I had such an amazing time speaking on accountability for David Fagan’s group over at the Icon Builder. Attending events is awesome, but I’ve seen all too often business owners who head back to their office with the best intentions on implementing and end up doing nothing. Think about how you can hold yourself accountable, and what needs to change in your environment to set you up for success?
Article: Are Your Ducks in a Row?
There has been a common theme this week with my clients and even with the mastermind group I belong to. Time Management. How to structure your time properly. For some it’s to help get on track and stay focused, for others it’s to help them take breaks, like lunch! I thought it would be fitting to pass along some great tips. These tips apply whether or not you are self-employed, working for the man or at home with your kids.
I used to plan out my workday hour by hour, from walking the dog, making calls, to lunch & showering! I found this to be a little daunting, as it could be hard at times to stick to a minute-by-minute schedule. I have recently been introduced to a new system, where you split up your time into 3 chunks. They are focus, flex and free time. Focus time is used to work on projects and to brainstorm. It is the creative portion of your work and should move you forward. Flex time is devoted to phone calls, emails, setting up systems, running business related errands, etc. Free time is personal time, i.e. getting together with friends and family. From there you plan out your month and decide which days will be used for focus, flex or free time (or a combination). Allotting time at the beginning of the week to make any changes is useful too. You need to make the time to set your schedule! This is key. Make it a priority and you will be amazed at how good it feels to be organized.
I have been using this for almost a week now and I am finding it’s making a big difference. For instance, instead of planning out my time to the minute, I will plan 2 hours of focus time instead. This means I work on all of my focus related tasks during these hours (in prioritized order of course). I do not check email or take phone calls during these hours. Therefore, I’m truly staying focused!
Be sure to pay attention to your natural work rhythm when setting your schedule. Some people are more creative in the morning and therefore it makes sense to plan your focus time during those hours. If you have a lot of client meetings or phone calls, it makes sense to allot certain days of the week to spend doing that. For example, schedule client meetings / calls on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only.
Another useful tool is batching. Try to batch together any tasks that you can. For instance, running errands on one day only. Client meetings on one or two days as noted above. You can take this even further and do it for your personal tasks as well, i.e. doing laundry one day a week on a set day & time. The more organized and focused you are the better you can use your time. Don’t forget to book in things like meditation, visualization, exercise and lunch! For the people feeling unbalanced and overwhelmed with everything you have going on this will really help. Doesn’t it make sense that the better YOU feel, the more energy you will have for the rest of your “to do” list?
When can you commit to scheduling your schedule this week? Allow for 30 to 60 mins initially and then 30 minutes per week going forward.