Time is a fickle friend. We wake up each day with a blank slate and all the time in the world, only to find our day disappear under a pile of busy work and minor tasks. We work so hard, but by the end of the week, we don’t really have anything to show for it. Sound familiar? Time evades us, but only when we choose not to manage it effectively. If only we had some super helpful time management tips!
The truth is, you can have all the best time management tips in the world, but in order to get the most out of that knowledge, you need to first understand why your time matters. Time management is key to growing your business and taking care of yourself. Yet, it is so much easier to implement time management tips when you truly value your time. Today, we’re discussing both.
The “Busy” Dilemma
We live in a world where the word “busy” has become a badge of honor. But take a moment to think about what busy really means to you.
For example, Ryan Seacrest is involved in at least 7 businesses, shows, and projects (and maybe more!). How does he do it? There’s a saying that goes something like this:
“Sometimes people may look at you and ask how you do so much. But when you’re good at time management, you can look at them and ask how they do so little.”
Okay, I added the part about time management, but that really is the secret sauce! Being busy can be addictive. But are you really that busy? If I asked you to write down a journal of how you spend your time each day, would you be happy with what you see? What does “busy” translate to in your psyche? Does it symbolize that you’re successful? Important? Sought after? Valued? Unavailable?
What might happen if you didn’t tether yourself to the importance of being busy? But rather focused on what truly managing your time would allow you to accomplish?
Your time matters! And how you use your time impacts how you feel about your day. You can truly commit to the things that matter most when you understand the value of your time.
Time Management Tips
As an entrepreneur, there is an endless list of things that can take up your time. You have to structure your days for prospecting, generating leads, nurturing leads, having sales calls, making sales, coordinating sales, delivering on your offers/products, following up, creating content, publishing content, keeping up with your books and admin tasks … you get the idea.
I recently went through a season where these tasks were even more pronounced by the fact that I was preparing to have a baby! Suddenly, not only was time management important for managing my daily tasks, but I needed to maximize my time in order to plan ahead. Way ahead. I had to:
- Line up my team and implement processes for them to follow while I am on maternity leave.
- Queue up content for blogs and social media for at least three months.
- Queue up emails to advertise promotions for new offers when I return.
- Set up content calendars and decide when all this content would go out!
So how did I do it? I first decided what was important to me: my business content, my communication with clients, how to hit the ground running when I come back, and (most importantly) having time to rest once the baby arrived. From there, I could prioritize my time accordingly.
It wasn’t always easy, but I was able to implement the same time management tips that I encourage my clients to use.
This is one of the best tools I’ve used, and one that every entrepreneur needs to have in their pocket for successfully managing all the various hats they wear. It’s called Time Blocking.
This method works by structuring your calendar each day into 3 main categories. Since you now know that busyness can be a ruse, and your time matters, utilizing the three categories helps prioritize you, your clients, and your business accordingly.
- Dedicated time off for you
- Dedicated time for your clients
- Dedicated time for your business
I like to create a color-coded system for my time blocks throughout the week so I can easily see when I need to be working on each category. Personally, I create further categories under these 3 to keep me even more on track. (Pro-tip: for a more in-depth look at this time blocking system, check out lesson 5 in the Daily Momentum Business Online Course!)
Dedicated time off for you
This is, of course, the best part of your time block schedule, and the most fun. Time off doesn’t just apply to weekends or vacations. I use this time block to designate specific hours for getting ready in the morning, doing a morning ritual, exercise, etc.
Time off during the day looks like a break for lunch and mini-breaks during a large project, or maybe even exercise breaks. Finally, I also schedule my end time for the day (or at least my estimated end time) so I have time set aside for my evening activities, like cooking dinner, time with friends, kids’ activities, an evening walk/ritual, and sleep.
Dedicated time for your clients
These are the blocks of time in which you will be working with your clients. When I come back from maternity leave, for example, I will be specifying time blocks Tuesday through Thursday just for meetings and coaching sessions. By pushing other tasks to Monday and Friday, I can spend focused time on my clients without feeling pulled in ten different directions – and hire help during those dedicated days so I’m not distracted.
Arranging these time blocks is really dependent on how you work and the flow of your business. If you like to have Mondays as admin days, for example, create a time block on Monday for time to work on your business. Then create time blocks Tuesday through Friday for client meetings, sessions and appointments.
Dedicated time for your business
This is the time set aside to manage your business. There are a lot of tasks that need to happen within a business to keep it running! Unfortunately, these are the things that we often let slip through the cracks. And, it’s often why we feel stressed or behind.
One of the easiest business tasks to let slip is content creation, such as blogging, social media, YouTube videos, Facebook lives, and email campaigns. It can be overwhelming, and you don’t have to do it all – but blocking your time for these tasks helps you at least have a plan to do something!
This particular time block is also meant to help you manage other admin tasks such as website updates, marketing strategies, lead generation, and invoicing. If you have time blocked off specifically for those tasks, you will be less likely to put them aside. So, do yourself a favor and prioritize them in your schedule!
Boost Your Time Management
There are many other time management tips that you can implement to master your schedule. After years of running my own business, I have found time blocking has proven to be the most effective. It allows me flexibility with my schedule while also helping me prioritize those tasks that matter most: me, clients, and the business.
If you’re feeling that you need a crash course in getting a better handle on your schedule, I want to invite you to consider taking the training: Mastering Time Management – Learn to Go from Swamped to Structured. Not only will you get access to my entire time management training, but you’ll also get a discount on the full Daily Business Momentum Program!