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We all want to feel good, and not feel bad. Therefore, we prefer that change be comfortable. Sometimes it is. Most of the time it’s not. As you may have heard said in the fitness world, “No pain, no gain.” You want to slim your waistline? Bigger muscles? You earn that progress through discomfort. You’re going to sweat, and it’s going to burn. Sure, you’ll feel great afterward, but the process is going to hurt. That’s how you know it’s working. That, and seeing the results when you stick with it over time.

Business change works exactly the same way. In my experience as a coach, it’s your relationship to discomfort that makes all the difference. Leadership is a challenge, so working on yourself as a leader should feel like a workout. You are intentionally doing things that make you uncomfortable to improve yourself and your business. It’s not easy. But it doesn’t have to lead to burnout. In fitness, it’s called over-training. In business, it’s called overwhelm.

Having more time in your day is right there for the taking, but you have to accept some discomfort to get there. Over the years, the most successful clients I’ve had are the ones willing to accept this short-term ‘pain’ for the long-term benefit.

  • Can you leave the house every morning in sixty minutes flat?
  • Can you cut your lunches to thirty for a while?
  • Can you say “No” to some brilliant and fun projects that you know you can’t really focus on?
  • Can you train someone on your staff today to handle three things that you know you shouldn’t be dealing with as the business leader?
  • Are you willing to post office hours for the only times of the day where employees can interrupt you?

Some of these things may sound easy but putting it into practice is another story. Going out of our normal routine can be very uncomfortable. Just remember why you’re doing this – it’s in the best interest of the business and you as the owner.

In the end, you’ll realize that “I don’t have time” is almost never true, it’s just that you haven’t yet made the difficult choices about how you use your time. And making those choices is the first step to creating a business that works.

Not enough sales, people problems, cash flow issues, etc. – are all symptoms – they’re all a call to face the discomfort directly and solve it first by making the time. Then you’ll have your strength to be able to lift the real weights of finance or management systems or whatever your business needs next. It all begins with you.

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No Pain, No Gain: How to Manage Time Management