The Key Is Not To Prioritize What's On Your Schedule, But To Schedule Your Priorities
"the key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities"
Let's talk about time management! Do you ever feel like your day is passing you by and you haven't really gotten anything that you had hoped to get done for the day accomplished? Well, you're not alone!
Many of us deal with time management issues — especially those of us who work for themselves.
Instead of working at a job that is 9-5, we have one that is 24/7. And it's those 24 hours every day we have to look at, organize and strategically set up in a way the maximizes our outcome for getting tasks accomplished for work and life.
Below I wrote out my favorite time management tips and I'm hoping they help you plan and organize your workday all while getting closer to your personal goals.
The biggest lesson I've had to learn as an entrepreneur is time management. And let me tell you - it was a hard one to learn. I look at it this way. You can either run your business with lacking time management skills and work against yourself the rest of your career OR you can learn how to be a time management genius.
Running a successful business is one big net of getting things done to get you closer to your goal. The only way to do this is to know how to manage every little thing that relates to you running your business.
You don't want to run your business winging it and just going with whatever you feel like at the moment. You need to have a structure, a plan, a schedule, deadlines and you need to GET.IT.DONE. You need to be strict with work hours, and not let your business run your life. I think this goes especially for those of you like me that work out of your home. Your office is right there, in your home, and it is easy for your job to start 'ruling' your life. Sometimes it can feel like work is around you 24/7. You're always checking your phone for notifications. You're trying to squeeze in work in between making dinner and bath time. You go to bed only to be woken up by your phone binging and feeling like you need to get up just to answer that one email which we know will lead to answering just another ten more. You're stressed because you feel like you can't be there for your kids 100% and be running your business 100% no matter what, you never have enough time in the day.
Sound familiar? That was my life before I learned how to manage my time before I know how to handle 50 different projects at once. I am now running on a strict schedule; I know what I need to do when I'm in my office. My phone does not run my sleep cycle and for the first time, feel like I can be a happy, unstressed mom with my kids again. I can breathe again.
5 TIPS FOR BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT
DESIGNATE A WORKPLACE
Hint: it should not be your kitchen counter, your bed, your sofa, your patio. Pick a room or a corner in your home that when you sit down at, you know it's time to buckle down and get your work done. It's not the time to catch up on facebook or play on Pinterest. It's time to knock off items from your to-do list.
Know what time you need to start working and should be done working. It might not be a solid amount of hours; it might be three large chunks of time throughout your day. You run your business; you get to pick your hours. When you're at work, work. When you're not, then enjoy family time.
I have ONE relevant folder sitting on my desk. It's a to-do list. I have a million checklists, and it is never-ending. Anytime I have something I need to do (it could be answering a particular email, calling someone back, scheduling an appt) it gets added next in line. As I work, I check them off as I go. My bigger projects are added to the list as well - and they usually have their own to-do lists. You know how it goes. My checklists...have checklists... it's a never-ending list, but it is the one big thing that keeps me moving forward. And quick. When I get done with something I don't waste a minute thinking about what else needs to get done, I just look at my list and get it done.
If you're working on something, work on that ONE thing. Not that one thing, plus three more. The only two things you should be doing is working on something AND drinking your favorite coffee drink. That's as far as your multitasking should ever go.
Know what's important and put the focus there.
Manage your lists by working on the most important thing first and then move on to the next important thing on the list.
This goes hand in hand with knowing exactly what's on your list that holds the most value. You should be able to look at them and within a few seconds know what you need to be working on next.
This is a hard one to do for some, but I know I am more productive when my phone isn't in the same room. So I make it a point to keep it out of sight where I won't be tempted to check notifications. If you find yourself constantly picking up your phone to see what's going on, try putting it elsewhere, at least for the time being that you're at your desk working.
This is probably one of my favorite ones to do. Instead of bouncing between my inbox, blog posts, customer support, and that new online class I'm working on. I bundle my tasks together which saves me a ton of time.
Take social media posts for example. I could take 10 minutes every day to find a picture, write a status, schedule that post before moving on to something new. OR I could work on a whole month worth of social posts in 30-40 minutes. Since I'm already focusing on this, it's easy to get more done.
Time management is a hard one to master, but with the right system in place, it's possible to have days where you're getting tons of work done and getting closer to your goals.