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Are You Managing Your Time or Is It Managing You?

Posted By: Comment: 10 Comments

It’s amazing how much some people manage to get done, while others seem to struggle to accomplish even a single objective let alone a series of them.

But, here’s something worth remembering – everyone has the same amount of time in every single day.

It’s one way in which we are all created equal. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.

Track Your Activities for a Week

Whether you’re happy with what you’ve achieved so far this year or not, tracking your weekly activities can help give you a much better picture of how you’re spending your time.

So why not give it a try? Record your tasks every two hours including ‘pit stops’ i.e. making a nice cuppa. Don’t change anything for now about the way you work; just record your normal day.

Evaluate

At the end of the week look at how you spent your time and categorise each activity as either urgent, important, family, fun, and time suckers.

Of course, some activities that are fun might fall into the category of time sucking and that’s okay because you can place limits on some things to still allow yourself to have fun without going overboard into time wasting.

Assign All Important Tasks to a ‘To-Do’ List

Everything that is urgent and important should be scheduled. Some urgent and important things will also be family things.

Put it all into your schedule.

Give it the amount of time you think it will take, adding a few minutes for padding to avoid run over and missed deadlines.

Schedule Fun Time

Don’t forget to put time for fun into your schedule. Fun often goes with family and friends and it is a very important part of your life.

The trick is to schedule the right amount of time and the right amount of fun, without intruding on the important and urgent tasks and activities that you also need to make sure you get done.

Spend Time Each Night and Morning in Planning Mode

I love planning.

I recommend taking time each evening to evaluate how your day went, deciding what could have been done better and what needs longer or shorter times to accomplish.  The point here is that we often underestimate just how long something takes so by reviewing every day we begin to understand better the true amount of time it takes to complete particular types of task.

If you do this you will soon improve the way you plan and allocate your time.

Each morning you should take the time to look over your schedule and remind yourself what is coming up so you don’t forget anything. Never rely too much on just remembering – no matter how good you think your memory is.

Create a Plan of Action for Each Activity

It doesn’t matter if the plan is for family time, for business, or for something else – if you create a plan of attack for each item on your to-do list, you’ll get through it faster and with fewer problems.

One of the biggest time wasters is jumping from item to item. It’s much better to tackle each task on your list in turn until they’re all completed. By taking this approach you’ll feel as if you have a lot more time to get things done but more importantly you will have a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.

Train Others to Respect Your Time

It’s really important that you teach people to respect your time.

As Oprah once said: “You teach people how to treat you.”

Are you teaching people to respect your time? If not, it’s time to start doing so and the first step is to put boundaries in place so that you are clear on what is non-negotiable.

Delegate

Never underestimate the power of delegation for opening up more time in your day.

A good assistant can almost double your time.

So while you can’t actually create more time, remember that everyone has the same 24 hours. You can create a situation in which you effectively duplicate yourself by hiring an assistant or outsourcing some of those wonderful activities such as housework (I know some of you reading this love cleaning… I’m not one of them – I love a great cleaner).

Just remember – there is no such thing as a successful CEO who doesn’t delegate.

Finally, it’s important to always be realistic about what can really be accomplished in any given amount of time. No matter how much you want to be, you’re not superwoman (or man) – you’re just a regular person doing their best to manage the resources they have. If something doesn’t get done today, move it to tomorrow. As you get better at scheduling, you’ll get it down to a science and you’ll know instinctively how long it really takes you to do any particular task and you’ll have fewer days where you don’t succeed.

I would love to hear how you manage your time. Please leave a comment in the box below to let me know some of your great time saving tips.

And, if you loved this post then please share the inspiration with your friends on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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  • Some really practical, use-able, tips here Carole. I think sometimes we get carried away thinking that the answer is in some izzy-whizzy app or a new online training course but actually the steps are really simple (even if not always easy). Thanks Carole.

    • Carole Bozkurt

      Glad you liked it Sara and thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.

  • This is great Carole and echoes the points you were making on the strategy day. I still have a picture of you sitting on my shoulder reminding me that 2 hours/day is needed on your most important and largest revenue generating tools to make them happen. It’s a mantra I reaffirm regularly. I also used to be very bad at keep adding to ‘to do’ lists as they looked ’empty. I now block out a large part of time in my daily planner for the big tasks to help myself to spend my time accordingly. I also find it’s useful to listen to my body. For instance I often hit a brick wall mid-afternoon regardless of what I’m doing and how well I’m looking after my nutrition. I am just not productive for an hour so I either get out and get some fresh air or save this period for scheduling on social media.

    • Carole Bozkurt

      Scheduling your time in chunks is life changing because you feel amazing at the end of the week when you have completed some pretty big tasks. And I agree that listing to your body and looking after your nutrition is key to helping you be successful in your business.

  • Denyse Whillier

    A very timely post as I feel like I’ve more than I can possibly get done sometimes. I’ve just heard about Planner Pads – https://plannerpads.com/ – and I’m going to give them a whirl.

    • Carole Bozkurt

      Planner Pads are great are you going for the online version or hard copy?

  • Darrin Salt

    Really useful tips Carole. I always think that delegating is my best approach, and as a man I really struggle with lists – you must have seen that before!

    My advice (or listening to your advice) is to do that early morning planning. Just an extra 15-20 minutes first thing will focus your efforts and if you have a list, give you a chance to review it.

    We’re all different, but while I can blog at 10pm, planning my week requires a fresh mind.

    • Carole Bozkurt

      I’ve read your blogs Darrin and they are great. For me writing a list takes off a lot of pressure to remember what I have to do. A habit takes over 60 days to form so if you could give it a try you might just find it makes a huge difference to your business.

  • Annette

    Some great tips Carole, good to get a reminder of making and keeping to a plan, thanks.

    • Carole Bozkurt

      Thank you Annette for reading my post – glad it proved a useful reminder