Tips to Bust The 5 Time Management Myths

Woman Holding Clock Ask any successful lifestyle entrepreneur the secret to his or her success and “excellent time management skills” will at least make their top five.

But there can be many miscalculations about how to take charge of your time. As you scramble for time mastery, you may be falling into these six myths about what it takes to be a time management guru:

Myth #1:  A One Size Fits All Approach

Yoon Cannon, a recent guest on my radio show, “Christian Women Entrepreneurs on Fire”, who currently had two high school kids and one in elementary, shared that guarding her time now is actually much more difficult than when all of her kids were younger. She said that you definitely need different time management strategies at different stages in life.

For example, when you have younger versus older kids, your optimal time management approach — from decisions about whether to have an electronic or off-line system, whether and how to time chunk, working from SMART goals or using more of a visioning approach — can change during different work and personal stages.

TIP:  Constantly evaluate what is and is not working in your time management routine and be open to learning and incorporating new approaches you encounter.

Myth #2:  Clear Priorities Are the Key

Your priorities or unfinished work around your priorities can actually be the root of your time management problems.  When you have too many priorities, you neutralize your focus on any of them.  And having conflicting priorities leaves your unconscious mind battling itself to figure out what to do next.

TIP:  At the beginning of the year, make time for thorough planning of both your work and life goals. Take time to force yourself to narrow your focus on several crucial areas that work in synchronicity with all parts of your life.

Myth #3:  All Interruptions Are Bad

Did you know that each interruption can cost you 8 minutes to get back to what you were doing? But when you can plan your interruptions by scheduling them in, you avoid sitting too long working which is not only bad for your body, but is a productivity sucker.

There are times you want to completely shut out interruptions so you can get into the flow.  But it may be a good strategy in the early stages of your business to allow for interruptions using technology to notify you of potential clients calling to schedule an appointment or key people you need to talk to if the alternative is a series of phone tag.

TIP:  Structure your day to minimize interruptions.  But, be strategic when deciding when to let  them in your business day.

Myth #4:  What I Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Me

Actually, yes it will, particularly when it comes to properly estimating the amount of time it takes to complete tasks on your to do list.  When people are over-booked with bloated priorities, they don’t like to look at the facts about how much time each of the item of their list will really take to complete.  This creates stress and laissez-faire approach where things are left to take their own course.

TIP:  Estimate how much time the things you want to accomplish will take.  When things will take more time to do, then you have to start eliminating or delaying the task, delegating the task, or finding faster ways to complete the task. Doing this regularly will help you break the habit of unrealistic scheduling.

Myth #5: You Can Operate In Peak Performance Most of the Time

This depends on what you are going through. If you have a chronic relationship challenge at home, your ability to employ time management strategies is not at full capacity. Or when you are in the process of making big changes in either your work or personal life, it is normal to periodically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode when approaching your work. During those times it is best to recognize what is happening, take a break, nurture yourself, and get back to work as soon as you are able.

TIP:  Recognize and address any outside factors that may be contributing to your seemingly lack-luster ability to manage your time well.

Becoming a master of time is a lifelong journey. For the Christian women entrepreneur, it is your best tool to ensure the priorities you are living match up with the priorities your Maker wants you to live.

Biz and Life Tips for Christian Women Entrepreneurs:  Assess where you are today with time management and make a commitment to constantly grow in this area; it truly is the key to manifesting your Holy Spirit-inspired vision.

5 Steps to Maximize the Value of Your Work

Designer at work At the inaugural Catholic Assembly for Business breakfast Monsignor Stuart Swetland spoke on the Theology of Work. The Theology of Work is exciting for Christian women entrepreneurs because it demonstrates how our approach to work is in alignment with God’s will and on the cutting edge of our culture. Here are some some general concepts around the Theology of Work from the talk. I invite you to assess yourself and your relationship with work with some simple questions.

GENERAL CONCEPTS – The Theology of Work

Everyone works in some capacity. This philosophy applies whether you are single, married, a homemaker, a mom, employed full or part-time, inside or outside of the home, or have your own business.

Only humans can work. Animals don’t work, because work is a choice. People can decide not to work. Monsignor Swetland highlights that the proper relationships with work would solve many of the ills of our society. Work has two dimensions: affective and objective.

The affective dimension is what the work does for the worker. The objective dimension speaks about the powerful unleashing of creativity work has the potential to do, particularly with capitalism. This creative force provides those you serve with greater value. Depending on your approach to your work in your life, you provide varying degrees of worth to those you serve.

By assessing yourself in light of the affective and objective dimensions of work, you will discover your strengths and challenges around work. Work and its value are not just about money. For example, it’s been a high priority of mine to be with my kids when they need me after school. The value I am giving them is the sense of security and regular good stress release they can count on most days. They are able to relax and decompress from their days in the comfort of our home. I feel good when I structure my work to make that possible.

Living the Theology of Work as a Christian Women Entrepreneur

In the Christian women entrepreneur movement, female business owners consciously design and manipulate how, when, what, and why they work to maximize the benefit both to themselves and their families as well as those they serve. Here are 5 steps to help you evaluate the work you do:

  1. Embrace the Work You’ve Chosen – Are you a frustrated housewife, or someone who always talks about owning your own business but never takes action toward the goal? Or are you a business owner regularly doubting and questioning your jump into entrepreneurialism? Do you work for someone else, and constantly complain about what goes on in the office or your hours or your co-workers? Listen to your inner voice as well as the Holy Spirit to see if you need to deepen your embrace of your current work or make a shift in what work you have chosen to do.
  2. Be Honest about How Your Work Is Affecting You – Do you feel a sense of joy and energy burst about your vocation? Or are you feeling more depressed and overwhelmed? Your work should be uplifting to you. If not, make modifications about how you approach your current work. If that doesn’t work, pray for clarity about a bigger move the Holy Spirit might want for you.
  3. Utilize Your Gifts to the Fullest – List the gifts God has given you and evaluate how well you are using those gifts in the way you are currently working. See if you might tweak what you do or even make time for a hobby or a way to serve, say in the church, that utilizes those gifts. Joy follows when you put your gifts to good use. Structure Your Work Around Your Vocation – As much as possible make sure that you “work” around the high payoff activities you do in your vocation. The fewer times you have to sacrifice missing those important moments, the more peace and satisfaction you will feel around the work you need to do. For example, work on being present during meals, at key transition points of the day, and during your own prayer time. Even if you work less because you are putting your attention on people at critical time, your work time will be more productive.
  4. Look at the Numbers – A home with an out-of-balance budget as well as an unprofitable business is signs you are not adding value in the work you do. Take a hard look at how you do things and ways to get back into alignment with spending less than you make as well as taking funds to invest as you go to increase your wealth pot. Our Creator knows how we are made and what we need to operate properly. Applying the Theology of Work in your life leads to peace as well as prosperity.

The Christian Women Entrepreneur’s Business and Life Tip: Assess your approach to work with these 5 steps and make one resolution to work on over the next month to be in better Divine work alignment.

Making Space for Success in Your Life & Business

Making Space for business and family Like they say, it’s a good thing we women have the babies. I’ve become adept at tuning out non-essential verbal data after spending close to two decades hearing my husband describe with great detail any slight physical discomfort he might be experiencing.

Well, I got it wrong this time.

The Dish guy had to come to the house because our Hopper didn’t work. My spouse took the opportunity to have him help us rearrange and set up our TV sets. Joe’s dad had given us a large flat screen TV that needed a home. A few other sets needed to be relocated and connected.

While holding one of the sets, my husband let out a scream. Somehow the TV shocked him, and he immediately dropped it on his arm. After two weeks of misdiagnosis and various shades of purple and blue, Joe ended up in the office of the orthopedic surgeon.

Within twenty-four hours he was in the operating room so the doctor could repair his torn biceps tendon.

I spent eight straight hours between taking Joe to surgery and sitting in the waiting room. This followed an entire week with our oldest middle-schooler being sick.

While both scenarios were a bit distracting, those are mompreneur shining moments. I get to be there for my family when they need me, and I’m still able to move forward with what I need to do in my business.

It’s all possible because I’ve been on a journey to make space for both my life and my business.

Making Space

Making space is critical to balancing business and family. You make space for your life and your business when you

  • Know what you need to do when,
  • Are organized with both the technology and the supplies to do it when and where you need it,
  • Have a variety of systems in place that keep your home running relatively smoothly even when you are extremely busy,
  • Lead a team of competent, cooperative family members who know how to pitch in without complaint when things need to be taken up a notch,
  • Embed yourself in a community that allows you to “tap into the village” when you need to,
  • Develop relationships with personal and professional support people who can help pull your weight when your load gets too heavy

Make Space Before You Need It

There is a distinct difference between mompreneurs who arrive at the life of their dreams from those who either have not enough revenue or those that have clients but painfully no time.

Smart mompreneurs create the space before they need it.

They make the space for growth before their business actually take off.

They create the margins in their life, so when life happens they have a little bit of life left in them to devote to it.

You don’t need to be afraid of the journey towards abundance God wants to give you…if you’ll steadily work on making space for the new life he wants you to have.

Catholic Momprenuer Biz and Life Tip: Make sure each week you are taking a step to free up more of your time, energy, and space for the next chapter of your life.

How Being a Marked Woman Gives Your Biz & Life Momentum

Asa Annerstedt from Sweden in closeup after the transition to cy I’ve joked that I like the idea of being a triathlete at times more than what is involved with being one.

Practicing and racing is fun. But, I also get a serotonin rush when I going to the gym several days after I compete. I admire my faded race markings on my upper arm and shin. I can tell when others notice them.

It’s even better when people ask about them. The blood, sweat, and tears of racing are more worth it when I get to talk about it later.   Most people are impressed.

My post-tri marking glee may sound self-absorbed. But, a healthy self-esteem and personal pride gives you the right foundation to help you sort out and live the right priorities in your life and business. And celebrating those big and small milestones keeps you reaching for new heights.

I’m proud of my markings. They represent months of hard work, discipline, commitment and sacrifice.  They are evidence of setting and achieving my goals. Being willing to get up at 5 am on a Monday morning for a 5:30 am swim workout when most are sleeping puts me in an elite group.

Mompreneurs, too, are an elite force…like the Navy Seals or Special Forces. They want more in life and are willing to work for it. They accept the ups and downs to create their dream life. They believe that they can have the money they need AND time for themselves and their relationships, if they are willing to work smart and sacrifice the right things.  They want the advantages of being a mompreneur and have made the commitment to get there.

I encourage you to tune into your personal milestones that show you moving closer to being both a great mom and a mom business owner:

  • Anytime you get to take or pick up your kids anywhere.
  • Anytime you get to be present for the big and small special moment with your family.
  • Anytime you have the resources to go on a family or couple vacation or other rejuvenating activity.
  • Anytime you have the funds to allow your kids to participate in activities or do what you feel is important to their relationships and development.
  • Anytime you are in a position to serve others because of your flexible schedule.
  • Anytime you get to work at something that you love and fully use your talents.
  • Anytime you have the freedom and flexibility to work the hours you want and from home if you want.
  • Anytime you have the resources and support to spend some time away from your kids to rejuvenate alone or with your spouse.

In any race, you need to acknowledge your accomplishments along the way.  As a mompreneur you have “marks” daily that are worth celebrating. Start celebrating them rather than taking them for granted for a boost in your self-esteem, healthy pride, as well as your gratitude.

Catholic Mompreneurs Biz and Life Tips:  Add to this list your personal “marks” of accomplishment and intentionally focus on the benefits of mom biz ownership.  The positive momentum will pull you through the challenges that will inevitably come.

Are You Spending Too Much Time Away from Family and on Your Business?

mompreneur guilt Do these sound familiar?

“I felt being called to own a business or ministry, but fear sacrificing my family’s needs.”

“I don’t want to be selfish.”

“I need to work, but feel guilty when I’m not with family. Then I’m doubly stressed when work gets overwhelming.”

Mompreneur guilt…the mompreneur lifestyle can be tension-filled.

But it doesn’t have to be.

You can mindfully live each moment in these three simple steps. You can make it work without feeling guilty, conflicted, or neglecting yourself, your business, or your family.

It’s about doing the right things, the right way.

Guilt-free mompreneurs distinguish between community “wants” and “needs”. They break time into blocks to be fully present with either people or the task at hand.

Here’s how you “decide” about your life, instead of “slide”. The former offers clarity and peace. The latter arrives with a pile of conflicts and guilt:

Know Where You Are Going and Why You Do What You Do 

  1. Does your family need more income?
  2. What is the cost of not having the funds to do what you feel is important for your kids?
  3. Are there legitimate needs for a more flexible schedule?
  4. Do you have kids that need homework supervision to do well?
  5. Do you have aging parents that need your attention at times that won’t fit with outside employment?
  6. Do you have the self-discipline and drive necessary to be profitably self-employed?

If you, your spouse, and God have already decided that the benefits of doing your mom biz is best for your family, then you need to let go and look next to the implementation stages.

Be Clear on the Plan to Get There

Once you have a sound business model, to be successful in your business you need to

  1. know the right things to do, and
  2. do those right things well.

Easier said than done! Identify weekly and daily activities to be the kind of wife and mother God wants you to be, and put them in your calendar. Then schedule the work tasks that are critical for success (to do so you must know what those are).

Don’t make assumptions about what your family needs and wants. Needs change over time and may not be what you think. Use your own observations to where they need your love and guidance. Ask everyone directly what you can do to show your love for them.

If in black and white your work and personal activities overrun your calendar, you must trim. With finite resources like time and money, you have to make the best choices possible with the facts at hand, and punt the mompreneur guilt.

Implement Well Your Plans

You may have the vision and know-how to implement your plan. But you may be very inefficient in your implementation, often due to poor or absent systems. 

Being awkward in your execution causes your activities to bleed into other scheduled activities, created conflicts and stress. At this stage invest your time becoming proficient on your core tasks   If you need help, get it. Cut yourself slack when you fall short on both family and work commitments when you are trying to learn new things. The quicker you ramp up your skill set, the more your life will look more like you want.

Focusing on deciding, implementing, and accepting the process of becoming a skilled mompreneur allow you to push aside the guilt. (You’ll probably need to do a little additional guilt pushing, too, as you go.) You are not expected to be perfect, only to understand and implement God’s will to the best of your ability.

The Catholic Mompreneur’s Biz and Life Tip: Freeing yourself of mompreneur guilt is a byproduct of proper discernment, clarity, and implementation of God’s will in your life. If you need assistance, how to tap into God’s will for you schedule a Get It Done session with me at www.talkwithchristina.com.