Many of us are used to just waking up each day, going and doing as we please. We don’t want to have to put guidelines and limits around what we do, but boundaries help protect what you want to grow and produce—and right now we are specifically talking about your time. If you want more output, you have to manage the time you have so that you get more out of what you’ve got. Let’s face it, there’s never going to be 25 hours in a day, so we’ve got to make the most of what we have. Try these tips to jumpstart your time management.
Plan Each Day. Planning your day when you wake up or even the day before can help you accomplish more and feel like you have more in control of your life. This can start with a to-do list and ordering your items with the most important tasks at the tops. This increases the chances that you’ll get what you MUST accomplish done and will prevent scheduling conflicts as well.
Delegate. After you’ve made your “to-do” list, take a look and consider what items you can pass on to someone else. If you aren’t currently working with a team, consider bringing an intern on board, someone who can do the lighter tasks like filing, making post office runs, following up on routine emails. This will free you up to tackle the tasks that require your complete and undivided attention.
Set a Timer. I shared earlier how I found social media to be a major time suck. Using a timer when you are on social media may be a good way to limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Yes, social media is a great way to grow your business and get exposure for your brand, however, you must also be able to complete other tasks in a timely fashion as well. Once you get the hang of the timer, feel free to eliminate it or bring it back if you find you need it again.
Set Work Hours. Many entrepreneurs are so eager to “make it” that they don’t set official work hours. People call and email at all times of the day and night and as an eager business owner they feel obligated to reply. If this is an issue that you’re having you may want to set some boundaries and give yourself defined work hours and break times for your business. This will leave you time to love and spend time with your family as well as have a life that you can fully enjoy.
Use Your Free Time Wisely. With all that I’m trying to do for my coaching clients and my network members, my free time is divided into quality time with my husband and then there’s the downtime I have where I’m not working on a product, but I’m still listening to a podcast or learning to do something that will sharpen my skills as a business person. If there are things you want to learn to do better, remember it won’t come through osmosis. Take some of your downtime and turn it into a learning session. Read a book instead of turning on the TV or put on a podcast while you’re folding laundry or doing something else that doesn’t require too much attention so that you can still focus on what the podcast is teaching you.
Hopefully this will help set you on the path to better time management.