My Guest blogger today is Aprille Janes. She is a coach, motivational speaker and Author – Business Coach. She has received her coaching and leadership training from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), one of the largest accredited coach training institutions in the world. Aprille is a Certified Professional Co-active Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Balancing our time is often one of the biggest hurdles we face as business women who also have personal lives. Notice that I don’t say ‘Finding Time.” That implies it’s lost and it’s not. It’s there, ready to be used but your Time Thieves may pluck it away when you’re not paying attention.

What is a Time Thief?

A Time Thief may be perfectly innocent outside of the hours you set aside to work on critical business activities. But during those hours, I’ll bet you’re surrounded by them. They may show up virtually (Hello, Facebook) or come dressed as a family member or friend.

Email is one of mine. A big hairy one. I can’t count how often I’ve sat down to work on something for my business and thought “I’ll just check email first.” Next thing I know it’s two hours later and my good intentions went up in e-smoke.

Just how do you identify thieves that are so clever at disguise?

Here are some clues to look for:

  • Where do you let yourself get distracted? Make a list. Add to it whenever you spot a new one.

  • Do you lose track of time and neglect critical activities in favour of something that only seems important?

  • What is it about that activity that calls to you, seduces you?

  • Could you let it go, at least for a little while?

The point is to become aware of your Time Thieves so they can’t sneak up on you. When they take you by surprise it’s hard to fight back.

Even when you’re watching out you may still fall victim to a Time Thief. They’re sneaky so don’t beat yourself up about it. Just when you think you’ve got one licked, it finds a new disguise and creeps back in. The trick is to develop awareness so they can’t just stroll in and clean you out.

If one does get by you, simply escort it from the premises and get back to what’s really important to you. By that I mean, as soon as you realize a Time Thief is distracting you, stop. Just stop. You have the power to choose. Skip the negative self-talk. Get right back to what you really want to be doing.

In the end, it all boils down to you. You have to decide the priority each activity should have. No one else will care as much as you about the success of your business.

And in case you think you have to protect great swathes of time and that I’m being totally unrealistic, think about this – if you devote fifteen minutes a day to an activity, at the end of a year you will have devoted 90 hours of quality time to it.

What could you accomplish with 90 hours?

It’s up to you. Even if you don’t do anything it will still be a year later. Wouldn’t you rather have something to show for it?

After many years as a successful business consultant to large corporations, Aprille Janes now mentors solo-prenuers and home business owners who want more than a hobby business. Her clients develop the entrepreneurial thinking they need to create the success they deserve. She is also available to speak to business groups and teams. She can be reached at 905-985-6454 or visit her website www.aprillejanes.com

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