Just like you budget your money, you have to also budget your time according to what's most important for your business.
We all know that feeling.
The one when you finish your workweek, only to realize that you didn’t even get to the most important tasks on your list.
People always ask me, “With so much going on how do you manage your time?” The truth is there is no magic solution, but there are learnable principles that anyone can use to be more productive.
It all starts with the following mindset: Just like you budget your money—first spending it on what’s most important (your mortgage, your electricity bill, etc), you have to also budget your time according to what’s most important for your business.
Start by doing an “audit” of how you currently spend your time. For one week, track all of the activities you do. Then, review your list and identify the specific themes that your tasks fall into, such as external initiatives, internal initiatives, personal time, special projects, and so on. This way, you’ll know what activities need to take priority when you’re budgeting time in your week.
Once you’re ready to take control of your productivity, here are just a few Ptex Practical Pointers I’d recommend to start you on your journey to better time management.
1. Start the week with intention
Before your week starts (I find that Sunday is best for this), determine your highest priorities for the week, and block out time in your week designated for those activities. It will help to already know which “themes” (as mentioned above) that you want to focus on for each day of the week.
2. Be realistic, and know yourself.
If you know that your energy tends to be lower on a certain day, schedule low-energy tasks for that day, and more demanding or creative ones for the days when your energy is higher. Don’t forget to leave white space in your day to avoid burn out.
3. Prepare for the unexpected (and know when to say NO)
You can’t always predict how the day or the week is going to pan out, so embrace the uncertainty by allocating time for the unexpected. Set ground rules to minimize time wasted, like not allowing more than five minutes on an unscheduled call. Remember, the most efficient and effective leaders are ruthless about saying “no” when necessary.
As I always say, don’t let perfection get in the way of progress! Mastering time-management takes lots of practice, so if things don’t always go the way you want them to, do not get discouraged. Just stay intentional, be consistent, and look at every effort (and every mistake) as a valuable step on your journey to mastering your time.