Our latest guest on the #GoWithThePro Twitter chat was the fabulous Tiana Wilson-Buys – Business Consultant and “Get Stuff Done” Business Coach.

Tiana works with micro and small businesses, both start-ups and established businesses and is an expert in the creation and implementation of systematic and strategic, goal-driven development plans.

Here’s Tiana’s advice on managing your time #LikeAPro, in her own words.

Q1. During the first year in business, it’s tempting to focus on delivering for our clients. Why does this approach not work?

Of course we want to deliver! That’s why we are in business BUT focusing exclusively on client work will mean slower business growth and a slower overall evolution for your own business.

It is vital for business growth to ring-fence time – every week – to work on your own business development. I suggest you allocate at least one time block for this (maybe 3-5 hours).

Q2. Time is our most valuable asset. Yet many of us struggle to manage it well. What are the barriers to great time management?

There are several common barriers to great time management:

  • Distractions
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of clarity
  • No accountability
  • Lack of planning
  • Lack of good habits

If you could commit 1 hour of planning on Friday afternoon, for next week – you will make a big, positive impact on your time management. This alone will knock out at least three of those barriers

Q3. What are your tips for achieving our goals and taking back control of our time?

My top tip to take back control of your time is planning. If it isn’t scheduled, it probably won’t get done, so schedule it!

Divide your time into Time Chunks and allocate types of tasks to each Chunk.

For example: One Chunk for content creation and one chunk for admin. A Chunk can be as long as you need it to be (mine is 3 hours).

Make sure you schedule every type of task, every week – so don’t neglect business development and your goals. Aim to progress every single week.  Schedule it!

Q4. Accountability helps with keeping on track. If we can’t afford a business coach, what other approaches work well?

A business coach can be the most valuable member of your team. However, there are other ways to create accountability. Have you looked into joining a Mastermind group? These work very well.

We all need accountability. I have known several people who chose to have an “accountability buddy” – just a business friend – and they help each other stay on track.

Another alternative is to look into Group Coaching. Many business coaches offer this service and it is usually very cost effective. It gives you access to a coach AND peer accountability.

Q5. Many of our members are working parents. Sometimes life happens. How can we ensure we still have enough time for everything?

Firstly, only schedule enough tasks for 75% of your day. Don’t over-commit.  This leaves 25% of your time for in case life happens (which it often does!) If life doesn’t happen, you have extra time to work on tomorrow’s tasks.

Identify your three MITs (Most Important Tasks) for each day. Nail them first. This way, if life happens, you’ll at least have completed those tasks and still moved closer to your goals.

Q6. What are your favourite time management and productivity hacks?

Don’t laugh! I love using a basic kitchen timer to help me stay focused. I’ll set the timer for 50 minutes and then crack on with a task / project until the buzzer goes off. Full focus for 50 minutes.

I do everything I can to eliminate distractions so I can focus. Turn off notifications, close all browsers, close email, lock the door. Oh, and my phone is always on silent!

Q7. You’re a successful entrepreneur with Talking Business. What marketing tips can you share for people who are just starting out?

Marketing Tip 1: The most important marketing tip is this: Deliver exceptional service! If your service is fantastic, your clients will love you and refer you to others. They will shout about you on social.

Marketing Tip 2: It is all about your network. Build solid, authentic relationships with the right people and give them as much value as possible.  

Marketing Tip 3: Be consistent. If you are publishing content, do it consistently. If you go networking, do it consistently. Consistency breeds trust.

What’s next?

Tiana shares new tips every week on her Facebook page.

If you want to learn more and share your own thoughts and ideas with other like-minded people, why not join us in the #GoWithThePro Facebook Group?

And don’t forget to join our next #GoWithThePro Twitter chats, we’ve some fantastic guests every Thursday at 8 pm UK time.