Do you struggle with finding the time to work in your business? Do you find it difficult to juggle a job, spouse, kids, chores, and your home business? Do you really feel like you could benefit from some time management training? This post is for you.
Today I'm going to show you how to manage your time like a pro and be more productive in your business than ever!
Do you really need time management training?
Most professionals and “gurus” I follow take the stance that you can't manage time, and that most people don't really need time management training; and what they really need is a compelling vision. Without a strong vision of where you want to go and who you want to be (and don't want to be) you simply lack the motivation to do the things that you know you need to be doing in your business.
And the truth is, you probably DO already know what you should be doing, you just aren't doing it because little Susie is sick, or you were in a meeting all day and you don't feel like it, or the season 7 premier of The Walking Dead was on (just me? Heartbroken…) Anyway, there's always something; am I right?
That being said, I have found that there are certain tips and tricks to help you along the way and in some cases force you to be productive. And after attending time management training seminars, reading countless time management tips, going through online time management training, etc. I've come to understand time management much like budgeting money.
The fundamentals I've learned about budgeting Money that also apply to time are:
- Pay Yourself First
- Set some aside specifically for giving away
- Ruthlessly cut out what you don't want so you can spend more on what you do want
And of course the key to a budget, and anything you want to improve really, is the underlying practice of tracking it. After all, anything that is tracked is improved.
Step 1: Find out where your time goes!
Naturally, our time management training begins with tracking your time. On this step, I don't want you to change anything. You're going to be very self conscious about what your spending your time on now that you're tracking it, and you're going to want to stop certain things so that way you can feel better about not having to admit to yourself that you waste as much time on it as you actually do.
We're in a no judge zone right now, it's okay. Write down that you don't like wasting time on this “thing” and go ahead and keep doing it for as long as you normally would have for now. The point of this exercise is to take about a week or so and just note where your time is currently going, nothing more.
Some tools to help you with this are of course good ol' pen and paper and simply wirte down what you've been doing every so often. You can step that up a bit and use a journal with a daily time log, or by using this 1/96th of a day tracker (Download HERE)
I prefer using online or electronic tools, and my favorite is called RescueTime (check it out HERE) It will automatically track anything you do online, and you can also manually add in offline time spent either sleeping, in a meeting, binge watching House of Cards, etc..
Anyway, spend about a week or so just simply tracking where your time goes. This is important for the next step so don't skip this!
Step 2: Prioritize!
This is the point in the time management training where we take a look at where your time has been going, and we start prioritizing things. Obviously if you have obligations such as work, taking kids to school or piano practice, those things need to go first and you'll have to work around them. Then just take a look at all the other things you've been doing with your time and rank them from most important to you, to least important to you.
Here's an example of what mine looks like:
- Obligations: Sleeping, Job, Kid's Events, chores, etc
- Me Time: Meditation, reading, skillset/mindset training, exercise, wind-down time, etc
- Family Time: Date nights, game nights, misc family activities, bedtime stories, vacations, etc
- Selfless Time: Volunteering/Giving Back, etc
- Business Time: Daily Method of Operation, prospecting, presenting, calling leads, skillset/mindset training, etc
- Friend/Social time: Spending time with close friends, going out for fun, etc
- Mindless Entertainment: Social media (for leisure, not business), watching movies/tv shows, playing video games, etc
You may have more or less, but the goal is to list them ALL out, categorize them ,and prioritize them so you can more easily create a plan to manage your time.
Step 3: Make A Plan & Stick To It!
There's a relevant quote from Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” and that definitely applies here.Click To Tweet
If you don't plan what to do with your time, you will fail to manage it and you will fail to do the things that you really want to spend your time doing and all of this time management training is for nothing. But more importantly, you need to stick to that plan!
Now that you've prioritized the things you want to do, it's as simple as entering them all into a calendar in that order. Start with the most important things and enter them all in, then the next most important things and enter them all in, etc etc.
You can either use a paper calendar, a day planner, or I like to use an electronic calendar and my favorite is Google Calendar (check out my post on using Google Calendar in your home business HERE)
Step 4: What to do if you don't have enough time!
So you might have gotten most of the way (or only part of the way) through this time management training and ran out of slots on the calendar to fit things. This can be tricky, and really depends on your preference as far as cutting things out, shortening times on things, and moving things around.
Obviously the first thing to do is either trim less important things back, or cut them out all together. Start at the bottom of your list and begin trimming back time spent on those things, and if necessary delete them all together or move them to a slightly larger chunk once a week/month/quarter/year. (example: adjusting Netflix time from 1 hour a night to 2 hours a month, or 6 hours on a Saturday every quarter)
Next is to try and get your time BACK.
I don't recommend getting too crazy with this, but play with your sleep a little bit. Sleep is very important to your performance, so making sure you get enough is VITAL to your success, but everyone is different. You'll probably start out by putting a big 8 hour chunk of time in the middle of the night for sleep, but maybe you only need 7 1/2 hours, or 6 hours with a 20 min power nap in the middle of the day? Like I said, don't get too crazy, but see what works best for you, even if that means giving yourself more time to sleep.
Now take a look at your obligations, namely chores. Is there anything here you can outsource? Can you pay for a laundry service, have someone mow your yard, or a food/grocery delivery service? Do it. Seriously, you can't afford to mow your own lawn! You have more imprtant, more lucrative work to do! Also keep this in mind for mundane business activities like accounting or article writing, etc.
Finally, if anything in your life can be automated by technology, take the time to set that up so it's working great with little to no maintenance. Finances are a big one here, stop wasting time on paying bills and sign up for autopay, use a service to track your spending automatically, set up direct deposit, etc. Pay someone to do your taxes if you can. This applies to business as well, you don't have time to post in 100 groups per day but it has to be done. Use a tool like MassPlanner to auto-post for you!
Tying it all together & Special Offer
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to managing your time. Chances are you already knew about all of this, or had some ideaat least about what you need to be doing. If that's the case, you need to get clear on your VISION and then you can more effectively implement these tips and tools to more effectively get things done.
At any rate, now you just need to do it!
Special Offer: Lastly, if you're struggling with building your business online I want to help you. As of today, I have 3 spots open for a 30 day mastermind to teach you how to market and brand your business online so that you're generating leads, getting eyes on your presentation, making more sales, and signing up new reps; all without hassling friends and family or awkwardly tapping strangers on the shoulder at the mall. (full details HERE)
EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS: The next 3 people to join the mastermind and fill the remaining slots will get a free #AskGaryVee book from me.
If you want to be one of those people, share this post and comment “I WANT IN!” below and I'll be in contact with you to discuss moving forward and taking your business to the next level!
(I started with 5 spots and they're almost all gone, so lock in your spot NOW!)
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