Let’s continue talking about being an entrepreneur.
A little bit ago, a fellow entrepreneur and a good friend of mine, shared something with me, they saw online.
It was a post that said the following… ”Owning a business means you don’t punch out at 5. Sometimes you work 90-100 hours a week for zero income. Nobody speaks on it, but that’s the reality.”
This post really got me worked up, and it started a good conversation between my friend and I about how we both disagreed with that statement.
I’ll admit, when I first started my business one of the entrepreneurs/influencers I started to follow was Gary Vee and if you know him, you know he’s all about the “hustle” mentality. Reading his books and following him online, I thought that’s what it meant to be an entrepreneur.
I would put in countless hours and as I look back now and look at the data I kept in my “hours tracked” spreadsheet I can tell you that most of that was unproductive and to be honest pointless hours. Yes, I’m that big of a nerd I have a spreadsheet to track all my hours, but more on tracking hours later.
Back then I thought, if I wasn’t putting in the hours, if I wasn’t working 60, 70 or even 80 hours a week, I wasn’t doing it right.
That was just as bad as my days with the Beer Store when I took on a management position. The sad reality was, as managers we were on a salary and the way the stores were run, was by a certain amount of hours given to us.
As an example, we would be given 180 hours to run the store for a given week. That would include 40 hours for the manager, 40 hours for each full time employee and if you had a “permanent part-time”, up to 40 hours for them. If you just had 1 full time employee, that took up 120 hours and left with only 60 to spread out to the rest of the staff.
As managers, we would easily put in 50/60 hours a week in the store alone with how busy we were and then be expected to order beer, make schedules and sign off on paper work. That had to be taken home as there just wasn’t enough time, so that added roughly another 20ish hours a week.
Needless to say, we were over worked with the lack of hours and the chance of burning out was very high. Having to do this in my own business wasn’t an option and after doing that for a bit, that’s why I made a change.
Now, I talked about this a few times, but when you work that many hours, burning out is a huge risk. I’ve talked about this in a few blogs as well, and this can take a huge toll on your mental health.
After burning out for the second time and having to take a much-needed break from working on the business, I started to realize that there was a lot more than just working and that there had to be a way to have a great work-life balance where I didn’t have to put in 60+ hours to get all my work done.
It was at that time I really started to focus on systems and start to utilize the tools I already had to make things better.
There was something I started doing early on, and I didn’t even realize how powerful it was. I started to track all my time in a simple spreadsheet. Now that spreadsheet has become far more robust over the years, but it started out by simply tracking all my time worked, and I separated it by client and the work I was doing on my business.
Doing this gave me a chance to see where my time was being spent, and it gave me an idea about how I could stop wasting time and set a path on being more productive.
The next thing I did was, I reworked the way I used ToDoist so that I had the proper routines and work flows in place that helped me stay organized, on track and in turn this helped me become even more productive.
Following that, I took what I had in ToDoist and used those routines and systems to start blocking out time in my Google Calendar. When I started to do this, it completely changed how I worked and freed up so much more time for me within the week.
Time Blocking, let me tell you, was a game changer for me. If you’re not doing that, or you’re not sure what that is, you create “events” in your calendar that block out a certain time period of the day. As an example, I’ll use 2 or 3 blocks in the morning and the same in the afternoon on the days I don’t want meetings. Making sure to have small breaks in between.
What this does is it helps keep me focused and power through the tasks I have assigned at those times.
The last thing I did was, starting a Time Study. Writing down everything I did for 2 weeks and then reviewing it to see where my time was being spent. This really opened up my eyes.
I wrote everything down in 15 minute increments and documented everything from work, to client work, time on social media, sleeping, eating and everything in between.
Seeing the data and how much time I was wasting, I started to tweak my schedule, my blocked times and the systems/routines I had in ToDoist to save even more time.
Now, with all of that, I can have a full week’s worth of work done in about 30 to 40 hours and have plenty of time to work on my business and even better, enjoy life.
Have you ever heard of a Time Study, or have you done a Time Study?
I can promise you that if you do one for yourself, you can change the way you work and save a ton of time in your week, so you can enjoy life a lot more.
If you don’t have a time study handy, I’ll take care of that. Click the button below, and you can download the time study we made for free. Not to mention, a bonus….2 months of ToDoist Pro for free.
I’d love to hear your results once you complete it!