It’s amazing how much some business owners manage to get done in a day, while others seem to be stuck on a hampster wheel without enough time in the day to accomplish much of anything. But, here’s the secret. Everyone has the same amount of time every day – everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. The key is how do you prioritize it; do you know what’s important to get done every day or do you think busy work is where it’s at?
Track Your Activities for a Week
To get a real picture of how you spend your time, try tracking everything you do for at least one week. Use a small recorder to record when you start and stop any task, and include the time. Alternatively, just use an old-fashioned pad and paper. Don’t change anything for now; just live your life as you do.
Now look at how you spent your time. Organize each task into urgent, important, family, fun, and time suckers. Some things that are fun might fall into the category of time sucking and that’s okay, because you can place limits on some things to still allow yourself to have fun without going into the time wasting category.
Assign All Important Tasks to a “To-Do” List
Everything that is urgent and important should be scheduled first! Some urgent and important tasks will also be family things. Put it all into your schedule. Give it the amount of time you think it will take, adding a few minutes for padding to avoid run over and missed deadlines.
Schedule Fun Time
Don’t forget to put time for fun into your schedule. Fun often goes with family and friends and it is a very important part of your life AND business – believe it or not. The trick is to schedule the right amount of time, in the APPROPRIATE time, and the right amount of fun without intruding on the important and urgent tasks that you need to do daily to grow a successful business.
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Spend Time Each Night and Morning in Planning Mode
Take the time each evening to evaluate how your day went, decide what could have been done better, or what needs more or less time to accomplish. If you do this you will get better at making and efficient productivity plan. Every morning take time to look over your schedule to remind yourself what’s coming up so you don’t forget anything – and so you know what to prepare you mind for. Never rely soley on your memory for this or you are guaranteed to go off track. If something unexected arises, just be sure to adjust your schedule accordingly, making sure to keep your urgent tasks on your schedule.
Create a Plan of Action for Each Activity
It doesn’t matter if the plan is for business, family time, or something else – if you create a plan of attack for each item on your to-do list, you’ll accomplish it faster and with fewer problems. One of the biggest time wasters is multitasking – you know doing more than one task at a time. Stick to one thing at a time until it’s done and you’ll definately free up more more time in your day.
Train Others to Respect Your Time
In business, especially if you work from home, you will often find that other people seem to have a lack of respect for your time. The real issue is that you’ve not taught people to respect your time. As Oprah (or maybe it was Dr. Phil) once said, “You teach people how to treat you.” Are you teaching people to respect your time? If not, it’s time to start doing so. Learn to say NO – you can’t be afriad of this word. If you have to, pretend you are working a 9 to 5 and let others know you’re at work and won’t be off until 5pm. (just as an example)
Delegate Delegate Delegate
Never underestimate the power of delegation for getting more time in your day. A good assistant (or virtual assistant) can almost double your time. So while you can’t actually get more time, remember that everyone has the same 24 hours. You can create a situation where you duplicate yourself by hiring an assistant or outsourcing some mundane tasks such as housework or lawn care. There is no such thing as a successful CEO who doesn’t delegate.
Finally, it’s important to always be realistic about what can really be accomplished in any given amount of time. No matter how much you want to be, you’re not superwoman (or man) – you’re just a human who is doing their best to manage the resources they have. If something doesn’t get done today, move it to tomorrow. As you get better at scheduling, you’ll get it down to a science on how long it really takes you to do any particular task and you’ll have fewer days where you don’t succeed.
About Ky Toure – Post’s Author
My name is Ky Toure and I’m your time management answer! My main focus is to help you reclaim your time through my proven productivity techniques.
Today’s the day you stop skating uphill. Find out how I can help you by clicking here or schedule a complementary consultation by clicking below.