Enough time is something we all feel we lack, from the seemingly never ending to do list to those big projects or events we want to tackle. We do our best to avoid acting like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland yelling “i’m late! I’m late!” to every appointment, dance class, or meeting. Not everything may be on a schedule, even if we take account for the time spent in traffic. So how do you manage time within your busy schedule & business? In this post I deep dive into my personal time blocking & time management hacks to keep your head afloat, generating a positive relationship with your day planner. Sit back, relax, and breath out any stress you have with time, because the fact is, time is really an illusion. So let’s create a perspective & plan that works for you.
So how can you create better time management skills within your business?
- Start your day with a clear vision & focus on the tasks at hand by writing a list
- You can achieve this by clearly planning out your day the night, the day or even the week before.
- A great way to do this is by creating your own personal time blocking calendar.
- I’d advise you to make a general list for your week as well, and can be revised along the way. We all know little things pop up.
- Write a list of tasks that need to be done, and integrate them into your schedule.
- Even something as simple as writing down what needs to be accomplished that day can alleviate a load of stress by seeing the tasks right in front of you.
- We often over exaggerate, how many things we have to do or the time it will take to complete them, but the reality is, when we break it down on paper we can clearly visualise what needs to be completed and the time it will take to complete it.
- Create a system for how you like to write these lists; handwritten, typed in notes, in trello with its own checklist, recording a voice memo for yourself, in picture form on Pintrest etc. Whatever helps you get job done and keeps you on track, do that!
- It’s easy to feel overwhelmed even after making a list, but when you break down that tasks at hand into what is most important, and what needs to get done first then you can actually get started!
- From there you can estimate how long something may take, from there once you are done, you can cross it off of your list and move on to the next task.
- Time can be on your side if you choose it too, as I said before It really is an illusion, so make your list, prioritize and before you know it you’ll get everything you needed to get done that day, and even have some time to spare to relax.
- When prioritising tasks, ask yourself these questions:
What does my my team or students need most from me right now?
What is the one task I can do to move my business forward?
Are there any income generating tasks that are a priority?
What will cause the most trouble if it doesn’t get done?
What is the biggest contribution I can make right now?
Which strategic tasks do I need to deal with today to help us work smarter tomorrow?
- Minimise distractions
- The more uninterrupted time you can get in one time block, the better! You will get more tasks completed & more efficiently.
- What are the activities that tend to disrupt your work the most? From there you can create a solution, and always be one step ahead of the game.
- It is important to know your weaknesses and what distracts you, to make you stronger, and more focused, so you can be over prepare for when they come knocking on your door.
- Some obvious tips could be exiting out of your email so you aren’t tempted to open it every time it brings, shut down facebook and put your phone onto airplane mode.
- Limit multitasking
- Many of us multi-task and believe that we are being more effective within our schedule, but evidence suggests that when we do not effectively focus on one thing at a time, we actually to get less done, and take more time completing multiple tasks rather than one whole task.
- A great tip is to plan your day in sections; just like how you prioritise your daily list and set specific times for each tasks, or meetings. This can help you assess how much you can accomplish that day within your given hours. A list can feel daunting if it’s just a long list of todo’s with no time frame.
- Whenever you find yourself multitasking, stop and sit quietly for a minute, then look back to your list,
- Learn to say NO
- It can seem challenging to turn down invitations to certain fun events, parties etc. But there are going to be times when running your business where you have to say no and politely decline.
- This does not mean you can never have fun, go out with friends, or have date nights for the rest of your life. But once again, when you learn to prioritise, this also means that some events will not correspond with your schedule.
- Learning to say no can be quite empowering. Taking the time to put you and your dreams first, is not a selfish act, but rather a practice of true integrity.
- Once you completed what you set out to do, it will be much more rewarding to spend the time away from your business knowing everything is running smoothly, rather than leaving it hanging with important unfinished tasks.
- Review what you accomplished at the end of the day
- Once you have completed your day, right before you write tomorrow’s list, check off all that you accomplished that day.
- This will boost your confidence and give you a sense of pride knowing all that you accomplished in that day.
- If you feel like you didn’t get it done? Create a separate list with the ONE main thing you are going to do for tomorrow. Once completed you can move onto the remaining tasks. But NEVER until you finish the ONE THING.
- This is modelled off a fantastic book called: “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is a non-fiction, self-help book written by authors and real estate entrepreneurs” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. I would highly recommend you grab a copy!
- Reviewing how long a task took for the future is also a good idea to take note of. So when you see it again on your list for days to come, you can say “ I can fit that in my schedule between A & B because it takes X amount of time”
- Some great apps to help with productivity:
- Pomodoro: is an app that has a timer and countdown to a short break.
- Clock app on your phone – set it and don’t stop until the alarm goes.
- Forest: you set the time you want to work and leave the app open. During the time if you try and click out of it, it will ask you if you want to break focus? Keeps you on track and you can see a little seed growing into a big tree once the time us up.
- Turn off notifications on your desktop.
Remember not to freak out over time, and tasks. Take one thing at a time, make your lists, prioritise, focus on your goals and dreams, and slowly keep climbing that mountain of success, because time is on your side.
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