If you look at some of the world’s top, most successful entrepreneurs, they approach time management in a different way. Everyone from Jeff Bezos to Elon Musk and Richard Branson all has the same 24 hours in their day that I have in mine and you have in yours.
Instead of looking to manage time, look to manage tasks. The most successful people I have seen, have a clear understanding of how, when, where, and why they handle particular tasks. More importantly, they understand when NOT to handle particular tasks. This week’s blog will share a simple 7-step process to get a new perspective on time management and focus that shift to task management.
- Step 1. Use the time block and chunking method. Open up your calendar. Whatever you have in it, clear it out so it is 100% empty. Look at the week in front of you. There are 156 hours this week. From here we will block off everything you are responsible for into 30 to 60-minute chunks. For example, you drive your kids to school from 8:00-8:30 am Monday through Friday. Add that to your calendar. Repeat any items that are reoccurring tasks. Consider the different domains of your life. Family, personal, spiritual, friends, health, and business to name a few. When you block off times in your calendar to complete these tasks, color code them for each domain. This will give you a good idea of where you are focusing the proportions of your time very visually.
- Step 2. Family first. When performing step 1, place family, and everything else outside of your business in the calendar first. Business owners are notorious for letting their businesses run them and stealing precious time from their calendars. When this happens too much for too long, many things like burnout, resentment of your own business, or your family resenting the business can begin to happen.
- Step 3. Fill in the business. Once step 2 is complete, fill in the things you need to accomplish in your business. Here is the tricky thing. If you are just getting started, you may be responsible for everything that happens in your business. Sales, marketing, accounting, hiring, training, etc. Don’t get overwhelmed. All business owners start off like this. You also may have been in business for a while, with a team to help you with particular responsibilities, but all of you are running around like busy chickens with your heads cut off.
- Step 4: Income producing vs. non-income producing. In any business, there are income producing and non-income producing tasks. Whatever tasks need to be completed, decide whether they produce income or not, and more so, when is the best time is to produce income with your tasks. You may have income-producing tasks such as making cold calls on the telephone to other businesses. When is the best time to do this? You likely would not do that at 8:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. You may close a lot of businesses and produce income from lunch or breakfast appointments with potential clients. Block off a certain amount of times for this then fill them in. Non-income producing tasks should not be ignored, as they are required for your business to run. Just don’t let them take away from your income-producing time. Remember that everyone’s business is different and may have different income and non-income producing tasks.
o Side note, check out last week’s blog “How to Market to Grow Your Business”
to learn how to implement a system to find the best return on your time for generating consistent leads and income opportunities for your business.
- Step 5: Execute. Once your schedule is set, execute it. Be on time and be focused on the task at hand, being very clear on the outcome and what constitutes success. Hold yourself accountable for executing this schedule with excellence.
- Step 6: Set safeguards to avoid distraction. One large factor of success in being a master of task management is to avoid distraction. Consider what tools, sources of media, environments, and people cause you to get pulled off task. Create and set safeguards to eliminate these things from interfering with your time. We have many people working in our office. When my office door is closed and I have my Spanish bull doll on the door, that means I am busy and not available. When I am in my office working, on my new book Painted Baby, I ensure to turn off my phone, email, and any ability for something to take my focus away from that task.
- Step 7: Review and optimize. Remember to pursue excellence, not perfection. Nobody will ever execute every single minute of every single hour or every single day, and week with perfection. You will get distracted, you will get pulled off course. Review, evaluate and determine how and why this happens, then work to optimize your calendar and participation within it to become more efficient and effective.
I encourage and challenge you to implement this framework today! To grow your business and have a successful business, it is important to follow this framework and build the habits of consistently doing so.
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Remember 3 things:
I love you.
I believe in you.
You’ve got this.
NOW, go get it!