If you type into a search engine “time management techniques”, you’ll find article after article that gives great tips on how you can diagnose where your time is being spent. You can find out how to adjust your daily routines to help you really make the most of your time.
I absolutely recommend spending time reading a few and finding out what works for you.
Time is such a precious commodity.
You can always make more money, but there will always only be 24 hours in a day. If we want to get to a place of great success, there must be an awareness of exactly how much time we have and exactly where we’re spending it. When talking to a successful, thriving businessperson, they will likely tell you how time management is vital for the success of their business. Ask the successful business owners that you know. They'll tell you.
Time management, much like any other type of management, has a learning curve. It requires discipline and dedication to get to a place where you see any long-lasting results. Results are as unique as each of us! What works for me may not work for you. That being said, remember to take it slow and give yourself some grace!
Habit changing worked better for me when I incorporated small, steady steps towards the direction I was heading. Remember, we aren’t looking for a couple of weeks of good habits. We’re looking for a new, disciplined way of life that brings success and results in a thriving business!
These 3 tips are where I started. When you start incorporating these in your every day life, it’ll be like peeling an onion—as you start finding solutions to the pressing problems, you'll start peeling back layers with new opportunities on how to improve your life.
Set Goals and Check Back With Them
Setting goals seems so foundational and obvious, but believe me when I say that they should be taken very seriously. I am an avid bullet journal user, and make a habit to write daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly goals. But I don’t write them and never consult them. These are goals that I reference often, to keep my mind on what I need to prioritize every day.
Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of trying to survive life, we don’t realize that we are spending our time on things that are ultimately pointless. Have you ever heard of that statement “running around like a chicken with your head cut off”? Some of us literally run our businesses and live in a state of running around, trying to get things done, yet getting nothing done at the same time.
Laying out exactly what you want to see done and referencing it often is a way to make sure that you’re not distracted with those headless chicken tasks and prioritizing the tasks and obstacles that you need to deal with in order to really get where you want to go!
Establish Routines for Yourself, not Just Your Business
Routines help to take the brain work out of productivity. Establishing a great routine that works for you can help you transition from different parts of your day and different tasks, while making them efficient like a well-oiled machine. We are not "separated" creatures. Though we can (and should) compartmentalize aspects of our lives so they don’t bleed into each other, remember that we are not defined by what we do. We can compartmentalize our tasks, but not ourselves. That being said, the root of personal routines are for the "whole person", a form of self care that will inevitably bleed into the compartmentalized aspects of our lives.
Depending on the practicalities of your business, routines might look a bit different. But for me, the routine that made the biggest difference was my nighttime routine. I started there, because the night time routine determines how well I wake up in the morning. My routine at night is geared around setting myself up for success the next day. What tasks do I need to get done that would make things run smoothly for the next day? It's where I chose to start, but whatever routine is the most pressing for you should be where you start.
Is it your morning routine?
What about the routine that gets you ready to start doing the everyday tasks of your business?
Maybe it's a routine to help you with meals or housekeeping?
You’ll also find that as you start paying attention and fine tuning your routines, they will begin to affect the other parts of your day as well. It’s all part of natural forward motion. You’ll find that even one small step, one small action, has a huge impact on how you go through your day.
There will be times when the world doesn’t go as planned, and then your routine doesn’t really work out. So, routines should be flexible and adaptable as you go through different parts of your life, rather than a rigid set of rules.
Focus on High Profit Activities
You will always have that dreaded, ever growing to-do list. The key is, which tasks do you do, and when? Focus most of your time in areas that yield the most profit. If you can spend 80% of the time you have allocated to your business to the tasks that bring in your sales, you still have 20% of your time that you can use to complete tasks that will bring in long-term success.
For example: A majority of my work time per week is spent on my most profitable tasks. The reselling business, writing, and filming make up most of my work week. But around 20% of my work week is spent planning (content creation, reviewing and checking in with my goals, meeting with co-creators and team members to make sure that things are communicated clearly to everyone), and making my working life/space more efficient. Sure, those won’t bring in dollars right away, but they play an important role in making sure that future tasks are carried out smoothly and productivity is optimal.
Managing time is an important part of growing and maintaining a successful business, but it always seems to be overshadowed by the monetary management. When you’re running your own business, no one is there to allocate tasks appropriately for you. So, it’s up to you to experiment and try to find what works for you.
The key: take small, steady steps. It's not a race, it's a journey. Pay attention to what is working and replace the things that aren't working. Find joy in the small successes, and let the small failures motivate you to improve.
Tell me, what are your favorite time management tips? Let me know!