Are you managing your time effectively? As coaches & consultants we’re bad about falling into the trap of counting every hour at the computer as “work time”. Let’s be honest for a minute. How much of that time is spent browsing your Facebook timeline, checking the latest Instagram post or going down the rabbit hole of “research”. That last one I have been guilty of. As a “Fact Finder” I can lose hours to research on all types of subjects.
The truth is we are all guilty, but to be more profitable and productive we have to manage our time effectively. While the ideas below will take effort on your part to implement, the end result will be to spend less time chained to your computer and more time doing what you do best in your business and doing the things you love.
Make A Plan And Break It Down
Start by figuring out what you need to get accomplished. What’s that next big project and what ongoing tasks need to be taken care of in order to get the project done successfully? What are the daily and weekly tasks? Write all of this out. Use mindmapping software, pen and paper or Evernote to get the plan and information out of your head.
If you’re working on a new coaching program, that might involve outlining what you want to teach, writing the training modules, editing and formatting, creating worksheets and slides and figuring out how you’ll sell and deliver the program.
In addition you may have daily or weekly tasks like blogging, filing, bookkeeping, emailing your subscribers, interacting on social media sites and being present in Facebook & LinkedIn groups, etc.
Figure out what you need to get done over the coming weeks and write it down. Knowing what you should be working on to be more profitable is half the battle.
Write Out Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists
Next it’s time to write out your to-do list. Start with everything you’ve written down in the last step and break it down into daily or weekly tasks. Use whatever method works best for you. My to do list app of choice is Nozbe. I use Nozbe to track what I need to do and how long it will take.
Use a weekly list if you prefer working on larger tasks or projects all day long, or try daily lists and break larger projects up into manageable chunks that you can accomplish in just a few hours or less. I personally prefer a weekly list with tasks listed each day. I call this my weekly schedule. Every week I make one out and shoot it over to my accountability partner. I put the tasks that I decide to work on from Nozbe and client work and meetings. I also put down my personal obligations. It’s a great way to see everything in one place.
Whatever you choose to use make sure that you use it daily!
Set A Time And Get To Work
The tasks on your to-do list will take as long as you allow them to take. Parkinson’s Law is true – “work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion.” To stay productive use a timer and the Pomodoro Technique to get your to-do’s done. Pick an item on your list, estimate how long it should ideally take you to get it done and then set that timer.
I use the Pomodoro Technique modified as a Power 90. Which means I focus on a task or project for 90 minutes at a time. Then take a break in between doing something not work related.
Continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. When you incorporate these tools and habits into your business you will become more profitable in your business and have more fun doing what you love.
You bet it is!
Time management has been written and discussed for years. What can I say that probably already hasn’t been said? Not very much. But I can tell you my story and how I manage my time. I can also share with you tips that I use with my clients to effectively manage their time. Even though a lot has been written on the subject all of the tips and information out there are still effective and useful for everyday use. Just applying one tip can dramatically change how you manage your time.
Because I run several businesses and have a children, I must be really on top of my management of time skills. A few things that I use to stay organized is to say NO to things that I am not absolutely passionate about. I used to overbook myself, but learned that by saying no has freed up valuable time to do other things that I enjoy and mean the most to me; like time with family. I also schedule in me time. This is so important because in today’s world it is easy for you to forget to pamper yourself and take time out for yourself. I am big on goal setting and planning. I write down goals that I want to accomplish every year with tasks to reach that goal and deadlines. I put it over my desk and planner so that I can always know where I am headed. I also set aside a day each week to plan out my week. You can do this nightly or weekly or monthly. It just depends on your preference.
I have clients who plan a week and some who plan a month. Personal preference is the key. I also keep a paper calendar and use my smart phone for taking with me on the go. I make sure to sync everything at night. If morning is better for you do that.
Managing your time does not have to be a hassle. Simple steps and changes can free up valuable time to spend with friends and family or with yourself.
6 Time Management Tips To Get Started:
- Delegate what you can’t do and do what you can.
- Use email and voicemail when possible to relay your message. This saves time from getting into long conversations.
- Set a time limit for reading and responding to email, say 15-20 minutes.
- Schedule tasks in your planner or smart phone that help you get closer to completing your goals.
- Schedule time for yourself!
- Say NO!
This post originally appeared on our sister site Help-Organize-Life.com.
Busy work is the thief that steals your productivity without you even knowing it. You get to the end of your day and realize that you haven’t made any real progress on your goals. Maybe you re-organized your desk, filed a paper or two, or some other task that wasn’t urgent. But you haven’t done anything to truly help you build your business.
Types of Busyness
There are 3 types of busyness to look out for that can derail your work and day.
Busyness = Urgent
The important thing to understand about being busy is that it feels urgent. However, busyness never adds value to your business. An example of busyness would be checking your social media accounts every time your phone dings. Doing this makes you feel productive even though you aren’t.
⏰To combat this you may need to turn off all notifications especially during work hours.
In order to say no to busyness, you have to be willing to say ‘no’ to seemingly urgent tasks. For example, if you’re working on a client project and you get a message that it’s time to update your website software, then it’s easy to stop working on the client project and start updating your website. This can get you off track. Before you know it, your day is over and the client project is still waiting for you to pick it back up where you left off and finish it.
⏰To combat this type of distraction note somewhere like your planner or task manager that your software or whatever the interruption was so that you don’t lose the information but can come back at a later time to take care of it.
Busyness = Procrastination
For many people, busyness is a form of procrastination. It might not look like procrastination. In fact, you may tell yourself that before you start on a project, you just need to make a giant to do list and organize your resources.
If you want to say no to busyness, you have to understand that it causes you to make a lot of plans. But it’s the follow through that makes the difference.
⏰To combat this type of busyness do what I have started to do. I plan my week out on Sundays. This helps me to get things done and not be wasting time when I sit down at my desk in the mornings to start work.
Busyness = Overwhelm
Busyness frequently masks overwhelm. Maybe you’re overwhelmed at the thought of learning new app or program or creating a webinar. So you spend most of your time doing less important tasks instead of focusing on what’s going to grow your business. I’m guilty of this one.
If you find that you’re using busy work to avoid overwhelming projects, try to sit down and pick a deadline for just one task. You might say, “By [whatever date you choose], I will hire a virtual assistant that can install this software and teach me how to use it”. Or by such and such date I will record and upload that video to my membership site.
In order to keep busyness from stealing your productivity, you have to understand what it is. And even more importantly, you need to know why you’re doing it, so you can get to and tackle the real root of the problem.
So I hope that you are able to see where you may be letting these 3 areas prevent you from accomplishing your goals and doing the important things in your business.
As I take time this Sunday to read and relax, I am reminded that it is true that if you don’t plan then you plan to fail. The only way for things to get done with me is to actually carve out time to do it.
I have so many things that never get done or finished because I don’t take time to do it. So this Sunday, I am taking time to plan my posts and projects for next week that I want to get finished.
What will you take time to plan out today? Let me know below!
Teenagers are super busy these days. Between school, homework, socializing, extracurricular activities, tech gadgets, and jobs, teens are being pulled in many different directions. It is vital that when it comes to important things like school work that teenagers use their time wisely and stay focused.
But how can your teen get things done with so many distractions? They can get things done by overcoming the following 3 time wasters.
One of the biggest time wasters for teens is procrastination. They tend to put things off until the last minute. You most likely have found your teen doing homework at the breakfast table or in the car on the way to school. They have put off doing their homework the night before, or the week before, and now they are cramming it all in during the last moments before it’s due. We have all been there, even as adults.
To overcome this time waster, the parent must consistently remove distractions from their teenager. This means reminding them that they don’t get to do anything until their homework is done. Set a time for your teenager to do homework. Use a kitchen timer or digital timer like this one. Turn off the television, the computer, the phone, or whatever it is that is causing your teenager to procrastinate.
Sometimes, a few gentle reminders is enough motivation to get them moving.
We live in a world full of gadgets, electronics, all the goodies we love. It’s quite normal to see teenagers on their iPhones, iPods, iPads, iEverything all day and night. It’s no wonder their time is so easily eaten up and ‘wasted’ with these distractions at their fingertips 24/7.
To help combat this time waster, you’re going to need to set some boundaries for your teenager. Perhaps you’ll want to assign certain times for when they can use their tech gadgets. If your teen knows that at a certain time every day they can click on, tune in, surf, text, and get connected, they will power through their work, not wanting to waste a single second, so they can get to their ‘gadget time.’ It may be a bribe, but it works.
If adults have a hard time getting things done in an unorganized space, how much more difficult do you think it must be for teenagers. Having an unorganized space can cause anyone’s mind to wander even more than usual, especially your teen. And we know that distractions keep teenagers from focusing on the task at hand.
It’s pretty simple to overcome this time waster.
- Make sure your teenager’s work area is as clutter-free and organized as possible. You can use things like bins, shelves, a wall calendar, and color-coded folders to help your teenager be more organized.
- Don’t take on this responsibility all by yourself. Teenagers are perfectly capable of keeping their area clean and organized once you help them get set up. Don’t become an enabler by doing it for them.
Teaching your teenager how to overcome time wasters and distractions isn’t an easy task, but it can be done. Overcoming time wasters is a good skill to learn as a teenager, as it will benefit them for their entire lifetime.
Photo Credit: 123rf.com
Would you like to feel more in control of your day? Developing a morning routine that will boost your productivity can help you stay on top of your commitments all day. Many people benefit from rising early and following a set routine every morning. This may be hard for some, but it might be just what you need to feel more in control of your daily life.
Use these tips when developing a morning routine for yourself:
- Avoid making too drastic of a change. Begin the process slowly. Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Allow yourself to get used to this over a few days to a week. After that increase the time by 15 to 30 minutes until you are finally at your target wake-up time.
- Allow yourself to go to sleep earlier. Staying up too late when you’re trying to get up earlier will have negative consequences. Believe me I know. I’m a night owl and have to make myself go to bed every night. I actually have an alarm on my phone that tells me it’s time to go to bed which is helpful when you are working on something and lose track of time.
- Keep your alarm clock away from your bed. If you keep your alarm clock close to your bed, you’ll hit the snooze button and destroy your chances of getting used to a new morning routine. Keep your alarm clock far enough away from your bed so that you have to get out of bed to cut it off. And when you do that make sure you don’t climb back under the covers.
- Leave the bedroom as soon as your alarm wakes you. Avoid rationalizing going back to bed. I have to say that when I don’t just go ahead and make the bed and leave out I am more tempted to get back in the bed and put off getting up. If you work from home this can be really unproductive. Make yourself leave the room. Once you are out of the room and have started getting ready for work you are less likely to go back and lay down.
- Have your routine mapped out ahead of time. Plan something important to do first thing in the morning. If you have a specific task to do early in the morning, then this will motivate you to wake up and get going.
- Follow the same morning routine daily. If you practice the same basic steps every day, you’ll form a habit that will become second nature and make your morning easier.
- Take advantage of your extra time. Don’t wake up earlier than usual just so you can lounge around. Avoid wasting this extra time that you’ve created in your schedule. Use it to get a jump on your day, doing tasks that are best done in the early morning, such as reading, writing, and planning for the day.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide the best choice for you when developing an early morning routine. These 7 tips should help you make the right decisions and form a strong foundation for your new morning routine. When you set up a good morning routine, it will drive your productivity throughout the day.
Image credit: ariwasabi / 123RF Stock Photo