To Be a Good Steward of Your Money, You Have to Be a Good Steward of Your Time

to be a good steward of your money, you have to be a good steward of your time.Do you over commit?  Are you the one that joins every committee  and volunteers everywhere?  Are you afraid of letting others down if you say no?  Are you part of an organization right now, doing it all, and feeling burned out?  Are you doing all that is expected of you by everyone else but not taking care of yourself or following your goals?  I believe that women are particularly prone to this behavior.  Indulging your need to do it all will not only cost you time and affect your health, it will cost you money.

How do I know this?  Because I have only recently started to say no to those things that are not moving me forward in my desired direction.

Over the past few months I’ve resigned from or turned down commitments that while valuable in and of themselves, were not congruent with where I see my next steps.   This has allowed me time to pursue my goals, serve my clients AND sleep…and here’s what I’ve learned:

1.  Sleep is good.  We can actually accomplish more if we sleep more.  Go figure!  Plus spending time with family, friends and doing things we love is as important as anything else on our to do list – even more important!  Enjoy your life NOW.  There is no point in just working, especially if we are working to advance everyone else and not ourselves.

2.  Not everyone was happy with my decisions.  I think we are conditioned to believe that  if we do the right things for ourselves, our friends and associates will be happy with us.  Some were happy for me.  Some were not.   I’m ok with that.  If you want to do as I’ve done, you’ve got to get ok with someone else’s inconvenience or displeasure  too.

3.  I was wasting a lot of time. Through this process I’ve started to get really clear on where I’m investing my time.  I found a great website with an amazing tool for finding the answer to the question “Where does my time go?”  You can download the form that I’ve been using to keep track of ALL of my time – just click here.  David Seah actually has a ton of forms on his website.  You’ll love exploring all of the tools.  You can use them as is or use them to inspire you to create your own time tracking forms for yourself.

4.  I was spending time doing things I shouldn’t be doing.  By deliberately paying attention to where my time went, I was able to pinpoint tasks that I could delegate or outsource.  We can get stuck doing busy work instead of doing the work that will bring in more money to our businesses.   Sure, no one is going to do things just as I would…but you know what? “They” might actually do it better, if I let them.

If you are investing your time wisely each day, congratulations, and I certainly want some tips from you!  But if you’re not, if you’re like me and you are consistently volunteering for everything or doing everything because you just can’t let go, then brace yourself for some tough love from your “ol’ pal Lourdes”

Ask yourself this:  Why are you over committing to everyone and everything else but what you truly know you want and need to do?  Why are you filing papers instead of making that sales call?  Why are you stuck ?

Maybe you’re a people-pleaser who wants to make sure everyone else is happy and taken care of?  Taking care of others is great and there are certainly times in our lives where we need to be the care-taker for a loved one.  But volunteering for “everything” because you are afraid to say no is ineffective even to those whom you want to serve.

Maybe you’re afraid of following your goals?  Goals have a way of changing as we take action.  That business idea morphs as we move towards and through implementation.  Sometimes, things are more fun with they live in the perfection of possibility.  “Doing” is messy and sometimes ugly and there are tedious components.  Maybe you’re a perfectionist.

Are you feeling defensive as you read this?  Good!  Maybe it’s because you know in your heart that you are allowing yourself to get lost in the day-to-day minutiae instead of doing what’s truly important to move yourself forward.

As business women we claim to be working daily to advance our career or our business to reach our personal and financial potential.  But I know this, if only for myself, there is no way that I can be a good steward of money if I am not a good steward of the ultimate and universal limited resource –  TIME.

What are you doing to take back the control your time?






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