“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste time.”
Henry Ford

Managing your time, finding balance, and living a complete and joyous life in this day and age almost feels like an oxymoron. Today, more than ever before, we run from one task to another, often times combining tasks just to keep up. If you are running your own business, then the day-to-day tasks are difficult to manage and even more difficult to escape. You’re likely thinking about and managing your business 24/7. Coupled with the standard everyday tasks, it may seem like an impossible task to manage your time effectively.

The Effects of Poor Time Management

One of the biggest effects of poor time management is stress. Not the kind of stress that is easily recognizable, but a more pervasive and insidious type of stress. It sneaks in under the radar and causes long-term damage to your health and your overall happiness. Chronic stress, stress that is the result of long term and pervasive stress, causes significant health problems.

According to WebMD, chronic stress can be the result of a host of irritating hassles or a long-term life condition, such as a difficult job situation. In people who have higher levels of chronic stress, the stress response lasts longer.

Over time, chronic stress can have an effect on:

The immune system

Cardiovascular disease.

Muscle pain

Stomach and intestinal problems

Reproductive organs

The lungs

Skin problems

It also causes mental coping issues to arise

Each of these health issues add up and cause other issues like diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, insomnia and so on.

To put it mildly, chronic stress caused by poor time management can shorten your life and significantly detract from your overall quality of life. It’s been estimated that as many as 90% of doctor’s visits are for symptoms that are at least partially stress-related.

How Chronic Stress and Poor Time Management Affects Your Business and Your Life

With too many tasks on your plate, it’s difficult to focus on any one and prioritizing often seems impossible when everything needs to get done. The result is a tremendous amount of wasted time, not achieving goals, and losing money.

Loss of control. Poor time management means things will slip through the cracks. When this happens, unfortunately your customers often pay the price. This causes almost a vicious circle of you trying to appease dissatisfied customers, which then sets you back and adds even more tasks to your list, which again causes more things to slip through the cracks.

Burnout. Presumably you started your business, or are starting a business, not only to make money but also to gain personal satisfaction and to spend your days doing something you are interested in and maybe even passionate about. However, even the most desirable activities can become tiresome when you’re doing them 80+ hours a week.

When you manage your time effectively, it gives you the power to set your business aside, for a day, for a week, or even for months, to live the life you want to live and to stay fresh. It’s a great way to live and a great way to do business. Imagine your productivity, ingenuity, and enthusiasm if you wake up each and every day excited about the day and what you’re going to accomplish.

No joy. When you spend your days struggling to get it all done, you don’t save time for yourself. You don’t save time for hobbies, friends, family and fun. These are the most important things in life and to do without them is to do a great disservice to yourself - especially when it’s not necessary. With a little organization and a few tried and true time management practices and tools, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can own and operate a successful business and have time to enjoy life.

What Happens When Entrepreneurs Don’t Effectively Manage Their Time?

To be successful, it is important to be able to manage your time effectively. Time management means not allowing distractions. When you don’t manage your time effectively:

Work suffers. Lack of effective time management means hours and hours spent on tasks that are not important leaving only a little bit of time for the projects that really do affect your bottom line. Email or social networking is a prime example. It’s too easy to spend an entire morning Twittering, updating your Facebook or linked in page or answering emails.

Lack of effective time management results also means trying to handle too many tasks at once. Multitasking may seem like a good idea, however tasks are accomplished much faster when they’re dealt with one at a time. Juggle too much at once and a ball is bound to drop from time to time. Unfortunately, the ball you drop may be the most important one.

Personal life suffers. What do you do if something doesn’t get accomplished during normal work hours? Do you work on it in the evenings or on weekends when you could be spending time with your friends and family? Does stress from your business overlap into your daily life making you easy to anger, too tired to socialize and generally unhappy?

Okay, we’ve talked about what poor time management can do to your health and your business, but what about what good time management can do for you?

Benefits of Time Management

Beyond the basic benefits that include getting more accomplished, satisfied customers, and more profits, not to mention more free time, there are a few benefits you may not have considered.

Peace of mind. Imagine being able to wrap up your day at 5:00 or 4:00, or whenever you determine is the end of your business day, and feel a sense of calm. Not to have to worry about all that you didn’t get done and what is waiting for you the next morning. Being able to effectively manage your time will result in an amazing peace of mind. You can start and end each day with a sense of purpose and peace of mind.

A sense of achievement and satisfaction. There’s tremendous joy in accomplishing goals and checking those important tasks off of your list. When you manage your time effectively, you’ll be able to give yourself a pat on the back almost daily.

More energy. Stress and multitasking are tremendous energy drains. When you manage your time effectively you’ll get twice as much accomplished in half the time. You’ll sleep better and you’ll feel better in your work and personal life.

More fun. Time management frees up time in your day for the important things in life. Not that owning your own business isn’t important, it is, however so are hobbies, vacations, time with friends and family, laughter, exercise and the simple things that make life good.

A feeling of being in control over your life. When you know what you’re doing each day, you accomplish it, and when you have a plan where action is being taken every day, it gives you a tremendous sense of control. This control can and will expand into other areas of your life, too.

So how do you learn and implement better time management skills? Take a course, buy a book from an author you respect and admire, learn the skills and follow through – meaning don’t just read the book or take the course and nod but actually put the steps into practice. Incorporate them into your life.

To Your Success!
Jeremy Gislason
SureFireWealth INC

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Author's Bio: 

Jeremy Gislason is an entrepreneur, online business owner and marketer. He is also a philanthropist with over 12 years of offline and online business experience. Get more detailed Secrets of Effective Time Management in Mindmap to Riches Vol. 2 at http://www.MindmaptoRiches.com