The Blurring Boundaries of Work & Life: Are We Chasing Our Tails with Time Management?

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A quick glance through the most trending topics reveals that many of us small business owners, solopreneurs, and professionals are in a never ending struggle with Father Time. And no, it seems he’s not ever going give up any turf: twenty-four hours in one day- that’s all we get.

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And it seems that no matter how many of the MUST HAVE, time-saving tools, tips, and tricks we implement that most of us are still gasping for air throughout the day as we race to finish our mountain-load of to-do tasks quicker, better, and more efficiently then the next guy (or gal).

Perhaps we are just chasing our tails in the quest to better manage our time. After all, let’s face it: the more time we save, the more we’ll just have to end up doing and the more that will be expected of us…

Moreover, as the boundaries between our professional and personal lives become increasingly intertwined, this paradoxical relationship will only get stronger and more deeply ingrained. Small business owners and entrepreneurs in particular are more susceptible to this never ending treadmill simply because they tend to work harder and longer at what they do.

Where does it end?

The solution to all of this, in my opinion, may not be such a popular response: stop doing (at least for a little bit) and set boundaries for those times when you are accomplishing. That said, the best time saving tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs must include the following:

  • Take a break! And by break I mean, no phone and no Internet connectivity for at least 30 minutes in the middle of your workday.
  • Set boundaries (and then put things in place to make sure you keep them). Allocating time for the various tasks in your to-do list won’t do you any good if you can’t stick to your schedule. Make sure your list is doable in the first place and enlist the help of co-workers or friends or anything else that works for you to keep you on track. You should also have a general plan of action that includes a list of task priorities for those unavoidable times when you do have to break from your schedule. 
  • Schedule personal time. And yes, some people should actually schedule personal time or else it will get pushed aside. This includes time to socialize, exercise, energize, or just “veggecize.”

 

Bottom line: the more balanced you are with your personal and professional endeavors, the more happy and productive you’ll be (p.s. and the more time you’ll save also).