Business Secrets Podcast Episode 13: How To Manage Your Time

This is a transcript from the Business Secrets Podcast With Robert Kanaat. Click here to view and subscribe on iTunes

Hello and welcome to another episode of Business Secrets. My name is Robert Kanaat. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Today what I wanted to talk to you about is something that impacts the entrepreneur a great deal. That is time management.

People always ask me, “Hey Robert, how do you get so much done all the time? Are you always working, or what is it that you’re doing?” The truth is that it’s not that. It’s that I just know how to manage my time really well. The thing about time that a lot of people don’t really talk about is that time is one of our most important resources. It’s not actually money, it’s not actually people or networks or anything else. It’s really time.

So let me just tell you why it is time. It’s because money can be saved and earned and pilfered and invested, and you can do all sorts of stuff with money – but not with time. So once the time is gone, it’s gone forever. You are never ever getting that time back. I laugh, but it’s so serious. Because if you actually want to get ahead in life, if you actually want to make some serious progress, then you have to be acutely careful about your time. You’ve got to be meticulous with tracking your time.

Now I know that it sounds like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to track my time and I’ve got to put all this energy into figuring out what I’m doing.” But that’s only in the beginning, right? So you really only have to track your time in the very, very beginning and be meticulous about it. After that, it gets automatic. So it’s like any other habit, right? It develops over time. Then once you actually develop that habit, then it becomes autonomous, right? So like you start doing it automatically, you don’t think about it. You start managing your time properly. Once you start veering off track, you think – silently think in your mind, “Like, hey I shouldn’t be doing this, so I should come back over here.”

As entrepreneurs, as business owners – in order for us to scale to 7, 8, 9 figures – in the very, very beginning, it really has a lot to do with time. If you’ve ever tried to contact or you’ve been in contact with anyone who is uber successful or uber rich, you’ll notice that they are very careful of where their time goes. They’re very careful of what they say yes to as well. Because they know that each of these things is a time commitment. So anything that takes you away from your core work has to be scrutinized very, very carefully, okay? So that of course, is if you want to make some serious progress in life. If you don’t, then hey like you can pretty much do whatever you want.

But we’re talking about scaling serious businesses here, and we’re talking about the entrepreneur – and you are the business. It’s you. In the beginning it’s you, right? There are other things to talk about later down the road where– When we start scaling, we have to begin putting the right people and teams in place and systems and all that other stuff. But you always have to be careful of your time. Always. You have to pull in the right people, you have to do the right thing so that you can be a steward of your time, right? Rather than pilfering it and spending it on wherever it is that you choose to spend it.

I’m not talking about spending quality time with like your family or connecting with somebody on a deeper level. I’m talking about wasting your time. I’m talking about endlessly surfing the internet, or binge watching series on Netflix. As alluring as it might be, that time could be spent doing something else. Like even just one episode of a – for example, Netflix series – let’s say it’s 45 minutes or an hour or whatever. That time could be used so wisely if you put it somewhere else.

So a business secret, a big business secret – of course – is how you manage your time, right? Because at the core of who you are and what you do is your time. If you’re working a full time job and trying to grow a side hustle or a side business, then your time is super important to you. So you have to carefully, carefully manage your time. Don’t waste it, don’t spend it on like mindless pursuits. Put is somewhere wisely, right? Like read a book or build your business and work on passive income or any of those things, right?

But invest it wisely, because if you want to live kind of the life of your dreams later down the road, you have to invest your time wisely today. Sometimes it feels like, “Oh my God, my goals are so far out there and it’s going to take so long for me to get there – so what difference does it make what I do right now?” Well makes a huge difference, right? You’re sitting under a tree, for example. You’re enjoying the shade of a tree because 30 years ago somebody decided to plant the seed for that tree. So invest your time wisely. So you will reap what you sow, so sow the right seeds today, right? Invest the time wisely.

So basically, if you want to figure out what is the best way to manage your time, ultimately there’s pretty much one great system. It was originally created by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was later popularized by Stephen R. Covey. You guys know Stephen R. Covey. He’s – he wrote the– He wrote a really, really popular book – and I’m pretty sure that a lot of you know what that book is. It is, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” of course.

So let me explain to you what Eisenhower created and Stephen Covey later popularized, right? It was a time management quadrant system, okay? So just imagine this for a moment. All of your time, everything that you do can be categorized using two factors, just two factors, right? That is urgency and importance. So whatever you do, it can either be urgent, not urgent, right? Important, or not important. So everything can be categorized using these two factors.

Okay, so there are four quadrants basically. So four ways that we can break up all of the time that we have, or like the activities that we do in a given day. In quadrant number one, things are urgent and important. These are like short term crises, problems – stuff like that, right? So they’re not really within your control, unless you’ve been putting something off and then something goes out of control – then you have to like tame it back.

The second quadrant is important but not urgent. So think about like something that’s important to you, but it’s not urgent. So it’s important, but it’s not urgent today, right now, right? So these are definitely stuff that includes your long term strategic goal. So anything that’s going to improve your life, build your business passive income – any kind of those big like day dreamy things that are out there in the horizon, right?

Okay, so number three are urgent but not important. So these are the things you really want to try to avoid. These are distractions and interruptions for example. Like if you work in an office and people are interrupting you all day long. These are like distractions and interruptions. And that’s why you’ll often see executives setting kind of like time where you can come in and speak to them. Or a teacher having like office hours and stuff like that. Because they’re trying to get other stuff done.

Okay, so number four – and this is the one that you have to stay away from. These are the not urgent and not important activities, okay? These are like time wasters. Exactly what I just talked about, right? Going out socializing too much with the wrong people. Not talking about networking, I’m talking about socializing. Like going to bars, going to clubs and doing this too often, okay? Doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a life but it’s really easy to get carried away with stuff.

So this is also – like I said – binge watching Netflix series. I’m not going to say like I’ve never done it, but it’s not something that you should be doing or I should be doing – and it’s definitely not something that I do. So be very careful of doing things like that. Mindlessly watching television. Just kind of hanging out or just doing something else that you know you shouldn’t be doing, okay? So I don’t need to say too much more about that.

So those are the four quadrants that make up pretty much all of your time. So what you have to do is – in the very, very beginning – for example, if you are terrible at managing your time, this is what you do, okay? Okay, so listen very carefully. I hope that you take some notes about this.

So in the very first week, let’s say today, tomorrow, whatever. You wake up, you pull out a note pad – and – or you just do it on your phone. Whatever, right? Take those four quadrants. If you search “quadrant time management system,” or like, “time management,” you’ll see those four quadrants. Some people like, they list it and say it differently, but that’s basically what it boils down to. If it has a different name, it all comes down to like urgent and important.

So in the first week, list everything that you do – every 15 or 30 minute block of time, and write down what you did. Then next to it on the left hand column, put the quadrant number and circle it, okay? You have to do this for a week, right? I’m talking about – so like if you slept, obviously that doesn’t count. But like if you had breakfast, how long did you have breakfast for, right? Then what did you do after breakfast? Then you drove to work, or then you did this or whatever it is. Maybe you played an instrument or maybe you read a book? Maybe you set goals? Maybe you did something towards achieving some long term goal?

Anyways, whatever it was – write it down, and circle the quadrant next to it. At the end of the week, you have to tally everywhere you spend your time, okay? So like take all of the – all the quadrant two’s, all the quadrant three’s, all the quadrant four’s and all the quadrant one’s – and then average it out, and see where you spent the most of your time. Because this is important, right? So if you’re serious about achieving long term goals, then you’ve got to figure out where your time is going.

So if you’re largely spending your time in quadrant four, which are the time wasters – those are the not urgent and not important activities that we do, then there’s a serious problem. Because you’re not going to be able to get ahead in life, right? So you are not going to be able to build your business, scale, do anything kind of on a bigger scale. Because you’re wasting your time, right?

So your goal is to spend as much time in quadrant two as possible, right? So as you go forward, kind of look at that, right? Manage your time properly. Even if it’s like – even if you make no other changes – aside from the fact that you wake up in the morning and you spend one hour on quadrant two, right? So those are the important but not urgent activities, is long term goals.

So if you spent one hour on that every single day, the moment that you wake up, right? I guarantee you that your business and your life is going to change extraordinarily. It’s not going to happen overnight, nothing ever does, right? It takes time. But that is going to make a lasting impact on you, I can assure you that.

So I hope that this was useful to you guys. Again, like and share and subscribe on iTunes. Again, I really appreciate it. This is Robert Kanaat with Business Secrets, and I’ll talk to you guys next time.