As entrepreneurs that work from our houses, it can so HARD to learn how to manage our time effectively to get all the things done for our business when regular everyday things are staring at us. We see things like laundry and dishes piling up. If you have kids or pets running around, you have to keep an eye or an ear out for them. You are more likely to run to the store because you need that gallon of milk for dinner. The list never ends, and before you know it, it is 10 pm, and you haven’t gotten anything done for your business today. So how do we stop that? Time management, aka time blocking and scheduling like a MOFO!
I know, I know. We all became business owners to get time freedom and stop with the scheduling BS, but unfortunately, that was not how it works. When you work for yourself, the only person that can check-in and makes sure that YOUR work is DONE is YOU! This means stop saying you’ll get it done tomorrow because you and I both know that is a lie and start scheduling your day out.
Now I wasn’t and some days I am still not good at this. I have tools now up my sleeve that help me when I get off track but I completely know where you are coming from when you tell me that it is hard to schedule because you just don’t know what the day is going to hold for. But know that it is going to take active WORK from you to make this happen. It does NOT happen on accident or over night. Not everyone is good at it and more then likely you wont stick to it at first. Thats ok. Just make sure you don’t give up!
I want to start first by telling you that what works for does NOT mean it will work for you. Not everything works for everyone, and it will take time for you to find what works for you, but once you find what works, Stick to it! I use the list and timer method. Now, let me break this down for you.
I make 3 lists…
One Monthly list with everything I need to do for the month with no rhyme or reason—just everything I need to get done within the business. I do NOT include my repetitive tasks, unique tasks for the month, on this list only.
Next, I make my weekly list, and I start chunking off a few things monthly lists and add things that I know are repetitive, like paying bills, social media posts, responding to emails, regularly scheduled emails, etc.
Lastly, I break that weekly list into my daily HOUR BY HOUR LIST. With this one, I take into account things like lunch, coffee breaks, doctor appointments, shopping, running errands, self-care, meetings, drive times, etc. I put things on my daily list that I can NOT move around. Then I start adding in my business things around it.
It is time to actually work. I walk up grab my cup of coffee (or energy drink depending on the day) sit down with my list. I have 30 minutes to check emails before I have to get ready to get out the door. So I sit down at my computer only open the tabs I need to check and respond to my email, turn my phone on do not disturb, and start a 30-minute timer. Like an actual timer. I set my list up so most of my blocks are in no more the 60-minute chunks so I can walk away from my computer and stretch every once in a while but well I am working I do not want distractions. I want to be able to work and COMPLETE the task at hand. Once I am done with emails I will get up and go get ready for my day.
Easy enough right?
But not everyone can do this. It takes practice. When you start the course with me we talk about time management. Even if it training yourself not to open social media tabs well you are working so the temptation isn’t there to surf. That is a step in the right direction. You don’t have to make major changes all at once just enough to get the ball rolling.