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Time-rich, Productivity Poor: How Too Much Free Time Can Create a Lack Of Results

Updated: 2 days ago

I used to proudly share that I was "time-rich" because to me, it was a powerful symbol of my success as a solopreneur. What I always failed to mention however, was the overwhelming emptiness at the opposite end of the scale and those days where I had an abundance of available time that left me oftentimes feeling lost and uncertain about what to do.


I found myself easily succumbing to distractions, frantically responding to emails, tending to social media posts, and obsessively checking numbers multiple times every morning. It was a rollercoaster of anxiety and busyness.


It was during those moments of “thumb twiddling” that I realized that having too much available time can actually be detrimental to my business and my personal life.


For my own sake and my clients, I decided to investigate further.


Conversing with a range of business people and using my own experience for context, I quickly realized that however much time one allocates to a specific action, it is often the case that we consume all of that allocated time, no matter how big or small the task, which then reinforces the idea that the allocated time was in fact the correct amount of time required to finish the task.


Wrong.


We entrepreneurs are creative, dynamic and adaptive to ever changing environments. This means that if there is a deadline to meet in four weeks or in two, we will strive to achieve our goal whatever the time frame.


This leads to the realization that we can achieve more in a shorter period and the real art is finding that sweet spot between over-compensating and pushing ourselves too hard.


Solopreneur considering what needs to be done
It's easy to get distracted from what's important in your business and life

What to do when you are time-rich and you know your business needs you?


Reconnect with the business and/or your purpose.


What I have found to be most effective is helping a person get quiet and take the time to relax to just be. It’s amazing how little we do of this, even when we aren’t particularly busy.


In this state, we revisit the business vision, exploring its existence and necessity in the present day, which may have changed since its inception.


Once we rekindle the connection to our business's purpose, we embark on a soul-searching journey to identify what's undeniably vital to bring our dreams to life. Among the myriad possibilities, we lovingly handpick the one or two elements that ignite our passion and temporarily set aside the rest.


We next estimate how long these objectives will take and reduce that timeline and/or our operational work-time by approximately 20% , in an attempt to locate the “sweet spot”.


One final consideration is then deciding how these actions will be implemented and most importantly when considering running an autonomous business, by whom or what?


Choose how the top two tasks will be done, by whom, what and when, anddecide how you’ll review or check if necessary.



How time-rich and effective are you being?


Where are you on the time-wealth scale and where would you love to be?


If you're still here with me, I extend a heartfelt invitation to pause and deeply reflect on the precious time you possess in contrast to your most fervent desires, both in your professional journey and your personal aspirations.


In my case, at the time I made my enquiries, I was driving growth in my business and decided to be more present and found myself unsure and confused by what to do and when in order to achieve that. Because I had so many open spots on my calendar, I became overwhelmed by choice and feel into a habit of doing things “just to do them” and feel busy.


I wasn’t truly connected with my purpose.


On the other hand….


…you may not even need to be doing more in your business right now. You may not be pushing for growth or expansion at the moment and that’s fine too.


In this case, I challenge you to consider what you are not doing at work and your personal life and from a list, choose one to add to your calendar each week and experience the joy of living a time-rich and fulfilling lifestyle.




Wishing you the absolute very best,

Stefano







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