Many of my clients (and I) deal with time management challenges. Actually, don’t we all at one time or another in our brave new world of entrepreneurship? I have picked these hacks up along the way. I’ve probably tried 25 but landed on these 5 which work for me.
I’ll list them here and then expand on them below in the event you are just here for the list and don’t want to search for it among a bunch of paragraphs of writing.
Here they are:
1. Set a timer. I use the 52/17 method.
2. Weekly 1, Daily 3 Goals
3. Time blocking my calendar
4. Master to-do list
5. Be selective with networking
1. Set a timer. I use the 52/17 method. I wish I knew where I read this so I could give credit but I just don’t remember because I’ve slept since then. Here’s the method; I set my timer for 52 minutes and I work like crazy. I don’t answer calls, I don’t check messages, I don’t look at social media. I just do the tasks I chose and push through. When the timer sounds, I reset it to 17 minutes and I do whatever I want. Sometimes it’s getting a snack. Other times it’s repositioning my brain to something mindless like a video. Sometimes I’ll do something creative or I’ll read. I do anything BUT the task I’d just been doing. When the timer sounds, I reset it to 52 minutes and I jump back into the tasks. This goes on until I’ve gotten through my tasks (which seldom happens because well…. small business owner).
The advantage of using this method for me is that by the end of the day, I am not completely brain dead. This method allows my mind to regenerate during the 17 minutes of goofing off. Amazingly enough, I get more completed with this method than a day of powering through with no breaks at all.
2. The Weekly 1 & Daily 3: In short, this changed everything for me. I am the WORST when it comes to setting unachievable goals. Yes …. ME! Then I listened to this 👇🏻 podcast! This process allows for me to set achievable weekly and daily goals taken from my annual goal. Each week, I movement towards achievement. It feels good and keep me motivated. I encourage you to take the time to listen. This podcast is only 24 minutes.
3. Time blocking: This is a fluid system and changes a lot …. like monthly. But, it makes all the difference. I block times for certain things like networking, bookkeeping, marketing and client meetings. I allow it to change as needed when clients need me or something very important needs to take place.
I color code my calendar with each block of time and it’s purpose. When I get a call for a meeting or see that there’s a networking opportunity, I can quickly see on my calendar if it will work. I have the freedom to make judgement calls and change when I want. After all, this is the freedom of being an entrepreneur.
4. Master to-do list: I keep an ongoing list. I frequently do a “brain dump”. A brain dump is just a phrase used to describe the process of allowing your brain to let go of all the to-do’s it is trying to hold on to. I let my brain just jump from one thing to another and write as fast as I can. It all goes on my master list. Just getting it written down helps me concentrate on my task at hand. As I get things completed, I mark them off. I re-write it about every month or when I feel like it. This is sometimes where I get my Daily 3.
5. Be selective with networking: Here in the Tulsa area, you can network yourself to death. There is a group meeting practically everyday. When you’re first starting out, you will feel like you have to be at every one of them. And it’s ok to check them all out. But settle on a few that you really connect with the people and build your relationships there. Business is ALL about building relationships.
These are my 5 hacks for time management. I utilize all 5 of these for my business almost daily. They’ve helped me stay focused, efficient and effective. I hope they help you too. Reach out if you’d like more detail.
I’d love to hear about your time management hacks. Please share.