One of the most important qualities that leads business owners to success is being a self-starter. Within this quality is the ability to manage time for achieving life’s dreams and goals. So much has been written and spoken about time management, but what is the controlling factor that affects how we use our time?

People say it is having a passion for what we do and want. Others say it is sticking to a plan, or being accountable to someone. It is probably all of that plus “awareness.” Here is what I mean by awareness. If you haven’t tapped into a passion then it is easy to get distracted. If you haven’t set goals and created the plans to achieve them, then it is easy to lose sight of where you are going. Being accountable to someone says to me you have to be clear about where you are going in order to ask someone to help you hold the vision of what you want.

Time is a precious gift that gives you the ability to learn and grow. So awareness of how you are using time affects your progress.

What do you need to be aware of?
1. Are you abdicating your “gift” of time to others?
2. Are attitudes from a past condition affecting your time responses?
3. Are you aware of what your time is worth?
4. Are you aware of the habits that automatically control your actions?

With awareness, these things can lead to that self-starter quality:
1. You will be able to say NO to the things that lead away from your goals and plans.
2. You will take responsibility for the control and use of your time.
3. You will make better choices about how and where to invest your time when you know what your time is worth.
4. You can be in control of your own time and direct its investment in activities that have personal meaning and worth.

So how can you begin this awareness process?

Ask the right questions – what needs improvement?
What went well? This is your playback of what worked for you and what is working in the business. It allows you to look back to the extent required to give you a proper perspective on the present impact changes might have on the business, your results and your market.

Have Goals that excite you and results that will get you there. By keeping clearly set measurable goals with specific timelines in front of you — as well as carefully thought-out action plans to help you hit those goals you will have a reminder of what is important to you.

Know what your time is worth. Unless you do and evaluate the time cost of what you do, it is almost impossible to make a correct decision or evaluate properly what action to take in any given situation. Review how much time you spend in a week on the high priority and low priority areas of your business, it will give you a “big” awareness.

The Challenge: Begin your day with a list of 5 things you want to accomplish. Your awareness of what is important will be strengthened and you will better enjoy the benefits of these activities.