So many pet sitting business owners say, “I don’t have the time. I’m now doing visits 15 hours a day. How do I have the time to grow the business?” So I thought, you know what, I’m going to put together a mini-training for you guys so that you can find the time to start working on the growth of your business.
In my Multiply mastermind program, I’ve devoted an entire module to designing a time management system because, let’s get real… if you can’t take the time to work on your pet sitting business, you’re not going to be able to scale it. Learning to manage your time effectively is an absolute must!
We all have the same allotted hours a day given to us, and we all will make the time for what we want and care about. Why does the growth of your business fall to the bottom of that list?
Figure out how you’re using your time.
I want you to challenge your perspective around your time. I want you to look hard at what’s happening with your time. You have to study how you work and what you do with every single hour of every single day. This close study is the only way to recognize bad habits you’ve developed over time and get a comprehensive look at what’s consuming your time so that you can make intentional shifts to find the time you need to work on your business.
Social media is a giant time suck. I have business owners who tell me they don’t have a single minute to work on the growth of their business, but then every time I’m on Facebook, there they are! If you’re spending countless 10 to 20-minute pockets of time of day on Facebook or Instagram, I just found you more than an hour a day to work on your business.
Find those time leaks.
So I have a whole workbook here for you guys at SuccessfulPetSitter.com head over there and download it. I want you to download my Daily Log Sheet at www.SuccessfulPetSitter.com, and I want you to log every activity you partake in each day for seven to 14 consecutive days.
Then I want you to categorize each activity. You’re going to be tracking everything you do on your time log, and then we’re going to categorize them. The category of time for this exercise is tactical work. This is you working in your business.
Strategic work, this is you working on your business. And non-business-related activities like family time are not bad; we all need family time. However, I still want you to categorize it, Netflix, Facebook, et cetera.
Lastly, interruptions are huge telephone calls, computer problems, kids, et cetera, text messages, and news alerts on your phone. If you can figure out how you’re constantly interrupted, maybe putting the do not disturb on will save you an hour a day. That works for me.
For example, let’s say you did visits from 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM. This would be tactical work. You answered phone calls and emails from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, tactical work. You mapped out an email marketing campaign from 10:30 to 11:40 AM, strategic work.
From 11:40 AM to 12:10 PM, you read your favorite celebrity blogs, non-business related. You get the picture. After two weeks of consistent tracking, you’ll see trends and patterns emerge in both your activities and the types of work you’re focused on.
How much strategic work are you doing, and how much tactical work are you doing? Also, what time of the day do you find yourself being most productive with your strategic work? I found out that I’m productive in the morning. As the day progresses, the less and less excited I am to do strategic work. You need to find that time and protect it. If it’s 6:00 in the morning, you need to figure out how to get to that computer at 6:00 AM every morning so that you can maximize that productivity time.
How often are you interrupted or distracted from completing a task? I just went over that. Study those interruptions and consider what they suggest about your business systems and habits. Making connections like this allows you to begin becoming more deliberate about how you’re using your valuable time.
Speaking of, I just got interrupted. I’m in the middle of recording. I did not put my phone on do not disturb, and there it is buzzing away. At least I have the sound off. Interruptions are huge guys, figure out how you’re being interrupted and try to minimize those interruptions as much as you can.
Step to embrace the strategic work of your business. It is fun. The truth is most pet-sitting business owners are “Technicians” at heart. They feel the greatest sense of reward when they’re productive, working in their business, and caring for their furry friends.
And strategic work- thinking about and developing strategies that guide the direction of your business can be frustrating to the technically-driven person. It can feel at worst like a waste of time, and at best, like a luxury.
You need to shift your mindset. It would be best if you believed that sitting and thinking about your business is precious work. What’s more, it’s part of your job – the one you chose for yourself as an owner of a business. To stop and think differently about your business takes a massive shift in perspective.
To break this mindset that built your business and got it to this point, you need to accept that doing the strategic work has a big payoff. And it does because if you don’t take the time to think more prominent than the day-to-day and create the structure your business needs to grow, nothing’s ever going to change.
I was stuck in that mindset for entirely too long. Just thinking of the day-to-day, what problems are in front of me? What can I fix right now? Instead of looking at the bigger picture.
Make the strategic work in your pet sitting business a priority by planning your day ahead of time.
This is huge. Working on your business is not extracurricular. It’s not something you do on the weekend or at night after your kids are in bed. That would be more of your life taken up by your business, which is precisely what we’re trying to free you from. You absolutely must make space in your daily schedule to do this work – because as the owner, this is your real job.
I want you to plan your day ahead of time. This is a massive piece of the puzzle.
My challenge is to set aside one to two hours a day to work on your pet sitting business solely. Think about what you could accomplish in a year if you committed at least five hours a week to business growth. That’s 260 hours devoted to your business. Whoa! I want you to schedule this time on your calendar.
If you don’t schedule it, it’s just wishful thinking, and it will not happen. So every Monday through Friday from 5:30 AM to 7:00 AM, I’m working on my business. The times can vary. It doesn’t matter. This is simply a date you’re making with yourself. Don’t stand yourself up. That’s very rude.
If your day isn’t set before it begins, there’s no shot you’ll ever find the space you need to work on strategic priorities. Every business owner goes to bed the night before with great intentions, but if you don’t have the next day planned out, you inevitably fall into the familiar trap of having the day happen to you. Before you know it, it’s 8 PM, and you wonder where the time went.
So before your day begins, plan your schedule. Don’t make it the first task of the day. Don’t wake up and say, okay, I’m going to plan my day now. It needs to be done the day before because it won’t happen if you do it the day of.
Sit down at the end of each day, the night before, or in the morning before you arrive at the office. At the very least, I suggest the night before you even step foot into your workspace and get your priority tasks on your schedule.
I don’t want you sitting down at your desk where you work, checking your email, and then having the ambition to do your daily planning. Something else like an email, a customer, some fire you have to put out will demand your immediate attention, and your priorities will be sidelined. So if you’re going to do it in the morning of, do it before you enter your workspace, so you don’t get sidetracked.
Create systems for your life.
At Pet Nanny Coach, creating systems for your pet sitting business is a big part of what we do. Owners come to us looking for systems to give them control over all the critical parts of their businesses, produce order out of chaos, and create consistency and predictability that eliminate overwhelm and boost their businesses value.
Systems rule. And yes, systems do all of this and can ultimately help you create a business that better serves the life you dream of having. But to truly transform your business, you also need systems in your life.
In all my time working with business owners, I’ve learned how much business impacts life and how life can impact business. Imagine this: Every morning, you struggle to get your kids off to school, which creates a ripple effect. As a result, you get on the highway 10 minutes later than you want – a critical 10 minutes that means traffic is much worse – so you get to your first visit later, which pushes out the next one. So the whole day, you’re playing catch up, and it all started with getting your kids out the door on time.
There’s a system, pack their lunches and lay out their clothes the night before. Kids get bathed the night before and do not put the TV on in the morning. Four straightforward things that you can do that will keep you on track in the morning. I know this seems simple, but most won’t create and stick to this system.
I have a girlfriend. I was at her house one morning, and it was utter chaos. And the kids are always late, and they don’t have coats, forget their lunches, and forget their money. And I think if she just did these four things, her life would be so much easier, but she won’t do it.
To help you work on yourself as a leader:
- Work on yourself in your own life.
- Look at your life and ask what’s happening that negatively impacts your ability to be present and conscious enough to do the strategic work of your business.
- Develop a routine that takes you from a reactive to a proactive state of mind – and stick to it.
That’s the goal here. We’re always trying to be proactive with our time instead of just reacting to things that happen to us day in and day out.
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