Time Management For Builders

time management for builders title on white background with photo of Amelia Lee and Duayne Pearce from Live Life Build

Working long hours, never seeing your family, and struggling with deadlines?

Time management for builders means valuing your time, and making lifelong changes.

Watch the video now, or read the transcript below.

The Value of Time


If you don’t value your time, then no one else is going to value it.


It’s so true. One of the most common things we hear every time we make suggestions regarding time management for builders and what they could potentially do to work on their business, to improve things for themselves, you get loads of builders getting in touch with you and saying, “this isn’t working, I can’t get this to work, yada, yada, yada”. Really real problems. The common kind of thing that they’re saying all the time is, “I don’t have time”. What do you say to this in terms of this whole thing around, “I don’t have the time that I need to do the things that I want to do to make the difference I want to make”?


I was going to say, I think this is a simple one, but that’s only because I’ve been able to look back over all my hassles and sort of have a good think about things. But I really think the main reason is because they’re letting everyone around them – architects, designers, clients, trades, employees – everybody around them is controlling their time, and telling them what they should be doing. 

And it’s a very easy cycle to get caught into. Because, if you’re not scheduling things, if you’re not prioritising things, and you’re literally just jumping in your truck and driving around each day, you might have in your mind, what you’re going to get done. You might even have in your mind that you’ve told the wife you’re going to pick up kids or whatever it may be. And basically from 6:30 the phone starts ringing. You get to a site, everyone swarms you, you start putting out fires everywhere. You set no expectations with people. 

They’re not looking at the documents you’re giving them, so they’re coming to you for all the information they should already have. And it just keeps snowballing and snowballing until it’s 4:30 in the afternoon, you’ve rung the missus, they’ve had to pick the kids up because you’ve just got no time.

Are You A People Pleaser?


Yeah. And it’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Because I mean, builders, they’re people pleasers by nature. I see builders all the time, they’re bending over backwards to try and make other people happy. 

At the same time, I reckon too, that as humans, we can get a bit addicted to the need to be needed.  When you do put yourself into a position where you are just the one constantly putting out fires, constantly reacting to things, that can actually become quite addictive, because you’re the one that everybody needs to solve all their problems. And all of a sudden, you’re letting your day run away from you, and you’ve literally been on the back foot the whole time. But, you’ve potentially been fulfilling a need, that’s not that healthy for you as well. 

I Don’t Have Time!


Just sitting here and now having this conversation, I think you’ve actually just hit the nail on the head when you talk about getting addicted to it. 

And I think, looking back to where I was, and being the person I was, dealing with a lot of anxiety, depression, that addiction was taking my mind off the horrible stuff. So, it was very easy to just keep saying I had no time, because actually, I was using that excuse because that was taking my mind off everything else. It was keeping me motivated, it was keeping me busy. And probably the most important thing was, it was filling my day up. So I had no space to drift off and think about other things. 

I know of a lot of guys out there and girls in those sorts of situations. It took me years to get out of that. And it took me years to realise how easy it was to get out of that. I think probably the biggest thing that I took away from it now being where I am is if you don’t value your time, then no one else is going to value it.


 It’s so True.

Scheduling – The Key to More Time


And we say, so much with Live Life Build and even personally with what we do, if you’re not setting the standard and scheduling and prioritising your time to do the hobbies, the family, the pick up kids, drop kids off, date nights, all those types of things, then everyone else is just going to keep filling your time up with things that you don’t really want to be doing.


There’s something we say to our members a lot is that you teach people how to treat you. And so if you’re constantly teaching people that you’re on tap for what their needs are not your own needs and priorities, then you’re actually teaching them to continue to treat you that way. 

That whole thing of really getting caught up in the need to be needed, the attachment to work, the ego boost even, that you’ve been the one to solve the problem, which can then deal with the fact that you’re feeling lacking worthiness in other parts of your life or not feeling great about what else is going on for you personally.

You come home at the end of the day and you say, “oh, gosh, I’ve had such a busy day”. If you’ve made the decision, okay, I want to step away from that now, I actually want to take back control of my time, what do you suggest are some of the first steps that builders can do to put this into place?


Well, don’t be scared. I think one of the big things that sort of takes over and because we think if we’re not putting out all those fires, who’s going to do it?

So if we’re not turning up on site, letting everyone swamp us, knowing what’s on the drawings, explaining things to people. If we’re not making those calls, suggestions, whatever it may be, that things are going to go wrong. But the reality is that things will actually start to improve and get better. So it’s about finding strategies. Everybody’s going to be different. But finding strategies and implementing. Find the one thing, the easiest, simplest step and just start with the one thing, and then just keep progressing on that. 

It is really about strategising, prioritising, and making sure that your time is spent on things that are best for you.


And once you start to do this, it is amazing. We’ve spoken about this plenty of times before, but when you do this, and I’m not just saying this, I’m speaking from personal experience. When you start to do this, everything around you improves. Your employees get better, your trades get better, your communication with suppliers get better, your family life, your relationships, all that stuff all starts falling into place. I think your mind opens up, you feel like this weight lifts off your shoulders, you think a lot clearer. So, it’s a really really important thing to do and it’s an important thing to put effort into.

We talk a lot in Live Life Build how important personal wellbeing is to your business success. As part of time management for builders you need to look at taking care of yourself and prioritising what is important – check out this article for some more tips: https://www.livelifebuild.com/blog/personal-where-to-start-building-business/.


And it takes some courage I think to actually acknowledge that this is where you’ve got to. That you’re letting everybody else dictate your time that it’s actually probably not the healthiest thing for you. If it is because you’re escaping from things that might be more confronting to face. And so taking back control of your own time, and then putting the practices in place to make sure that you can set yourself up for success.

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