, and re-adjust your plan accordingly.

goal planning and reviews

>> Just like a GPS re-calculates the route for you when you’ve taken the wrong turn ;) Ideally, you would spend as much time mapping out what to do, as looking back at what worked best / what needs to be improved.

In my case, I use a planner, which helps me to set goals and milestones for my quarters, months, weeks, and days!

 

plannerOnce my plan is mapped out, I “just” have to take action according to the plan.

It helps with avoiding procrastination, as well as sorting out external  opportunities/distractions (and say ‘no’ to “hitch-hikers” from time to time!)

Plus, I get daily reminders to take self-care actions and infuse my day with gratitude, which helps to keep my motivation level up.

If you do not have a planner yet, it is an absolute must !

You can grab mine + get access to an 6-video-long Planning Training right here :

button 1 - time management women changemakers - creators for good

I’ve designed this planner together with my colleague Danielle Carruthers, with who I co-founded my second business, Changemakers Association. We’ve actually shared this planner and the training that goes with it with the members of the association, and it is one of the most appreciated tools amongst all those we’ve created and shared with them!

Here is what Carmen, one of our members said : The GPS Planner has shifted the way I work towards my goals by giving me a format to work with. It has helped me work back from big goals to usable action steps that I can do every day of the week. After using the GPS Planner to map out my goals and plan my activities I feel more in control, less overwhelmed, more relaxed and enjoying the process more. “

Whatever tool you use to channel your energy and direct your focus, my next advice is to actually find the rhythm that suits YOU and how your energy levels throughout the day and months vary (it’s OK to be a night owl, don’t force yourself to fit into anyone else’s way of working!).

Run your business like a women : listening to your body to find your natural “flow”

We live in a men’s world. Meaning the work place has been designed for men by men. Whether you want it or not, us women are built differently and we have a different way of being productive!

Men are much more linear then us. That’s why most offices around the world start at a set time in the morning and finishes at a set time in the afternoon (5, 6 or to 7, depending on what part of the world you live in ^^), all year long. After which men have this ability to switch off and relax (with their friends or at home) till the next day starts.

Women tend to be way less linear. To do more things simultaneously (like writing an email to a client while thinking about not forgetting to pay the babysitter next Tuesday, plus what to cook for dinner tonight). Beyond this daily overlap of work and personal duties (call it work-life-unbalance if you want), women have a natural cycle which influences their level of energy throughout the month.

Yes, I am talking about menstruations.

This is a natural, healthy phenomenon no one should be embarrassed to think about (thank you, patriarchal mentality ^^).

What’s unnatural, is for women to work with equal intensity from Monday to Friday, all weeks of the month.

If it is hard (impossible) in the corporate world, to refuse to do a presentation on the first day of your cycle because you feel like crap and your pain level prevents you from thinking straight… as an entrepreneur, you CAN !

And actually, many women entrepreneur are embracing their cycle to plan their monthly activities according to the 4 phases of their cycle :

cyclemenstruel-diagramme-en

Source : The Optimized Women by Miranda Grey

(another key reference is the book Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell)

What if you stopped trying to « do it all » and « push » through each day, feeling more and more tired… and instead, you listened more to your inner nature, celebrated your body and respected it’s natural energy, to maximize your time and allow yourself to « get pulled » by your existing power ?!

{ Behind the scenes } this is what it looks like for me :

cycle of energy - example - creators for good

By the way, you can follow the behind-the-scenes of my entrepreneurial journey on Instagram : instagram.com/solene_for_good

 

At the end of the day, you’re the best person to know how to plan you days, your weeks and your months, in order to maximize your energy and reach your goals (one way or another). It all depends on YOUR priorities, and how much YOU are willing to invest to “make things work”.

That’s one of the specificity of being an entrepreneur : no one imposes a framework, you have to find your own rhythm. Like any freedom, it’s both a luxury and a responsibility. And an important one !

That said, no need to reinvent the wheel. Entrepreneurs before you have found ways to maximize their time and efficiency, so why not use that knowledge as a base to craft your tailor-made ideal organization?!

button 2 - time management women changemakers - creators for good

Plus, there is a BONUS only valid today (the 24h countdown has started already!), so make sure you don’t miss it ;)

Changemakers GPS 2 (2)


Let me know in the comments below, how YOU feel about time, as an entrepreneur?


lwt-cropped-photo

Solène is the Chief Empowerment Officer of Creators for Good.

She developed a methodology that allows Global Citizen to start and grow their own impactful businesses from anywhere in the world – and with no need for investors or government support.

Learn more!

 

 

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