When people ask me “how do I find the time” I often wonder that very question. Even though there’s 24 hours in a day, once the alarm goes off it’s an uphill battle to conquor workload (and life load) in a timely fashion. But what’s an overtired, overworked, overbooked person to do? How do you stop feeling like you’re constantly clock watching and running on fumes? I mean, who became boss and decided that multitasking and being available 24/7 was a good idea? Well, me in a past tense form but that’s not the point.
Since taking more than my fare share of momentary time-related breakdowns, I have put some systems in place to make sure I remember where I need to be and what I am doing when I get there. First step was not relying on my phone, and replacing it with an actual watch to help me keep track and stay on time so I can do other things. Hey, if you play your cards right, you may even be able to squeeze in a couple of hours of you-time. Crazy, right? Here are my top tips for maximising your schedule without maxing out your energy.
I’ve talked about my love of lists before, but every day I write a, erm, list to jot down the days tasks in order of priority. You know exactly what that is; most pressing deadlines first, but also still devoting time to the longer term projects so you aren’t scrambling later. It’s always best to keep in mind that multitasking is fine, yes, but only when you are whole assing everything.
Whether it’s your meeting or not, it’s important everyone is on the same page as to what the meeting is about and help stay on topic. I can be the worst for going on tangents so working towards a structure makes sure everything is covered and everyone gets exactly what they need.
Where would I be in business if it wasn’t for electronic reminders? Probably still in bed. From arranging meetings, inputting notes for when I need to send follow up emails or even drinks with the girls. Eveerything, and I mean EVERYTHING gets put in my calander. This way, I can realistically look at my time and workload at a glance, and understand how much time I have that day for other activities!
Plan your me time
You may have noticed that your workload is overbearing and your “me” time is almost non existant. I know you were afraid that you might have to do this but yes, it’s time to schedule it in. For me, every Monday night it’s date night with my BFF (or the wife as I call her) so automatically keep it free unless stated otherwise. I also book out Sunday mornings / early afternoons to be a work free zone. Sounds silly but if you see it written down, you make it more of a priotity.
Learn to say no
I have covered this before, but there are things that you have to do and things that you don’t, and it’s important to distinguish between the two. Doing a client proposal? You have to. Planning to attend your 4th networking event of the week? Not so much. It’s ok to be greedy with your time, and don’t let others pressure you into saying “yes” when it’s not a priority. Saying “no” can be as important to moving your career forward as saying “yes”.
Did you find this helpful? Check out some of my other posts on running your own business.