‘There’s not enough hours in the day” I hear you say?
Sometimes, we feel like we are just ‘going as fast as we can’ but I am going to share a little time management tip that is going to change your life.
You can thank me later.
Giving yourself a time limit to do things is the best way to get things done.
Ok thanks bye. That’s it.
Oh wait, you need more information? Ok got it.
I use a combination of two techniques to stay on track (oooh look, something shiny!!) and get things done and I am going to share them with you.
The first one is scheduling your day ahead of time. I tend to do mine on a Sunday evening so I know what the week is going to bring and I can just get up Monday morning and get started.
I use a grid spreadsheet that I actually print out and use coloured highlighters and erasable pens to fill in, but that’s just me, you can do yours however you like, online, or printed out.
The first part of the job is I have a ‘master list’ that has a set of categories, for example, website, writing, emails, accounts, organisation, property, learn and so on. You can create whichever categories you need. Look at your current to-do list to help you work out the categories you need.
I then put tasks into each category. I’ll explain the ‘learn’ one so this makes sense. At the moment I have a 100 page ebook I bought to read and implement some of the things I learn, an online training course about email marketing to watch their videos and start making notes of what I want to do, and another online course on something else I am partway through.
So under ‘learn’ I have those three things listed. I have three hour long blocks on different days all allocated to ‘learn’ and so what I do is, when that block of time comes around, I get my list out, and I choose what I want to spend that hour on and go ahead and do that, and when the hour is over, I stop what I am doing and move onto the next thing.
Sounds a bit like highschool, right? Minus the annoying boys, boring teachers, and long, long bus trips…
It works though!
If you want to give it a shot, you’re welcome to download a copy of my template (just open the link and do a ‘save as’ so you can make it your own) here
I’ve even done an example of one day to give you an idea of how it can work!
This is 100% how you can get more done in your day!
But then, what happens when you get to a block of time filled with jobs you don’t LOVE? In my case that might be the ‘accounts’ block, and you can bet your last dollar that it’s during that block of time I might get distracted enough to buy say, a new saddle pad online…
That’s when my second technique comes into play. A sand timer.
I’m SO OLD SCHOOL!
There’s a reason I use a sand timer. If I use my phone to set a timer, then, if I want to check how long I have to finish this borinnnnnnggggg job I am doing, I might see a notification I HAVE to check, or decide to quickly check the weather in case the horses need an extra rug that moment, or whatever. I’ll be looking for distractions.
A sand timer is visual, not attached to your phone, and you can see at a glance at any time, how you are going for time. I have a few sand timers, but my favourite one is my 20 minute timer. Seems like a short time, but spending 20 minutes on a task you don’t love doing can feel like an eternity.
So, when it is time to reconcile my accounts (my least fave job in this business) I set my sand timer (when I am in my ‘accounts’ time block) and make myself focus just for that length of time.
And like I said with the blocks of time, It really does work!
It’s not always about needing to find more time, it’s about using the time you do have really well…