Jonathan M. Gardey, MBA, CFA®, CFP®
President and Chief Executive Officer
Time, why you punish me?
Hootie and the Blowfish really nailed that one, especially for business owners. The constant grind of pushing through and hoping for a moment to catch your breath can make time feel rather punishing. There’s never enough time in the day to do everything you need to do. There’s definitely not enough time for yourself.
But what if you could change that?
We get it. It’s easy with all of the fires you’re having to put out on a daily basis to think you’ll never be able to get ahead. But turning the table on time by making it work for you instead of against you with some tweaks here and there can make a big difference.
1. Use a Time Management Matrix
You’re a business owner, which means you wear a lot of hats, but that doesn’t mean you should be doing everything all the time. Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, former President of the United States and five-star general who was a pivotal figure during World War II, knew this. In fact, he has been attributed with coming up with a time management matrix popularized by Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
This matrix calls for breaking down tasks into four quadrants:
● Quadrant I: Urgent and Important
● Quadrant II: Not Urgent and Important
● Quadrant III: Urgent and Not Important
● Quadrant IV: Not Urgent and Not Important
The idea is to prioritize everything in Quadrant I, schedule a time to do things in Quadrant II, delegate the tasks in Quadrant III, and eliminate all of Quadrant IV since it’s probably what is wasting your time anyway.
Select one of these templates (or one of the millions of others you can find on Google) and plug in your tasks. Putting everything out there will help you formulate a plan, keep you on track, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
2. Be True to Yourself
To thine own self be true is not just good advice for Hamlet. This is also key for business owners. When do you do your best work? When are you most efficient? Is it first thing in the morning right after your first cup of coffee? Mid-morning after you’ve woken up and gotten things started? After lunch? Late at night when it’s just you and the owls?
You likely already know this about yourself. If you don’t, take a week and get to know your own habits. Then start blocking off that time as your “blitz time,” “get stuff done time,” or whatever else you’d like to call it. Either way, put the pedal to the metal when your brainpower is working in your favor.
3. Eliminate All Distractions
Multi-tasking sounds great in theory, but it often just means getting a little bit of everything started but nothing done. Instead, concentrate on one task at a time and let your Time Management Matrix help you decide what that is.
In addition to concentration, also consider what will help you focus. If being in an office where you can still hear all of your employees, customers, etc. will pull you out of your rhythm, then find a better place with fewer distractions. Or invest in some noise cancelling headphones. Really think about what space and overall environment is most conducive to helping you get your best work done. This way, you’ll need less time to accomplish the same things in general.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Stress is just part of being a business owner. But, you have to build in time to take care of yourself and enjoy life. Work cannot be the only thing you are living for.
So, you need to make sure you are blocking off time for breaks, for your workday to end, for vacations, and, most importantly, for sleep. If you want your time spent on work to be efficient and effective, then you must be well rested, alert, and firing on all cylinders. Otherwise, tasks will take you much longer, your concentration and focus will waver, and time will start getting away from you again.
5. Lean on Your Financial Advisor
Your Time Management Matrix should have quite a bit of tasks in Quadrant III that you can delegate to others. Don’t forget to include your financial advisor, especially for all the heavy financial tasks.
Your advisor isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) someone you only hear from once a year for the annual meeting. They’re there for you to lean on throughout the year to help guide you and take away any of the stress you have regarding your wealth management needs. Use them!
If you don’t have an advisor, it’s time (pun intended) to get one. The only regret we ever hear from our business owner clients is not having delegated their wealth management needs to us sooner.
For more information about the comprehensive planning services we provide, we encourage you to take a look around our website and see if we could be a good match. We best serve clients looking for exceptional client service, who value a long-term partnership, and have minimum of $500,000 in investable assets.
Important Disclosure Information
To better understand the nature and scope of the advisory services and business practices of Gardey Financial Advisors Inc., please review our SEC Form ADV Part 2A, available via the SEC's website @ www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. (Click on the link, select “Investment Advisor Firm,” and type in the firm name. Results will provide you both Part 1 and 2 of the Gardey Financial Advisors Form ADV.) Statistics from third-party sources are deemed to be accurate but have not been confirmed by Gardey Financial Advisors.
This communication is for informational purposes only and does not purport to be a complete statement of all material facts related to any company, industry, or security mentioned. The information provided, while not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness, has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The opinions expressed reflect our judgment now and are subject to change without notice and may or may not be updated. Past performance should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. Readers who are not market professionals or institutional clients of Gardey Financial Advisors should seek the advice of their financial advisor before making any investment decisions based on this communication. Our firm does not render legal, accounting or tax advice. Gardey Financial Advisors works closely with our client’s other professional advisors. Readers who are not market professionals or institutional clients of Gardey Financial Advisors should seek the advice of their financial advisor, tax, or legal advisor before taking any action that may have tax consequences.
https://asana.com/resources/eisenhower-matrix 4 April 2022
https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/ 4 April 2022