What’s one way busy leaders can accomplish their personal goals or side projects while still keeping their company in tip-top shape?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Think of It as Cross-Training
Rather than thinking about the time spent on other projects as “cheating on your company,” consider it a form of cross-training. Similar to how athletes cross-train, spending time on other passions allows you to gain different perspectives and develop different parts of yourself. Recognize that pursuing other passions while being an entrepreneur can increase your odds of success.
2. Model a Balanced Life for Your Team
The thing you realize very quickly is that work will always be there. There will always be more to do. Part of good leadership is how you model out your life. The sooner you realize this and enable yourself to step away, the better you’ll be able to model out a healthy lifestyle and, more importantly, create a work environment those you lead can thrive in.
3. Learn to Prioritize
Prioritization and time management are vital to successful juggling of competing interests. Any company you’re in charge of needs to maintain its strong performance first and foremost if there are employees there who are counting on it. No one wants to miss a paycheck because you finally climbed a mountain. At the same time, though, you do need to find a way to carve out time to climb your mountains!
4. Become a Time Management Expert
Get very good at time management. Your day, as much as possible, should be scheduled with what you want to get done, what’s most important and what can wait, and roughly how much time you have for each task. Once you reach that level of time management, you should have all the time in the world to tend to your personal goals without your business suffering one bit.
5. Carve Out Time for Self-Care
One surefire way busy business leaders can accomplish their goals is by managing their time well. It’s important to prioritize the important things and not forget to take time for oneself. Self-care is also very important. It keeps people from experiencing burnout. Rest will, in turn, give a busy leader time and energy to accomplish the personal goals they’ve set for themselves.
6. Use Productivity Apps
I like using time productivity applications when I’m working. I know that my hours don’t need to be tracked for my job, but I like knowing how long it takes me to complete specific tasks. Using this information, I can make improvements and learn to juggle time between professional and personal life seamlessly.
7. Make Personal Time Nonnegotiable
Carving out nonnegotiable time (daily or weekly) for a side project or personal goals is a great way to ensure those goals are met on time or side projects are completed efficiently.
8. Eliminate Low-Priority Tasks
The key to not getting overwhelmed with work is to eliminate low-priority tasks and commit to focusing on the task at hand. We often have more time than we realize. When we switch our focus by multitasking, we actually use more energy and create stress. Focusing on a single job at a time ensures that you finish your work well and on time. Plus, you’ll have the energy you need for personal tasks.
9. Time-Block Specific Tasks
I use a combination of strategies to balance my personal goals with running a robust company. One of the things I do is use time-blocking to hyper-focus on specific tasks within a time frame. Another key strategy is to delegate to others and avoid meetings that aren’t a priority. In this way, I’m able to spend time on my family and my personal goals.
10. Do What’s Important
No business leader who is doing enough is doing everything. No one with a full schedule gets to every single project they want to work on. What separates excellence from mediocrity is the ability to know which activities bring the best results and then focusing on that 90% of the time. Want your company to run smoothly? Spend more time during your hiring process to get the best.
11. Hire People to Help With Your Business
To create enough time to enjoy your side projects, you’ll likely have to hire more people to help with your business. When the workload becomes too much, you know it’s time to start the hiring process and find people best-suited to your company’s needs. This will give you more time to work on personal projects and be away from the company.
12. Set Specific Start and End Times for Work
For leaders to accomplish their personal goals, they need a fundamental understanding of time management. If you can’t manage your work time to start and end at specific hours, then you’re already losing control of your days. It’s crucial not to let work consume you and to have a proper work-life balance at the end of the day. Keeping track of time is essential to do so.
13. Draw a Clear Line Between Work and Personal Time
Being a leader, you spend a lot of time strategizing on how to make your business a big success. But you need to draw a clear line between your personal and professional lives. If that’s done, there’s no way you can’t accomplish your personal goals or side projects while managing your company so it stays in tip-top shape.
14. Let Your Team Support You on Your Journey
If you’re a busy leader, you need to learn how to delegate tasks. Your team is there to help and support you through the journey. Allowing key members of your team to take over responsibilities will help free up some of your time, which means you’ll have more opportunities to work on your goals or side projects.