3 Tips for Effectively Managing Your Time
There are courses on time management, books on time management, and lots of resources are available online and offline to teach you how to manage time.
My viewpoint has always been that you cannot manage time. It’s the great equalizer and we all have the same amount of it. How to manage your use of time effectively is the key. We must manage ourselves in order to become masters of efficiency.
Efficient Time Mastery Starts from Within
How does efficient time mastery start from within?Â It simply means that you must make a decision that you’re going to gain the most out of the hours allocated for working in and on your business. As a coach, this means working with clients and preparing to work with clients, as well as all the other necessary tasks.
In this post we’ll zero in on just three areas you can make changes to see greater results in managing your use of time effectively:
Focus on One Task
Women, especially, have become adept at multi-tasking. Unfortunately research shows that multi-tasking does not bring the results you hope for. Having multiple browsers open and listening to a recorded webinar while you send an email is a waste of time. Neither one is getting your focus. Instead of making you more efficient, trying to work on multiple projects at the same time can turn a 30-minute task into an afternoon of accomplishing very little.
While we’d like to think we’re good at multi-tasking, the truth is, multi-tasking is really “task switching”, and every time you stop to quickly do something else, you lose your focus. That lost momentum costs you added minutes every time you turn your attention back to the task at hand.
Solution: Close the multiple browser tabs, turn off whatever you’re listening to that’s not a part of what you’re focused on, turn off alerts from social media, including What’s App, and regain your focus. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll be in a short, focused time.
I like to plan my day the night before because I can start the day in a positive, knowing frame of mind as I already know what I plan to accomplish that day. Some productivity teachers recommend doing so the morning of. Try both and see which works best for you and give you the best results.
When you turn on your computer in the morning and immediately jump into Facebook or email because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do next, you immediately start your day in a reactive mood. Your emotions and energy will be based on what you read or see rather than the positive and calm feeling of knowing what you want to accomplish that day.
If the morning hours are your most productive time, think of all you’ll be losing by allowing yourself to become engaged in non-productive tasks.
Solution: Schedule 15 to 30 minutes at the end of each day to plan out the next day, and you’ll never again be caught wasting the first hour of the morning on non-essential tasks.
Schedule time for email
It’s important to read and respond to your email. Please do not think you’re being encouraged to ignore email. Not at all! What’s being encouraged instead is to set specific times to read and reply to email. I can hear some of you saying that “my clients are international and there may be important emails waiting for me first thing in the morning”. That may be true.
What if you strive to get one of your three most important things done first; the one that’s going to bring you the greatest results? Alternatively, set up your email so that you can see who they’re from and the subject, without having to open the individual email. That way you can quickly scan to determine if there is any that needs urgent attention.
Solution: Allow yourself 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon to process your inbox. Strive to “touch” each message one time. Either Respond to it; Complete it (if it’s a task), Delegate it or File it. Of course, only you can decide if 30 minutes two times per day is adequate.
These are just three of the strategies coaches can implement in order to manage their use of time more effectively. It takes balance. As coaches, we’re always giving to others, and it’s natural that we are concerned about our clients. However, we are our business, and failure to manage our use of time effectively will have a negative impact on us and our business, and the clients we serve.
How to Manage Time Wisely
Finally, watch the above video and don’t forget to plan ahead. The most important thing: Start Today!