We all recognize this mantra of working 9 to 5 as the theme song of the daily grind. However, for small business people, this takes on an entirely different message as it reminds us that time management is not only the desired skill but a necessity.
While it is important to put forth extra energy, especially when starting a business, it is easy to fall into a time management trap. It is all too tempting to put in that “just a few more minutes” when we are caught up in the creative (or even the administrative) side of our own business. Let me finish one more report, try one more idea, make one more widget, etc. The list goes on and on and truly there is no end to the tasks when you are building or managing your business.
Trying to find that balance between “living to work” and “working to have a life” is a delicate dance. Learning to mentally shut the office or factory door is a learned skill for many small business owners and one that should be cultivated. While everyone admires a hard-working, dedicated individual – the one who puts in the long hours or goes the extra mile – there comes a time when it is wise to stop and take a minute to review the business. This review needs to include the usual items like P&Ls but also needs to include the owner’s intention when planning the business and evaluation of the owner’s lifestyle cost of doing business.
Let’s face it – there was a reason you ventured into the world of small business ownership, to be your own boss and all the clichés. I have never seen “work 20-24 hours a day” on that list of reasons. Have you? Time management – one of the best business practices.