One of the biggest questions I get from small business owners or solopreneurs is how can they manage their time effectively? This seems to be a universal problem that all entrepreneurs face.
Planning your week, knowing what is on your task list that needs to be done, and assigning priorities to your tasks are all important steps good time management and, ultimately, increased productivity.
Without a set schedule or prioritized list of tasks, your day can easily be taken over before you realize what's happening. Setting time aside for your most important tasks along with focusing is key to having a super productive day.
Here are five steps to managing your time more effectively. Once implemented, these will help you become so much more effective with managing your workload and your workday.
Step 1: Lay a clear foundation
This first step will allow you to create a solid foundation and build structure, allowing you to go from chaos to calm. However, you need to be willing to set yourself up for success. That means being willing to take it one step at a time, in one area at a time. It also means amending your mindset from impatient and indifference to one that allows you to practice patience, grace, and viability.
You cannot do it all, and more importantly, you shouldn’t even try. What you need to focus on is taking action and choosing a method that works best for you.
Step 2: Building out a routine
This is an important part of the process but many people hear the word 'routine' and instantly cringe. However, your foundational routine is what keeps you going and allows you to stay away from the chaos. The routine you choose will allow you to focus on the things that are most important to you while balancing all else that goes on with life.
Life is unpredictable and cannot be planned. Even the best laid plans have a way of sometimes falling apart amidst large or even tiny cosmic things that can happen. When you have a routine though, it helps keep you going and maintains the flow of the things that are most important.
The things you choose to be part of your daily routine will become a deep-rooted part of your life.
They will become established pieces of your life and this will help you get through the times when life is less than enchanting.
Step 3 - Choose 3 Must-do Things Each Day
By choosing 3 must-do things each day, your chances of staying focused, productive, and in alignment with your main goals are more likely to happen.
You need a foundation and a routine in order to be able to choose your top 3 must-do's.
Once these 3 must-do's are identified, you can build upon those to include weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks. However, those 3 must-do's continue to be part of your daily focus and routine, keeping the flow of your day at a manageable level.
Step 4 - Use A Planner
Now that you've got your foundation created, your routine mapped out, and your daily must-do's, it's time to continue to build your routine by adding a time management system.
Realizing not everyone is built the same, the system you choose needs to be the right one for you and your needs. I personally use a combination of paper and digital. However, some people use just paper or just digital. There are many to choose from and only you can decide which is the best option for you.
There are so many choices and they each offer something different. It's a matter of weighing out the pro's and con's and, while there is no perfect system out there, there is one that will meet most of your needs.
Step 5 - Set A Date For Weekly Planning Sessions
Stepping into the role as the CEO of your business may seem intimidating but, when you allow yourself the time and space you need, it becomes much less so.
I find it most helpful to take out my monthly schedule and block out time specifically for planning sessions each week.
These planning sessions will give you the opportunity to plan out the action steps needed for the following week, set your priorities, free up your mind from excessive clutter, and allow you to be much more intentional.
This time allows you to become much more intentional, which leads you to seeing that you have control over your time, and ultimately helps you feel less chaotic.
These 5 steps are the beginning to a new way of looking at your time --- both personally and professionally --- that will be much more manageable for you and your lifestyle.
I invite you to speak with me and see how I can help you develop the best process for managing your time effectively and efficiently.
If you struggle with managing your time or staying focused on the must-do tasks, Pamela is your business soulmate.