Managing your time and focus

by Michele on November 15, 2011

Time management is a hugely popular subject for small and solopreneur business owners.  Not only do we have to manage time well, but we have to manage our

Time management and focus are critical for solopreneurs

Time management is the beginning of being a great solopreneur

tasks as well.  A concept I find helpful is what I call “bandwidth,” or how many different balls I can have in the air at a time.  Good time/task/project management lets you take advantage of moments when one project stalls to get to work on another or when you just need a change of pace.  But how many simultaneous projects is too many?

Like most business owners, I always have a lot of things happening and lots more in the wings waiting to happen.  In my case, those additional project stay queued up until I’m ready to take one out of “waiting” mode and into “active” mode.  I usually pick the next project to add to my active list when I’ve finished something or simply feel like I’ve got enough spare bandwidth for another project.

I’m pretty on top of my tasks and projects and have a robust system for tracking them.  Even so, I find I can only stay on top of a few projects at a time.  If I stack too many current projects up, I start to lose track of details, things start to slip and the switching time to go from project to project becomes to great.  If I’ve got too many projects, each time I switch to a new one I need to re-immerse myself in it and that wastes a lot of time.  Bandwidth isn’t just about time, it’s also effort, attention and focus, all of which are valuable, finite resources for a solopreneur.

Can you increase your bandwidth?  Absolutely!  Start with some organization and basic good habits for managing your time and tasks.  Study what’s been written on the subject and try what appeals to you.  Make sure to note what works and what doesn’t work so you can continue to improve.  Be open to changing you system as your life changes or just when you need a change.

As a solopreneur, it’s important to use all of your resources wisely but how you allocate your bandwidth dictates what gets done and what doesn’t as well as how well things get done.  It impacts how much time you waste vs. use wisely.  It effects how much peace of mind vs. stress you feel.  If you can strike the right balance between not enough and too much, you may find your creativity and drive increases.

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