One of the most used reasons for failure I’ve heard from my clients is “I don’t have time!” or “I’m just so busy!” or “I just can’t fit it in!? I know, I say this a lot too – It’s an almost daily struggle! So how can we change this narrative and find this elusive time none of us seem to have? There are many different time management tools out there and below is just one of them, that I created to help shed a bit more light on where we may be spending a lot of our time unnecessarily. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t give up, just try something different. Good luck!
Step 1: Track your day
In this step, you change nothing about your day just yet. All I want you to do is track where you are spending your time. Be as specific as possible, the more accurately you track your day, the better adjustments you can make. Try to do this every day for a week. Choose a typical week and not one that may contain a special event or something out of the ordinary like your sister’s baby shower. Here is a printable template you can use to track your day. In this step I want you to take different colour pens or highlighters and put each task into categories. For example: kids, work, travel, meal times, etc. This will give you a good visual overview of where most of your time is going. The example below is from a work-from-home mother who is also the primary carer for her children. Her business is important to her, but she is battling to fit in all the things she needs to do to keep it from falling to the wayside (Hint: it’s Me :P)… As you can see the majority of my day is spent on kids and “to do” type tasks” – things that could probably be done more efficiently.
Step 2: Clearing the calendar
In this step, with a new blank schedual, I want you to write in the completely unmovable tasks, like that compulsory weekly work meeting, or your Childs school pick up time. In our example, we filled in the nessassary activities that surrounded the children:
Step 3: Prioritise
Now its time to write down the important things you are wanting to accomplish or fit into your day. In other words, what are the goals you are wanting to achieve? Try not use blanket phrases like “Get fit” or “work on business”. These are too detached from the real actionable steps you need to take. Instead break it down into smaller chunks for example : Do fitness program for 20mins or research blog content, write blog ,revise blog and so on. These are going to become your daily “high priority” tasks . Bonus if you can estimate how long each task may take you to complete.
Step 4: Schedule your high priorities
Now that you have a clear sense of the tasks you want to do, its time to schedule them into your day, before you add in anything else. For Example:
Step 5: Schedule the rest
Finally you can add in the rest of your tasks you need or want to get done. This is a great time to streamline tasks, or have a conversation with your partner about shared home responsibilities etc. I often find we try fit too much into our days, or try to do everything ourselves without asking for help. Ask yourself “what is more important to me?” – a clean kitchen, or a successful business?
Some final tips:
- Don’t try to fit more than one priority item in per day. This will only overwhelm you and you could end up avoiding it and not doing it at all.
- Try to Schedual your priority Item for first thing in the morning – even before checking your email. Research shows that we are at our most productive in the morning.
- However, if you are not a “morning person” Schedual your task when you know you will most likly do it.
- Ask for help!
- Schedual You-time. Dont fill your schedual purely with work, work, work. Make sure you leave some time out each day just for you, or you will burnout faster than you can say babaganaesh.
Find this useful? Let me know in the comments below.