It’s always a juggle with time, isn’t it; there never seems to be enough of it! I’m a firm believer in having lists and prioritising tasks but sometimes other jobs need to be done first and then the plans go out of the window!
Time management becomes a constant battle as you try to juggle work and your home life, especially if you work from home. Of course, even more so now as so many of us are doing just that! The competing priorities of work life and family life are constantly vying for your attention and the thought of being able to better plan and manage your day seems like a dream.
There is another way! With some simple changes to your day, you can make time management a vital part of your life… and you will soon benefit from the changes.
In my book ‘Your Business Your Numbers’ I mention a survey I sent out to clients:
Every respondent … stated that time management was one of their biggest weaknesses and also named it as one of the main factors holding them back. Maybe it’s one of yours too?
It’s something I hear every week in my business mentoring sessions, so it is highly likely that you would like to improve your time management too.
Why is time management so important?
We have all heard about time management and you have probably heard that it is good for efficiency, but why is it so important for a good work life balance?
Makes you more effective
Lowers your stress
Helps you to focus
I am sure that each of these benefits would have a big impact in your life!
How do you spend your time?
The first step in improving your time management is to assess how you spend your time from day to day.
Think about how you spend your time both at work and outside it. When you start being honest with yourself and jot down everything that takes up part of your working day, the results can be surprising.
Does any of this seem familiar?
It’s essential to get a system in place in order to achieve success both at home and at work.
The first step to understanding how you spend your time is to keep a time log so you know exactly where you’re wasting those precious minutes and hours.
It’s also beneficial to break these hours down into:
Travelling to work
Caring for someone
Review your time log at the end of the week. Where have you been spending too much time? When have you been your most efficient? This will give you more focus and clarity on how to achieve success.
You will notice where you are wasting time and the first step to addressing it is to notice it.
Have a Distraction Radar -
Where is your time being wasted and can you do anything about it?
Start taking time management seriously. Prepare your plan by prioritising your ‘to do’ tasks and decide the best time of day for you to work on them. You might be someone who prefers to start work early or you may prefer to work later in the day. Personally, if I can crack on first thing in the morning, that works best for me.
There may be certain tasks which you get through quickly when you are fresh in the morning but take you twice as long if you try to complete them in the afternoon. Or you may be more alert by the afternoon. Get to know and understand the way you work.
By planning ahead you use your available hours in a more efficient way as you will be working at your optimum time.
Once you start, make sure you stick to your time management plan – it’s easy to lose control and focus if you are responding to emails and phone calls instead of sticking to your plan.
How to Better Manage Your Time
Now you know where you spend your time and have a plan of priorities, start thinking about how you can better manage your time. Could you:
get the whole family involved rather than trying to do everything yourself?
afford to pay someone to help you?
only go on social media at certain times of the day?
have a weekly plan for meals so you only need to go shopping once a week?
use apps to help you with budgeting? There are plenty of them out there! Maybe use Xero or Quickbooks.
There are so many other ways you can find more time in your working day – how amazing would that be?
Get creative in your thinking and you will soon find you have so much more time to do the things you love to do.
I love this Dr Seuss quote!
“How did it get so late so soon?”
It frequently feels like this, doesn’t it? Trying to balance work and home life. By identifying areas that are eating up your time unnecessarily, you will soon find more hours in the day to concentrate on what is important.