Let me ask you a question. Are you managing your time effectively?
As business owners we’re bad about falling in the trap of counting every hour at the computer as “work time”. But if we were honest with ourselves we would see a different picture. Ask yourself – How much of that time is spent browsing through Facebook, checking the latest Instagram posts or going down the rabbit hole of “research”. 🙋🏾♀️I’ll raise my hand here, because I am a “fact finder” and I’m constantly looking for everything I can find on a given subject.
So you can see that we’re all guilty of it, but to be more profitable and productive we have to manage our time effectively. While the ideas below will take some work, the end result will be to spend less time at your desk and more time away from your computer doing the things you love to do and focusing on your talent.
Make A Plan And Break It Down
Start by figuring out what you want to get accomplished. What’s your next big project and what ongoing tasks need to be taken care of on a daily or weekly basis. Don’t skip this step. They say “Those that don’t plan, plan to fail.” Don’t let that be you.
If you’re working on a new coaching program, that could involve outlining what you want to teach, writing the training course, editing and formatting, creating worksheets and slides and figuring out how you’ll sell and deliver the program.
You may have daily or weekly tasks that you need to account for. These can be blogging, social media posting or interacting in groups online. Figure out what you need to get done over the next few 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 lists. 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. I make a schedule in Google Docs and share with my accountability partner. I get what needs to be on this schedule from my Nozbe tasks and my Google Calendar. But again, use whatever method works for you. Don’t get hung up here.
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 quickly. I also use Time Blocking or “Chunking” to further help me get things done. You do this by grouping like tasks or projects together. Either in blocks of time or on specific days. So you may do all of your blog posts and writing on one day, and your video recording on another.
Set A Time And Get Working!
The tasks on your to-do list will take as long as you allow them to take. To stay productive use a timer and get them 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’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. I use it to get things done in 25 minutes blocks. I even have expanded it to 90 minute blocks I call Power 90.
Don’t forget to schedule in breaks after each block of time so you don’t burn out. Do anywhere from 5 to 10 minute breaks after each session and then a hour break after your 3rd session. Do something different like go for a walk or
Continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Do more of what’s profitable and less of what you don’t need to be doing. That is the key to getting back to loving what you do and doing it well.
Do you want to learn more things that will help your business? If so check out Sam’s Tech Academy ALL ACCESS Monthly Membership. This membership is for the entrepreneur who needs to get up to speed with technology in order to run their business.
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!