This is a guest post by Sabrina Bolin.
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ~Carl Sandburg
As an entrepreneur who connects with most of her clients online, I am presented with a multitude of choices daily when it comes to how I spend my time.
Will I focus on direct outreach today and send emails to follow up on referrals? Create new programs? Nurture my community through social media? Write informative articles for my blog or for other sites? Deepen my training through courses? Seek speaking and opportunities to share my message with a live audience?
Or will I clean up my house? Get into my yoga studio? Go on a bike ride? Take my dogs on a hike? Spend a date day with my man?
And on and on and on!
Most of us choose the entrepreneurial lifestyle for the freedom it brings us, but with this freedom also comes an opportunity for overwhelm and misguided action out of alignment with our values and bigger goals if we aren’t conscious and strategic about how we spend our time.
So how do we get more conscious and more strategic?
The first step is to take an honest look at “what is” by getting clarity around how we’re already spending our time. I like to do this by spending a week putting everything on the calendar as I go – even if it’s after the fact. Think of it as your schedule and diary rolled into one.
For example, if I checked emails from 10 AM-11 AM, got sucked into the social media vortex from 11 AM-12 PM, made lunch/ate it/did the dishes from 12 PM-1 PM, coached a client 1 PM-2 PM, replied to blog comments from 2 PM-3 PM, tweaked elements on my website 3 PM-4 PM, rode my bike to make deposits at the bank from 4 PM-5 PM, stopped by the grocery store for a few necessities 5 PM-6 PM, then finished editing a blog post from 6 PM-8 PM – I would put ALL of these events in my calendar (I’m a big fan of Google calendars, but the best calendar is the one you use – so use what works for you!).
Once I’ve done this for a week, I start to get a clear picture of how many hours I’m actually spending on each area of my business and life, and from there, I can comb through asking these questions:
- Am I being as efficient as I can with the tasks I’ve taken on?
- Have I invested in the time to organize myself so all processes run more smoothly?
- Have I carved out space to strategically grow into what’s next, ensuring I’m not only working in my business but also on my business?
Once I have clarity and have brought awareness to “what is,” I can start to focus on those areas that need my attention the most…and then make changes as necessary to sort out the rest.
Play with this – what someone else might consider a “time waster” might be an integral part of your process! That said, you might be wasting time in ways you don’t realize…
One way that we can waste time is by spending it doing tasks that might be better suited for someone else.
Gay Hendricks speaks about this in his book “The Big Leap” when he breaks down the different “Zones” that we can spend our time in; the Zone of Incompetence, Zone of Competence, Zone of Excellence, and Zone of Genius.
The idea is this – there are certain things that we’re simply not that good at and that we have no desire to learn – this is our Zone of Incompetence. These are areas where it’s best to delegate or hire, or else we run the risk of wasting our time and true talents (aka our Zone of Genius).
Often times we get tripped up here, especially those of us bootstrapping our businesses, as our ego says “well I could figure this out!” Then we spend so much time and energy “figuring it out” that we get off track with our real goals and desires.
There is a fine line with this of course, and your intuition is always your best guide in choosing what to pursue and what to release; a challenge can certainly be worthwhile if it really lights you up.
Finally, it’s good to be aware of how we can devalue our own time, either by letting others waste it or just not honoring what we’re worth; we have to own our worth, starting with our time.
We aren’t victims of time thieves, though we may have let things slide unknowingly; however once we realize where our time – and energy – are being compromised, we have the choice to lovingly speak up and reset those boundaries.
If you don’t value your time, who will?
This doesn’t mean that we don’t give – giving is key to abundance and manifestation, not to mention a fulfilling life – but we do so consciously and with pure intention, rather than out of guilt or because we’ve caught a case of the shoulds.
This is really the fun part because once you cure the shoulds, you realize that there are no “rules” when it comes to how you spend your time – it’s YOUR time after all! For example, when I walk my dogs in the morning, I love to slow down – just a bit – and literally stop and smell the roses (my neighbor’s roses that is – as gardening is currently in my Zone of Incompetence, our roses aren’t doing too well!).
When you value your own time, you inspire and empower others to tap into their own resourcefulness. Enforcing the “sacred yes and sacred no” by honoring your own time can be an act of extreme self-care and one you have access to in the only REAL time there is: right now in this moment.
I would love to hear from you: Where have you been wasting your own time or where have you allowed others to waste it for you? And what steps will you take in your own life to bring yourself back into alignment?
If you’re having trouble hearing your own intuitive nudges around how you really want to spend your time, I invite you to book a complimentary 15 minute Discovery Call with me so that I can guide you to reawaken your intuition and hear it more clearly in all your choices in life.
Sabrina Bolin is a Featured Speaker in the Heart Centered Business Bootcamp. Hear Sabrina’s interview, and 20 other experts, talk about how you can take YOUR business to the next level in 2014. CLICK HERE for more information.
Sabrina Bolin is an energy healer and intuitive coach, compassionately guiding her clients to learn to work with their fear and overwhelm, get their energy unstuck, and awaken their intuition so that they feel more guided and take more inspired action in their lives.
You can connect with her virtually at www.SabrinaBolin.com, or find her investing her time wisely at www.facebook.com/MyMiBoSo and www.twitter.com/MyMiBoSo.