You have a problem. Your days are long, work-filled and you’re tired. You’re worn out so much from work with no real time for yourself. Finding more time in your day allows you to do the things you love.
You don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do, but you want to have more time.
That’s where time management can help you turn your days around.
Time management can be one of the most irritating things to someone who isn’t super strict or even a little strict with their schedule. Heck, if you don’t schedule your day it all, it can be an asinine thing to start. But, it’s the ultimate fix for finding more time in your busy, busy day.
You don’t need to be afraid of scheduling your day. It’s actually quite liberating if you embrace it.
Why Time Management Will Liberate You
Time management and scheduling your day can lead to a feeling of liberation. You’ll feel more relaxed, at ease, happy and free.
“How can it be liberating?” you might ask, and my response would be that it liberates you by helping you to find the time you’re craving.
8 Steps to Finding More Time in Your Busy, Frantic-Filled Day
Step 1: Start Finding More Time for Yourself
This, in my opinion, is non-negotiable. You have to make time for you. So many of my clients come to me worn down and with barely enough time in their day to even think about themselves, and this is not acceptable.
You are the most valuable asset in your business.
If you are run down, tired, worn out, sick all of the time and barely able to keep up with anything how can you expect your business to flourish?
When you flourish your business flourishes too. It’s a direct reflection of your state of well-being.
This is where a schedule really comes in handy. When you’re finding time in your day, you’re allowing yourself to be more creative and free.
In order to make time for you, it needs to go on your schedule. So, carve out time specifically for this in your schedule before you schedule work items. This ensures that you’ll have time for you and your well-being.
Step 2: Have a Clear Understanding of Your Goals
You want more time in your day, but what do you want more time for?
You absolutely have to get clear on your goals.
Is it self-care, reading, being with your family, taking vacations, (insert your goal)?
Maybe it’s just freedom to sit and watch the sunset without your brain going to the work that’s due tomorrow.
Having an idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to the subject of “having time” will help this process along.
Step 3: You evaluate/assess how you currently spend your time. (Identify the ‘time sucks’)
First things first, you want to take an inventory of your day. Generally, when a client comes to me and has an issue with time I have them take an inventory of what they’re doing over the course of the day for three days.
So, break out your pen and paper.
- Your goal is to take an inventory of your day for 3 days
- Each day when you start you’ll need a pen and a pad of paper to keep notes on
- Set a timer for every 15-30 minutes (depending on how strict you want to go) and when the timer goes off jot down exactly what you’re doing. If you’re eating potato chips then you write, “Eating potato chips.”
This can be very shocking to some people. They think they’re working 8-10 hours a day, but in reality, there are tons of gaps in their day where time is filled with other meaningless things (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, reading blogs, watching TV, on the phone, doodling, etc.).
Once you know where your time is going on a daily basis you can begin to whittle away at the things you’re doing that aren’t necessarily what you’re wanting to be doing.
Step 4: Say ‘Yes’ Only to Things You WANT to Do
After we find the time sucks in your day it’s easy to sit down and write out the things you do and don’t want to be doing on a daily basis.
For instance, it might look like this:
- I want to work from 9 am to 3 pm
- I want to spend the evening with my kids
- I want to delegate things that are taking too much of my time
- I want to get them active in cooking
- I don’t want to be on social media for 4 hours a day
- I don’t want to clean my house
- I don’t want to wash my dishes
Once you have your list of things that you want to say “yes” and “no” to you need to separate them into two lists and allocate your time.
Once you have a clear idea of where you plan to dedicate your time it’s time to start budgeting it up accordingly.
Note: know how much time you’re working with
How many minutes or hours will each item be given? Since you know how many hours you’re awake each day it shouldn’t be hard to start allocating time for each item. If you have too much time at the end of the list, then you know you’ll have to go back through and see where you can shave off time from certain things or see if you can move them to another day.
You’ll do this for every day of this week.
Step 5: Time Management is Just Another Name for Delegation
Delegation (like to a virtual assistant). Ah, this can also hard for people to start doing, especially if they’re a bit on the controlling side of the house. It’s a good thing, though, even for small things like scheduling your newsletter to go out, putting your blog up on your website, sourcing images, posting to social media, etc., etc.
One of the best ways to see that delegation can be a good thing is to add up the number of hours each day or week that you are doing all of those tedious tasks and then multiply that by what you charge hourly.
Is that number greater than what it would cost to pay someone else to do it? More than likely the answer is “yes”.
If you said yes, then chances are that it would be cheaper for you to outsource those items to someone else and free up your time to do things that actually generate you money. Outsourcing is a great way to find more time when you’re in need of more time and less stress.
Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
This is a big one for a lot of people. Being able to say “no” and be ok with that decision.
Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you insensitive to others desires, but it makes you own the time you have to work with and define what is a priority and what isn’t one.
This one can also be considered “having boundaries,” because saying ‘no’ is a way of forming boundaries for yourself as well.
Your action item here is to make a list of things you are no longer saying “yes” to and stick to it.
Step 7: Schedule Your Day
Now that you know you need to carve out time to take care of yourself, you know what you’re saying “no” to, what you’re saying “yes” to, what you’re delegating, and what you’re keeping– it’s time to make your schedule.
Google Calendar makes this super simple because you can view and edit your whole week online. It will send you notifications based on the selections you make, which makes it easy to stay on task. You can add notes also if you need to remember anything or remind yourself of things (like phone numbers, addresses, URLs, etc.).
Step 8: Pulling it all together
In a nutshell:
- Finding more time in your day – finding the gaps and “time sucks.”
- Say “yes” only to things you want to be doing
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
- Say “no” to things that aren’t serving you or necessary
- Make time for you
- Use a scheduler
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start to notice there is more and more space in your days. Especially once you get the hang of saying “no” to things you no longer want to do or things you don’t necessarily need to do a lot of (think free calls that aren’t really benefiting the growth of your business).
After you finish this exercise, I would love for you to tell me about your revelations. Leave me a comment and let me know what you uncover.
GOT ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS OR TIPS ON FINDING MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY TO DO THINGS YOU LOVE? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
You Might Also Like These: