There are a ton of time management and scheduling options available to us for use. The majority of us need time management skills in a bad way especially new entrepreneurs or those of us who find ourselves really busy but not productive. Regardless of which one you use, just committing to using one system with consistency will help get you into a habit and feel less stressed and overwhelmed all of the time.
That being said I’m going to share with you what I do for my time management and scheduling, when I stick to it, it works really well for me maybe it will for you too!
There are two parts to the whole time management and scheduling chaos that causes that overwhelming feeling which often leads to paralysis of productivity.
1. The actual schedule
2. The list of items/tasks you want to do
Let’s break it down. If we start by looking at the actual schedule, I like to break my days into blocks of time. I start by blocking off the times/days that I am coaching at the gym, my workout times. Then I block off any other appointments I might have as well as time that I dedicate to business coaching. Those are set in stone and I know when and where I have to be.
I treat the rest of my schedule the same way by creating additional blocks between 60-120 minutes around the rest of my schedule. The length of time is up to you and will depend on how well you work in and what periods of time. These additional blocks of time that I use for working on my business are just as non-negoiable as the times I need to be at the gym coaching, on the phone, other appointments or the volunteer work I do. It can feel easy to move them around or accept another/better offer to do something else during these blocks but getting the work done is important.
Each block is also color coordinated so I know what type of mindset I need to be in for those blocks. This is a sample week where I’ve blocked off times for the different areas in my life.
Now what? Getting the time blocks filled. Even more importantly getting the time blocks filled with the tasks that will make you a more productive entrepreneur! We may want to do everything but there are only so many hours in the day and it’s important to have a work life balance.
Start by making a master list of all the tasks you’d like to do, need to do, have to do and want to do. Basically all things that can be possibilities to do. Over time you’ll add to this list, it should keep growing particularly as you cross completed tasks off the list.
Once the list has some substance to it, prioritize the list with the top three tasks that are the most important to do. Schedule these three into your open blocks of time. These blocks are to be treated like appointments. The only thing that is more important than the task written in your time block is some sort of emergency.
A side note about big tasks. If you have a big item on your list like “re-do website” this main task should have a sublist with it. List out all the steps that are required to make the main task complete. These individual sublists would then go into open time blocks.
Once you’ve completed the task, cross it off the master list. Once you’ve completed your top three priorities choose the next three priorities.
As I mentioned earlier there are a variety of ways to manage your time and schedule your day. This is the process that works best for me, I hope it also works for you or at the very least you’ll be able to take some components of it and apply it to your days to help with your time management and scheduling.