How To Effectively Manage Your Time As A Coach/Consultant

How To Effectively Manage Your Time As A Coach/Consultant

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.

strategy call

How You Can Keep A Consistent Calendar When You Like Paper & Digital Methods

How You Can Keep A Consistent Calendar When You Like Paper & Digital Methods

 I received an email from a client of mine who admitted to having a hard time being consistent about keeping a calendar and to do list because they are torn between using their phone and also wanting to write down on paper.

Q: I am inconsistent with keeping a calendar, be it paper or electronic. I can’t decide which is better for me, although I think the answer is both. I like to write (I have stickies EVERYWHERE), but then I like the reminders on my phone. I have downloaded several “to-do” apps, but can’t decide which I like best. Any suggestions?

Here is what I answered and this may help to free you also to do what is best for you and to go with your instinct.

A: I keep an electronic calendar, but I keep a paper to do list. I like to write things out too, but love the convience of having it on my phone when on the go. So decide to use both. You can use an electronic calendar, but do your to do’s on paper. You could then scan your to do list in Evernote or just take a picture of it daily so that it is with you throughout the day. This is why I like Evernote because I can take a photo of my papers that I write out and have with me on any device. Evernote is free software and has apps for every device. So use both is my recommendation. That’s how I got over feeling guilty about not using just one. I found that a combination of the two worked best for me and I think that may be the case with you too.

Key Takeaway

It is very easy to get confused and ultimately stuck when it comes to marrying digital and paper together. You hear so much advice on just pick one, but that isn’t necessarily the truth for everyone. I am quite productive using both methods because it just feels right for me. And I found a way to marry the two and never be without my information.

Which method do you prefer to keep your calendar and to-do list? Are you team paper or team digital? Let me know in the comments below.