Time management. I know. This old chestnut that we hear all. the. time as entrepreneurs. It probably goes hand in hand with the word productivity, but it’s SOOOO important.
I also believe that ‘time management’ and ‘productivity’ are often overused and we can get so caught up in how we’re working, are we doing this or that, we are also bombarded left right and centre by social media and what everyone else is doing, that this focus on working the best we can can actually becomes counter-productive and keeps us stuck and swimming around in a sea of distractions, or brimming with imposter syndrome that we must have to do something different to what actually are doing to succeed.
A lot of how you will optimise your work time and day is down to you. It’s a very personal thing that will play to your strengths. Just like choosing a project management platform, email service or social media scheduling tool. It’s what fits you best that will bring you the most ease and flow to your day.
The most important thing is to take action to make the difference you need to, where you need it. If you’re in overwhelm it can be hard to see the wood for the trees, or what will make the biggest impact to simplify your business.
Don’t forget that optimising your time and day isn’t just about your business. You may not be getting to the gym as often as you would like, or you always take the dog on the shortest walk just so you can get back to your computer. But if you went to the gym more, and treated the dog to the longer walk, how much better would you feel personally? Weave in some self care and you time too, this will make a difference too.
Optimise Your Time
To help you get started, here are some of my most recommended time optimisation (<< notice I didn’t say management!) techniques for you and your business.
1. Plan your day. The whole day. I promise you it’s not restrictive. Do what suits you and your productivity will fly. Time block your calendar and stick to it!
2. Categorise tasks how long they take. I use the tag ‘Quick Wins’ in my project management systems which is anything that takes 10 minutes or less.
3. Stick to your schedule. Have a call that lasts half an hour, keep it to half an hour.
4. Make considered judgments, do you really need to answer the email right now?
5. Turn off notifications. Email and social media and anything else you may use that has alerts. Check it when you need to, not when it shouts at you!
6. Set clear boundaries with your clients for when you are and aren’t going to be available.
7. Schedule time for focussed tasks, block them out in your diary.
8. Invest in your environment. Look at your desk set up, your chair, the things around you. Are they supporting you both mentally and physically?
9. Remember you’re likely to have personal to-dos too – integrate them into your day too.
10. Take a break. We can’t pour from an empty cup.
11. Keep your business in shape. Everything has a place so file what you need to, delete or archive what you don’t. 5-10 minutes a day doing this will make a big difference.
12. Have fun. We didn’t go into business to be drained, frazzled and constantly going around in circles. Take a break, recharge, have fun working on new projects. Breaking up the day and weeks like this can make a huge difference.
What have you implemented in your business to keep your time in check?