I present a workshop to would-be entrepreneurs on time management and organization. If you’ve ever had a business of your own, you’ll know that how you spend your time as “your own boss” is much, much different than the way you spend your time as an employee.
As an employee, there’s a job description and everyone else working in the same environment has theirs. You all work together towards generating positive results for the enterprise for which you are employed. Within the context of that job description, time is spent doing what you’re suppose to be doing and connecting with others as needed. Each of you manages their time according to the work which needs to be accomplished in your own area, your own job description.
As “your own boss”, especially if you have never been your own boss before, you simply don’t have a clue. Why? Because much of the knowledge you need to run your own business is knowledge you simply don’t have! Simple!
If you’re an engineer, you know how to do the job of engineering but how about the job of promotion, accounting, setting fees, contracting, sales, web sites, social media and a host of other areas which the entrepreneur needs to master in their own business. Creating a budget and reading financial statements are often overwhelming to new entrepreneurs because everything is so new to them – how can they predict the future of a business they’ve never owned before when there’s no history on which to substantiate numbers? Most people, even if they have had to deal with financial statements before in their jobs, have only a micro understanding of what the numbers mean especially if someone else was responsible for the budget. In your own business, you need to understand thoroughly what the numbers mean and the story being told.
How can someone possibly manage their time when they don’t know what they’re suppose to be doing? They cannot. It’s impossible.
For instance, if someone said “make a chicken soup from scratch” and you don’t know how to cook, how would you know what to do to make a chicken soup from scratch. You’d have to ask someone who knows or you’d have to find a recipe to follow. Either way, you’d need the knowledge.
Knowledge is paramount – know-how – if you know what to do and how to do it, it’s much easier to manage your time – step 1, step 2, step 3 and when the steps don’t quite follow, you know what to do about that too because your knowledge and experience will give your brain the ability to come up with a solution.
Next time you see hours passing by and you still haven’t produced anything worthwhile, knowledge is likely the missing link. The same happens with new employees. Often managers are bewildered why a new employee isn’t performing. Good training is likely the answer because once a person knows how to do a job, generally, they can organize themselves to get it done.
If you’re having problems with your time management at work, sometimes it’s useful to determine whether or not you have the knowledge required to do the work efficiently. If so, find the knowledge or the people to help you.
Time management is intricately connected to what you know, to knowledge and to experience. That’s why experience is so valuable – experience is knowledge gained outside of the book learning – the creative side of learning.