The ultimate dream for every entrepreneur is to have time to do everything, and then some. Massive amounts of self-care and family-time, tropical vacations and mountain retreats. What if I told you it’s not impossible to have more time for you?
What is effective time management? Keep reading for 5 ways you can reclaim time in your life, every single day. These are things I use in my own life, and people think I have mad time management skills. Really, I just know the importance of time management and have implemented these effective time management strategies.
Make the Decision
While you’re floundering around in a fog of indecision, you’re wasting time. I’m willing to wager that you spend a lot of time distracting yourself and actually avoiding things you know you need to get done. Want to know the solution to it? Make the decision. Almost always when we find ourselves doing these things, we’re not making any progress in any one direction, and it really comes down to avoiding the decision we need to make.
When you’re holding off on making the decision on what direction you should actually pursue, you might be doing a lot of things, and spending your precious energy all over the place, instead of focusing it on what actually needs to be completed. I can remember a lot of times I’ve wasted time on social media when I really should have been doing something else. I’ve even wasted hours reading books to escape deciding what I needed to do.
And in the end, it’s really simple to solve. Take a few minutes and really search in your mind what it is that you need to make the decision on. (You might already know…) Just decide. Yes, that seems a little harsh, but you just have to decide where you’re going in this moment. You can absolutely change your mind later. You’re never locked into something when you realize it’s not where you want to go, or it’s not getting the results you want.
Once you make the decision, you’ll find that all of the to-dos almost magically get done. You’re no longer avoiding what you need to do. Your energy and passion comes back to replace the frustration you were feeling. It’s all happening because you know how to manage time wisely.
Take Control of your Calendar
If you’re feeling like things are out-of-control in your life, one area to spend time reviewing is your calendar. Chances are you’re making a few small mistakes, and they can be fixed so you can start breathing again. These are some things I’ve had to do in my own calendar to get time for myself.
First, review how much time you are leaving between your appointments and commitments. Are you allowing drive time? Do you schedule your meetings back-to-back without restroom breaks? Do you add in an hour of unscheduled time each day to pick up slack when you’re running behind? These are all simple and effective keys to time management.
Next, if you arrange meetings with others often, you’ll want to have a scheduling system. Especially if you’re a virtual worker, freelancer, or other online business owner. In the corporate environment, companies use calendar systems to create meetings and when you have a small business, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the many scheduling systems available to you. By not having to have a discussion while reviewing your calendar every time you need to meet with someone, you can simply send them a scheduling link. Yay, less emails!
If you’re looking for a way to make your calendar work for you, you can also download the free Time Freedom Formula.
There’s my favorite word! Why? Because it’s absolute magic. Forget Abracadabra, Delegate is more magical when you want to make things happen. It’s one of my favorite time management techniques and tools.
The key to delegation is to identify those things you’re not great at, or that you don’t enjoy doing. To quickly identify them, look at your to-do list. What’s something on there you’ve been putting off? Most likely it’s something you could and should delegate to get it done. For me, one of my hang-ups is always editing video. Sure, I CAN do it. I’m not expert, and I don’t ENJOY doing it. It takes me longer than it should because of those two reasons. This is really the easiest way to find the pieces of your business that it would benefit you to unload.
If you’re not sure where you would benefit from delegating, you need to have a Book of Business. Having your entire business documented will show you exactly where you would benefit from delegating, as well as who you should delegate to. Apply for an intensive session today, and you could have it completed with only 2 hours of your time.
But really, a good rule of thumb for what you should and shouldn’t be doing day to day in your business is, either ‘if in doubt-hire it out’ or ‘if you hate it, delegate it.’ Think of these rhymes next time you’re looking at your list, and then set up a time to chat with me about making it happen.
Be strategic with your priorities
Strategy isn’t just for marketing. Yes, marketing is a huge piece of business strategy, but if you want to actually live the life you want, then strategy has to be a cornerstone of your time management process.
Let’s imagine for a minute, you have 10 minutes to wait in the carpool line at your kids’ school. How do you spend that time? You could sit and people watch, listen to some music, or scroll social media. OR, you could maximize those 10 minutes and check something off your to-do list. Do you have your list written out in small enough chunks that you have something that can be done from your phone in 10 minutes? I bet there’s a phone call you can return, or an email you can draft (even if you actually don’t send it until you get home). This is how you make a HUGE progress in a small amount of time.
Take advantage of the little in-between times. There are a lot in my days, and I bet you can find them in your day too. Even if in that 10 minutes you do a short meditation, or write in your journal, or even plan your meals for the next few days. All of the things that you’ll not do in favor of something else later, or will forget about.
When you sit and plan your day (wait, you do that every day, right?), identify three things you’ll do. That’s it. THREE things. After those are done, you can do bonus things. But if something derails you, and you did those three things, you’ve already made headway and you can feel good about your accomplishment.
How do you decide which things to work on? Refer back to your goals. You should have them written somewhere so you can always see them. What three things are going to have the biggest impact on your goal achievement each day? This is how you decide what to work on first.
And one more tip - stop buying more courses to learn more stuff. You know everything you need to know. If there’s something else you don’t know now? DELEGATE IT. You’ll regain many hours per week if you stop browsing the courses for sale, and watching content that is repeating things you’ve already heard before. Buying another course isn’t going to get you to your goals, therefore it’s not a good use of your time or money (your resources).
OK, that’s 4 effective time management skills, ready for the last one?
Use the CLEAR Strategy Method
If you’re looking at your to-do list, and you’re thinking you have no idea how to break things down into small pieces so you can get something done in those 10 minutes I mentioned above, you might want to check out the DIAMOND Goals E-Book, which includes a description of my CLEAR Strategy for breaking the goals down.
Yes, CLEAR is an acronym, and I’m not going to launch into a full lesson here, but the idea is that big goals have to be broken down into tasks, and sometimes those tasks have to be broken down into smaller tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of actually doing them.
Have you ever looked at something on your task-list and thought to yourself, that’s so hard or that’s going to take me forever? Then you know exactly the scenario I’m referring to. That’s why I even developed this method, because I was suffering from not getting things done too. It helps, I promise.
The best thing about the CLEAR method is that it’s easy to implement. The ebook has a one-page worksheet that you can print as many times as you want to use until you memorize the process.
If you desire to have the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing projects and achieving goal milestones, then you’ll definitely want to learn the art of breaking down your big goals into CLEAR tasks.
Now that you know how I make progress on my personal and business goals on my end, what comes up for you? Are you feeling ready to tackle your task-list? These are some of the benefits of time management in practical application.
Don’t forget to apply for your intensive session with me to get your Book of Business created. Abra-ca-delegate, that’s how to do business magically!