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5 EASY STEPS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER

Are you being productive or just keeping busy?

As a business owner you’ve got a lot on your plate. Do you get to the end of your task filled day, look back and ask yourself...what did I even do today?

Being busy comes at a cost – professionally and personally. Studies show that being busy affects 30% of people’s health, 31% of people’s love life, 46% of people’s sleep and 70% of people are too busy to even eat.

Time is the most precious commodity. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day – so what sets those apart who can “get it all done” and enjoy life outside of the workplace?


1 - DOWNTIME.

I know. This feels counterintuitive…but stay with me. I am a big believer of rest! We were created to work from rest, not the other way around. If you honestly look at your weekly or monthly rhythms, can you honestly say that you are giving yourself space to recharge?

Dedicate some time to yourself to do things that refuel you like being in nature, enjoying the company of those around you, moving your body with a favorite workout, reading a book, enjoying a nourishing meal, a hobby you haven’t picked up in a while, taking a nap, or unplugging from your social accounts for the day. The ideas are endless.

The next step is to decide when to rest. Is it weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? That is for you to decide! In my own personal rhythms, I take the 3rd Friday of each month and work a half day. As a family, we look ahead at our schedule for the upcoming month and plan to take a full weekend to be activity free so we can rest and live a slow-paced life. These are just a few fun rhythms put in place that I look forward to each month!

Here are some categories to consider venturing into as you take the time to plan your next rest day: physical, creative, mental, social, sensory, emotional, and spiritual.

2 - PRIORITIZE.

This is key to understanding the level or importance for each task that is at hand. Things only become urgent when you procrastinate. Read that again.

It’s important to identify what you need to do, should do, and want to do.

A helpful rhythm can be looking ahead each week and planning your top 3 weekly actions. Next, you can start each day with your top 3 daily actions. Prioritizing your goals for the week and your day can help you get over the procrastination hump that can keep you motivated to stay focused. You may be spending more time on something that will have less impact on your bottom line. Start the week and day with your best self by giving your time and energy to the things that matter first.

3 - SAY NO.

Most leaders say no more than they say yes. The ability to say ‘no’ is not only a sign of self-confidence and assertiveness but is crucial to your ability to effectively manage your time.


Here are 3 ways you can improve your time management and efficiency:


· Buy yourself some time – Be realistic with your schedule and point out that you need to check your current workload before making a commitment. This allows you to make it easier to say no while demonstrating that you’ve given the other person genuine consideration for their request.


· Offer alternative solutions – Suggesting another person to help will likely find you getting a positive response even though you are saying no to someone’s request for help.


· Use ‘not right now’ – People usually tend to react better to ‘not right now.’ This also shows that you take your current responsibilities seriously and that you’re willing to commit when you can give someone your full attention.

4 - ORGANIZE YOUR DAY.

· Start early. Most successful people have one thing in common – they start their day early. Creating this space allows you to sit, think and plan your day well. Who loves rushing through their day? I am guilty of this…but it is always worth it in the end when I make time before my workday to gather myself and prepare my day well.


· Track your time. When you start tracking your time, you become more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time. That added pressure will naturally push you to stay focused and work efficiently. A great tool I have loved using is Toggl. This is a stress-free time tracking software that also has project-planning features. It can provide you with detailed insights and helps optimize your workflow by identifying areas where you can improve.


· The Pomodoro Method is another great technique for working in short intervals! This strategy helps you focus on the single task at hand without any distractions by setting a 25-minute timer. Once the interval is over, you take a break of no longer than 5 minutes. This 5-minute pause is enough to recharge your productivity, but not long enough to break your work tempo. This technique is a favorite amongst many business owners!

5 - SET UP DEADLINES.

When you have a task at hand, set a realistic deadline and stick to it. Challenge yourself, meet the deadline, and reward yourself for achieving your goal! Giving yourself a clear timeframe helps you prioritize better, defines your goals, motivates you to achieve your goals, enhances your creativity, helps you keep your promises, and helps you avoid being a perfectionist.



FINAL THOUGHTS


When you get clear about what’s on your plate, you’ll be more effective and fruitful in your professional and personal life. Great time management requires daily practice – use the strategies above in the weeks ahead, you just might be surprised by how much more time you will be given back.


Hope you find these tips helpful!


Warmly,

Brittany


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