How did you do managing your time this past month? What methods did you use? We would love to hear from you, so please shoot us an email to let us know what you found. If you missed out on part one of our two-part time management series, you can find it here. Here comes the next step: practice.
Practicing is going to take you longer than just a month. I’m sure you are saying, “But it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit, right?” Wrong. I did a lot of reading on this and it takes more. It does take 21 days for the change to become easier, but it takes on average 66 days to become a habit. Our goal is to make it a habit!
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have figured out the best method for managing your time, you have to practice it daily. You have to commit and train yourself to do it every day. One easy way to do this is to set a time each day to plan. In a planner. Do you have a planner? No fear, grab one here. It can be planning for the day or could be at the end of the day for next day planning. The technique you choose for time management will help you determine when to plan.
With my planner, my routine is that I sit down at my desk with a big cup of tea and sometimes I add a fizz stick, and look at my list from the day before. I determine if there are items I did not complete and need to add to that day, move them to a later date, or just don’t need to do them at all and mark each one with a symbol. Then I start adding to my list based on the emails I received. That list is my guide to what I need to get done through the day and makes it easy for me to focus on those tasks. Some days this takes me only five minutes, but I usually schedule about 30 minutes for planning.
Elevate and Delegate
I’m a type-A personality. That means I love to be in charge and try to do everything myself. How many of you are the same way? If we want to do everything and if we want to be in control of our time, we need to look at what needs to be done and decide what we need to delegate and what we need to elevate.
Tasks that may not need your special skill set or require someone else’s abilities are the ones we want to delegate. Think of all the small things you’re doing in a day and how much time they take up. Delegate those tasks out, and give them to the right people. Don’t have the right people in place- or are unsure? Grab a copy of Building Great Teams and create more time and money when you begin hiring employees who meet your standards.
Remember, the to-dos you enjoy, are really good at, and require a special skill set are the ones you want to elevate and do yourself.
Delineate the Time to Work on a Task
How many times do we sit down to start working and think to ourselves, “This project is going to take forever! I’m never going to finish!” We all go through that at some point it time. The key is to break it down into smaller sections and then determine how much time you are willing to work on it. It’s a lot easier to say, “For the next hour I’m going to work on this and then take a ten-minute break.”
Delineating that time helps you stay motivated and focused. The break afterward is really important so you can move on to the next task. Breaks allow time to step away, refresh your mind, and be ready for the next task. Some easy break ideas are to get some fresh air, meditate for a few minutes, or do some yoga stretches. You will be ready for the next task.
Learn to Say No
Saying no tends to be one of the hardest things for people to do. For the most part, we all want to work as a team and step in when others are not able to complete a task. Learning to say no is one of the most powerful things you can learn.
I hope these time management techniques and tips have identified some methods for managing your time better. Hopefully, they will come in handy as your summer business picks up and you find yourself on the floor more. We would love to hear your feedback and time management techniques. Let’s talk!