Does this sound familiar?
You sit down at your desk and have no idea where to start. Your inbox is full. You have several client projects started but nothing complete. You have work to do for your own business too. Overwhelm creeps in, and you don’t know what to do.
That’s when you decide to check your social media quickly, and the next thing you know, you have wasted an hour watching cat videos and finding out where the Bernie Sanders’ meme has him sitting today!
I don’t have to tell you that isn’t the most productive use of your working hours. You know that.
To be productive you need to plan and time block your calendar.
Wouldn’t it be great if you sat down at your desk every day and knew exactly what you needed to accomplish? What if you sat down and could get right to work? And if you don’t waste time throughout the day, you won’t have to work past your designated work hours to get everything done!
You can have this kind of day every day with a little planning.
As you work through a typical day, write down everything you did to start your time audit. I know that sounds overwhelming, but it is well worth the effort.
Pick a time interval of 15 or 30 minutes. Set an alarm for the interval you choose when you start your day. When the alarm goes off, write down what you did during that time interval, reset the alarm, and continue working until it goes off again. Repeat this process throughout the day.
You need to categorize each activity into one of three categories: very important, not particularly important, and worthless. Are you spending most of your time on very important tasks? Take a hard look at what you are doing.
Time blocking is merely the practice of planning your day into time segments to work on particular tasks. Batching like tasks together is a great way to maximize your efforts. Switching from one task to another can slow down your productivity considerably.
Add time segments or blocks to your calendar dedicated to the tasks you need to complete.
8:30 - 9:00 EMAIL - check and add any new tasks to your daily list
9:00 - 10:00 work ON your business
10:00 - 12:00 Client work
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch and walk around the block
1:00 - 1:30 2nd check of email for the day add any new tasks to your list
1:30 - 3:30 Client work
3:30 - 4:00 Return any phone calls
4:00 - 4:30 Final email check
4:30 - 5:00 Plan next days schedule
Notice that working on your business comes before the client’s work. We tend to put our business last and client work first. Working on your business needs to go first. Especially your marketing and accounting tasks.
Each day may look slightly different depending on whether you have any appointments, meetings, or classes you need to attend. But, allowing that planning time at the end of the day will set you up for success.
Taking these steps will help you to control your day instead of letting your day control you.
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