How To: Manage Your Time (before it manages you!)

Time is a fleeting thing. We never, ever, ever have enough of it.

How many times a week do you say “I need more hours in the day!”? I say it at least once a week… and it always ends the same, still never enough time.

 

But let’s be honest folks, we have to be, we have the exact same 24 hours a day that Beyonce does and Queen B is KILLING IT! Do you think she sits and goofs off on Facebook for hours a day every day? Do you think she doesn’t plan her day, doesn’t use every moment, doesn’t multi-task, doesn’t delegate, doesn’t leave some things undone?

Seriously, I promise you she does.

 

Steps to Manage your time:

1. Find where you spend your hours every day.

Here is my weekly calendar, this is where I spend my time each week. You need to make one of these for yourself. You can see I have set aside specific hours for specific tasks every day of the week (except Sunday, I like to leave that one blank)

2. Determine what things you CANNOT move.

For me I cannot move church services or chorus or Saturday events. Those days and times are static. For those who work outside the home add first your 8-5 work time, make sire you add your lunch break in, then add your religious time, then add your kids athletic events, etc. What sort of time do you have left? What white spaces are there?

 

3. Add 20 minutes at a time for business time.

You’ve got white space on your weekly calendar and I promise you that it is at least 20 minutes, write in their “business time”, these times will be first thing in the morning, will be during lunch time, will be right after work, will be during the slow times in the afternoons, at night after dinner while you’re watching a boring moving that your husband or kids chose, it can be any time that you have available. Now that you know what your days look like and you’ve seen the white spaces, fill them with business time. You have three 20 minute spaces that a total of ONE HOUR a day to spend working. That’s huge, that’s 7 hours a week, just imagine how your entire business would change spending that amount of time on it every week.

 

4. Give yourself downtime

Like with any other activity in the world working a business all the time will burn you out. Build in break time. Example, look at my Sunday’s they are empty after church. That’s my time to relax, to go to the beach, to spend time with Solomon, to even just take a nap. Make sure you have that time, it is necessary and you must have it.

 

5. Recognize your peak and valley times

Welcome to humanity. We all have good and bad times of the day when we are at our best and at our worst. We don’t say things like early bird or night owl just because we say them, folks really do have their best times of the day. What is yours? When do you get the most work done? Early morning? Mid-morning? Mid-day? Late at night? Figure that out. You’re going to need that.

Once you have that determined then set your most arduous tasks during that time, the tasks that you don’t *really* want to do, put those first in that optimal time so that when you’re at your best you’ll finish your least favorite tasks first and fasts. It’s weird, I know, but it totally works. Try it for a few days and tell me what happens!

 

6. Use a To Do List.

I cannot stress this enough. USE A TO DO LIST. This is not negotiable. You must have a to do list. And I recommend you break it up by category. Make one for tasks at home, you know laundry, dishes, vacuuming; then make one for business, Facebook posting, blogging, team phone calls, etc; another for things at work, meeting with the boss, follow up with Sandra from purchasing, etc. The categories will help you a lot. It will force you to prioritize what tasks must be done first.

Plus, just the act of writing them down will empty your brain of all the many things that are stuffed in there and let you re-allocate that brain power for better things, like actually  working the business.

Here is my to do list. I use a big calendar with plenty of space to write on the days and write every morning the things I need to accomplish that day, and though they aren’t clearly marked, the things are indeed by category.

Some people choose to write at night the things they need to accomplish the next day. I choose not too, that just doesn’t work for me. Most of the time. I have been known at 9pm to scribble down the things I just cannot forget before I go to bed so I can get them out of my head and sleep well.

If something doesn’t get done one day add it to the next til it gets done. And trust me here, do the things you don’t want to do first.

 

7. Limit the time you have to do something

Tell me the truth, if you give yourself all day to do something you literally take all day to do it. Am I wrong? I’m not, I know I’m not because I do it too. If I give myself hours to get a task done it will take me hours to get it done.

If however I only give myself one hour a day to accomplish as much as possible for blogging I amaze myself at how much I get done in that one hour vs. all day long. So limit yourself.

Have you ever raced the microwave clock to get something done? You know, you’re reheating lunch and you’ve got 60 seconds, so you try to unload the dishwasher as fast as possible? (I cannot be the only one here) You get that dishwasher unloaded FAST! Do the same with your allotted hours. It will change what you do and how you do it! Promise!

 

There you have it. Seven easy tasks to manage your time. Do them, and remember that it takes 21 days to make a new habit so don’t stop too soon, and watch your entire world change! Most especially your business!

 

What else do you do to manage your time? What other ideas do you have for time management skills?

 

 

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