Here are my 6 ways for you to feel more organized with time management strategies that really work! 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines Trash your to-do list: Schedule all of your to-do list items for a specific day and time. If you are a list maker like many of us this probably sounds like a ridiculous idea. I’ve heard some of the initial objections, “But I like seeing my list.” “But I like checking things off of my to-do list.” “But it feels so good when I finish something and I can draw a line through it.” “But if I don’t have a to-do list I’ll forget to do it.” That’s a lot of buts! So let’s pretend that I’m working with you. Imagine that I am asking you these gentle, guiding questions: • How does seeing your list of things to do make you feel? • Would you feel better if you knew that you had the time set aside for each of your to-do’s? • Is it possible to check off the to-do’s on your planner? Can you cross them off, too? Would that feel similar to doing it with your list (or better)? • Would reviewing your planner on a regular basis allow you to see your scheduled to-do’s at a glance? • Is your to-do list currently working for you and meeting your needs? That is, is the ongoing, never-ending list helping you actually get things done? I would like to challenge you to try scheduling 2-3 of the to-do items from your list into your planner. Cross them off the list and assign them a “home”, that is, a specific day and realistic amount of time to… read more →
There are 6 ways to feel more organized with these time management strategies: Overestimate Take breaks Trash your to-do list Establish and maintain a healthy sleep routine Plan Use deadlines Today, let’s talk about the first way: Overestimate. Schedule more time than you think that it will take for projects and tasks. For instance, double the amount of time you think that it will take for you to get ready to go to work in the morning. When you break any activity down into a step by step process it is informative about two important and helpful things: how long it takes, and how much goes into achieving the activity. Using the overestimate time management strategy will be helpful for you to to be able to be more realistic about your time demands as well as for planning and managing your time effectively. I promise that it will help you to start to feel more organized about your available time. You are also going to gain helpful insights about: • How to streamline the tasks to get them done more efficiently and leave time more time for you and what you enjoy or need. • Which tasks are unnecessary and can be omitted without compromising the outcome. • How often you are operating on automatic (non-observant) and the value of being more present and aware You might think that if you overestimate how much time you need you will be wasting precious time. Do you find it stressful and keep thinking about everything else that you could or “should” be doing? What if you get there early and have to wait? If your goal is to feel more organized, live a more organized life, and to manage your time rather than fill every minute of it here are some ways… read more →
Recently, I was talking to a group of busy entrepreneurs who are balancing family, work, household, and having a personal life. Sound familiar? They identified the following as their top most time management challenges: Balancing all of their commitments Organizing their time to get everything done Scheduling, and sticking to a schedule Identifying their priorities Follow through with goals and projects Streamlining activities Consistency with routines Delegating Making decisions about how you choose to use your time, and what your priorities are throughout the week depends upon your goals. Many of these brilliant women were quick to state that their goal was to spend more time on revenue generating projects than those that do not yield financial sustenance. When you clarify your goals it will lead you to creating realistic “buckets” of time during the week…specifically when and how much time to spend on specific projects and activities that lead you to achieving those goals. Conversely, when you identify that certain activities do not align with your goals you are able to delete them. How liberating! I always remind people that your time and space are similar. When you put too much in your schedule (or space) it becomes overwhelming and you sacrifice efficiency. Having difficulty deciding what belongs in your schedule? Sort and list your activities and projects into these 4 categories: H2/W2: I have to do this and I want to do this. H2/DW2: I have to do this but I don’t want to do it. DH2/W2: I don’t have to do it, but I want to do it. DH2/DW2: I don’t have to do it, and I don’t want to do it. Try this decision making process to create a more realistic plan and schedule. After 2-3 weeks of following the schedule you can revise… read more →
If you are like other “solo-preneurs” then you probably struggle with how to improve your time management on any given day. How do you balance your work life and personal life? Your weekly planner doesn’t know the difference between the two! I love this quote and truism from David Hassell: “The key is to intentionally focus on what you want, instead of constantly focusing on how much time you don’t have.” How many times a day do you think or hear yourself say, “I don’t have enough time.”? We all have the same amount of time, so what if you could use a system for improving the way that you are managing your time? How would you feel if you used a system that helped you to: • Have enough time for what is really important? • Be productive and prosperous with your time and energy? • Feel more focused (less stressed)? Identifying your available time This step begins with accounting for how much time you actually have available; from the time you awaken, until the time you go to sleep. Organizing your time means sorting your activities, meetings, appointments, responsibilities, and your to-do items into categories or containers of time. This next important step is the key to improving how to manage your time – consistently use the tools that support your decisions about what goes into your planner. Identifying your priorities It begins with being able to honestly identify your priorities, the things that require your time, focus, and energy. Find the right professional who can help you sort this out and clarify your priorities. Put your priorities in writing. That means, write them by hand in a notebook or journal that you can keep handy and refer to on a regular basis. Identifying your optimal time management… read more →
The point of managing your time isn’t actually to fill the space in your schedule with more things to get done. Creating space in your day or week is about making room for what is important. What are the things, activities, and people (including yourself) that keep moving to the bottom of the list? What is missing that is important and would nurture your well-being that you never seem to have time for? Last two questions for now: why is that? If you don’t make yourself a priority then who will? If you are not rested, cared for and healthy how will you handle your responsibilities? Common complaint number one, “I don’t have enough time to (fill in the blank).” Reality check: you have the same time as everyone else, 24 hours, 7 days a week. It’s all about choices because everything is a choice even when it doesn’t feel like it, except maybe death! But let’s not go there. Let’s look at tools to help you make informed and intentional choices. The first tool is the weekly audit. How are you actually using your time? Are you responding to crises? Are you check your email every ten minutes? Are you often trying to find important things and frustrated because you feel like you are losing valuable time? Another reality check: all time is valuable. Time is a lot like space in that you can choose what to put into both your calendar and your spaces. What is critically different though is that you can reclaim space, but you can never get lost time back. Be intentional, purposeful, recognize that not only do you have a choice about how you spend your time, but you also have a choice about what you choose not to do with it. What is… read more →
Do you know how long it takes you to do routine tasks such as check your email, buy groceries, write a thank you note, or select what you are going to wear the next day? Being able to estimate time is a critical skill for effective time management. Being able to realistically estimate how long it takes you to begin and complete a project or task is the key to stress-free planning. You probably know how long it takes you to shower and get dressed for work because you are aware of when you need to wake up, get those tasks done, and leave for work. It’s the little things though that trip us up. Here are some ways to gather useful information about how you are currently spending time. Once you have this accurate information you will be able to make informed decisions about adjusting, re-prioritizing and managing your time. TIP #1: Select a specific activity that you think takes too long or interferes with other things that you need to do. Set a timer when you begin and end the activity. Collect this information for 3-5 days. Did you think that you spent this much time on the specific activity? Is it too much, not enough, or adequate? TIP #2: Select a task or activity that you think takes up too much of your time. Decide how much time you would rather spend doing it and allocate that amount of time on 2 different days. Schedule those blocks of time on specific days and write them into your planner. When you do them as scheduled, note how much you got done. Was it less or more than you expected? TIP #3: Account for all of your time and try doing a weekly audit. For an entire week, jot… read more →
When someone asks me to work with them to find more time I begin with a very specific question: “What for?” It’s just like having more space, what you will do with it is important to know from the start. Do you want more time to get more things done, or to do things that you never make time to do? How will having more time fulfill you and your goals or relationships? One of the ways that might help you to figure this out is to begin with a “brain dump”, list everything that you have or want to put on your to do list. Then, begin to sort the to do items into 1 of 4 categories: Things I don’t want to do, but have to do. Things I don’t want to do, and don’t have to do. Things that I want to do and have to do. Things that I want to do, but don’t have to do. Are you beginning to see a pattern and the possibility of items that you can delete or delegate? Effective time management is about decision making, making choices, and creating more time for the things that are important to you.