A substantial percentage of established business owners and fledgling entrepreneurs have experienced significant change over the course of the past year. Some had to make very difficult decisions and enact hard changes in order to survive. Conversely, some have been in the fortuitous position to thrive. Regardless of their circumstances, too many entrepreneurs and business owners struggle to find free time. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies to find more free time and enjoy it.
The Dreaded Free Time Paradox
The most common problems business owners have when it comes to free time is either not recognizing it, or failing to indulge it. In other words, when there’s free time available, business owners and entrepreneurs most often either prefer to spend it working, simply defaulting to a workaholic mindset. So, it’s often the case that they don’t have any free time, as much as it is they won’t take time to actually enjoy it.
Time freedom is about spending your time doing what you really love doing with the clients and people who mean the most to you. Having more freedom of time is about having the ability to live a full life and have the time to pursue other interests outside of work. But finding time freedom for entrepreneurs can be tough. — Thrive Global
This creates a cyclical scenario where any ostensible free time is put either toward their work or, is spent on distractions. That’s often more advice given about business owners seeking free time. That is to say, to identify and eliminate distractions, because they divert away from the task or relaxation at hand. Because entrepreneurs are action-minded people, they mistake any type of work as being valuable. Of course, that’s just not true.
3 Ways Business Owners and Entrepreneurs can Find more Free Time
The advice usually given to free up time is to rely on technology, innovative tools of the trade, and eliminate redundancies. Those are all great ways to help streamline your operation, but these mostly work around the margins, and don’t address the core problems. Here are three ways business owners and entrepreneurs can find more free time:
- Stick to a schedule. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to find free time in an unstructured environment. The old Friedrich Nietzsche philosophy of “out of chaos comes order” simply doesn’t apply to this situation. So, get yourself on a schedule and follow a routine. It can be flexible and should not be rigid, but should provide you with structure. This will greatly cut down on distractions, and force you to focus on the highest priorities, and work your way down to the lowest.
- Put your business on a budget. Before you scoff, remember this — a budget doesn’t always mean spending less, it means always spending smartly. Too many business owners either spend their time worrying about their finances. Others know their general financial situation, but dwell on every possible contingency. In either case, they waste a great deal of time worrying, because they really don’t have a plan for their company finances. Money just comes in and goes out, but with very little accountability. Creating a realistic budget allows you to operate your business with a lot more certainty, and that in turn, will create more free time.
- Hire (back) help. You might have responded to the pandemic and ensuing chaos in a number of ways. Perhaps, it was necessary to reduce your payroll and take on more responsibilities yourself. Or, you’ve been taking on more work personally, because you haven’t found the time to hire people to help. The longer this unnecessary stress goes on, the more you risk burning out. It not only steals away valuable downtime, it is also counterproductive. So, get yourself on a schedule, lay out a budget, and hire on some help when and where needed.
What other suggestions do you have for creating more free time? Please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your unique perspective!
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