Taking time out for self-growth is by far one of the best things a business owner can do to secure a winning future. You’ll be surprised to know how investing in personal growth can contribute to business success. Self-growth boosts creativity, confidence, and motivation. It persuades us to create systems in our personal and professional lives that lead us to success.
Business owners and entrepreneurs have to wear multiple hats and may not always be able to find time to invest in their personal growth. However, self-growth cannot be achieved at random. It’s a continuous process that requires dedicated efforts and time.
Below are 5 tips that’ll help you focus on self-growth, transform you into a better business professional, and steer you towards success:
1. Be a Ruthless Prioritizer
The power of ruthless prioritization cannot be trivialized. Life as a business owner can get so busy that personal priorities and self-growth goals tend to take a back seat.
Business-related tasks and responsibilities can never disappear, but we can definitely plan ahead and prioritize tasks to get organized and make time for ourselves. I like to use Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle to classify tasks and prioritize like a pro.
Master the art of delegation. Trust your subordinates with smaller tasks and gradually delegate bigger responsibilities to them, thereby maximizing productivity and making time for yourself. I often play to my team’s strengths or train them on managing critical business tasks. This leaves me time to focus on personal growth. Effective delegation not only keeps us sane amidst tight deadlines but also helps us focus on ourselves.
Remember to allocate time to the person who matters most – You! Prioritizing tasks will leave you enough time to invest in your creativity, self-confidence, knowledge, health, and relationships.
2. Learn to Say No. Period.
There’s a lot we can learn from Warren Buffet. The American business magnate puts it across in simple words – “Really Successful People Say No To Almost Everything.” The primary reason why modern business owners and entrepreneurs have less self-time is because of their inability to say no when required.
Resist the urge of being wired to the perpetual yes mode. Say no to unproductive tasks and requests that continuously consume your time and energy. This will help you find the much-needed me-time to define life’s priorities and reflect on your personal growth.
Make it a policy not to take business calls on weekends. Let your stakeholders know and respect the fact that weekends are personal time. Similarly, you can design a policy to eliminate late nights at work by forbidding meetings after 6 pm.
Being consistent with this policy will help you overcome the guilt and anxiety that come along with saying no. You not only create a positive work culture, but also make time for self-development.
Further, getting rid of unproductive tasks will free up your cognitive space, allowing you to pursue self-improvement strategies like enrolling for an online course or attending a workshop for small business owners.
“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair
3. Befriend Technology
Technology has been enabling entrepreneurs and business owners to adapt quickly to the changing business needs, allowing them to make better use of time and resources. For instance, the cloud offers immense flexibility allowing business owners to access data from any location and using different devices. Project management and collaboration tools, such as Trello, Harvest, and GSuite can help you focus on multiple tasks without wasting too much time.
Similarly, email marketing automation tools enable business owners to organize their customers’ email addresses and send targeted emails, deal notifications, and product information in a scheduled manner without having to get into the nitty-gritty.
Besides, modern technology is redefining learning experience for entrepreneurs and business owners. Several online learning platforms are offering immersive educational experience through web and mobile apps. These platforms provide business professionals and busy entrepreneurs learning beyond the classroom by helping them upgrade their skills from any part of the world.
Going tech savvy not only makes life easy but also helps you save time. Using high-tech tools can help you stay on top of your tasks and fuel personal growth.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Many business owners unknowingly waste a huge chunk of their day accomplishing tasks that can be easily delegated or avoided. A study by Inc. reveals that business owners waste a staggering 21.8 hours a week. That’s almost one day lost! Imagine what you could achieve in that time.
Eliminating the common time wasters can significantly increase the amount of time available for self-growth.
Here are a few time-wasters you should avoid to make time for yourself.
Spending Excessive Time Online
A Vertical Response survey reveals that 43 percent of business owners spend 6+ hours per week on social media, surfing websites, emailing, and going through apps. The fear of missing out (FOMO) often compels us to keep checking connected devices, thereby wasting too much time online.
To make time for yourself it’s critical to challenge the dominance of social media in our lives. Block the distraction of the online world using various apps. These apps allow you to block your social accounts and the internet, allowing you to focus on self-development.
Similarly, emails are time-sucking black holes that can cause you to lose focus. Set a specific time of the day to check and respond to emails. Better still, avoid checking emails until you have finished important tasks.
Building relationships is critical for every business owner, however, there’s a fine line that separates networking and wasting time in meaningless socializing. It is easy to lose time in such random networking that does nothing for your personal growth. Therefore, it’s best to avoid such chatty situations. For instance, if you have set time aside to upskill yourself by taking an online course, make sure you wear headphones to focus and keep random schmoozers at bay. Alternatively, don’t shy away from asking the person to get back to you at lunch break or after you have finished the task at hand.
Futile Business Meetings
A business owner is required to keep a bird’s eye view on various business operations. Although meetings help us do just that, it’s important to not waste time on unstructured and pointless meetings. Did you know, American businesses alone waste USD 37 billion per year in unnecessary meetings? Avoid drowning yourself in pointless meetings. If you must attend one, make sure it has a clear agenda, allowing you to reclaim your time for self-improvement activities.
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus
5. Use Idle Time Effectively
Downtime doesn’t always have to be unproductive. Those idle moments when you are traveling or waiting for a customer can be spent doing meaningful activities like recording goals in a bullet journal, social listening, reading a self-development book or a business article, listening to Ted Talks, or learning a new language. Make a conscious effort to pursue value-adding activities during your idle time, thereby fostering personal growth.
Running a business isn’t easy. Most business owners spend so much time and resources in scaling their venture that they are unable to find any personal development time. Use the effective tips shared in this post to make time for self-growth in your jam-packed schedule.