How To Balance Your Business Time AND Keep Learning

Photo credit: Ivory Mix Photo credit: Ivory Mix

Sarah Skraban

Oct 12, 2017

This post dives into ways to balance your own needs as a business owner with your business’ needs.

As an entrepreneur, you may feel overwhelmed and overstretched when it comes to running your business. The demands of work and home life can mean you take less (or no) time off and end up working long hours.

There is an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review that talks about the devastating impact chronic overwork has on your productivity, health, happiness, and business’ bottom line. When you are chronically exhausted and stressed, you make poor judgment calls, make more mistakes, and lose sight of the bigger picture.

So, how can you set up your day, life, and business to take time off from work (for vacation, sleep, continued education, and so on) without feeling like you are falling behind?

How do you keep learning and growing in your business, when there are already not enough hours in the day?

Manage your energy and attention

Being productive is NOT just about managing your time and getting as much done in that time as you can. You have to manage your energy and attention.

By eliminating distractions and focusing on your most important or creative tasks in the morning, you are able to give the BIG things in your business the energy and attention they deserve.

Distractions are costly.

A temporary shift in attention from one task to another, such as checking an email or taking a phone call, can increase the amount of time necessary to finish a task by as much as 25%.

It’s far more efficient to “batch” your work and fully focus on ONE thing at a time, take a true break, and then fully focus on the next task.

Focusing on one project or assignment at a time makes it simpler for your brain to process information and solve problems, instead of constantly jumping between unrelated tasks.

People have various rituals and hacks to be more productive: they turn their phone off, meditate, take deep breaths, plan their day or week in advance, etc.

The key is to know where you are spending your energy and attention, the times of day you need a break, and what will distract and derail you — and plan to eliminate those distractions the best way you can!

Once you understand this, you will become more productive, feel less stressed and more balanced, and (finally) happier!

Continued education is non-negotiable

As a business owner, you are well aware that there is always something you can improve on, a new skill to be learned, or more knowledge to be gained. However, your business already keeps you pretty busy, where do you find the time?

Ask yourself: “What can I do to make continued education NON-NEGOTIABLE?”

We all have the same number of hours in the day.

How is it that some people have time to go to the gym in the morning, meditate in the afternoon, and learn something new every day?

They make these things a habit and a non-negotiable part of their day.

As a personal trainer, I meet individuals all the time who say they “just don’t have the time to work out.” Then, a heart attack or medical issue arises and they somehow find the time to get healthier.

If it is important to you, you will find the time.

Find the time to keep learning.

Make continued education non-negotiable.

Entrepreneur and best-selling author Tony Robbins says: “If you improve yourself, your skill, your ability, your talent, you’re going to be able to do things nobody else can do.”

Ways to keep learning and invest in yourself:

Below are a few powerful quotes to encourage you to keep going, keep learning, and keep doing better!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates

“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman

“If you’re not making mistakes, you are not making decisions.” — Catherine Cook

Sarah is a personal trainer, Fitness Director at a private club, mother, and writer behind The Fit Niche. She helps fitness and wellness entrepreneurs work smarter (not longer!) and grow their businesses — without breaking the bank! She also runs a free Facebook Group called Fitness Biz + Blog Mastermind Community. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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