Feel like you never have enough time in the day? Especially when it comes to maintaining your blog? Well, first I can tell you that you’re not alone! So, take heart!
Second, let’s explore some ways to make the most of the time that you do have – to free up more of the time that you need!
Time Management Hack #1 – Plan Your Day In Advance
Time Management is a crucial component to overall productivity. And in order for you to get the most out of time management, you have to know what your day will look like. Set aside time each day to plan for tomorrow. Many people do this first thing in the morning, whereas other people do it the night before. If you are a “morning person” the “day-of” tactic will probably work best. If you have a hard time getting started in the morning then the night before would probably be the smarter time to strategize your day.
When you are planning out your day, be sure to work based on priority. Start with a list of all the things you would like to accomplish. Then, put the items that will make the biggest difference first. Next be sure to put down the items that are time sensitive. And lastly put the items you will enjoy the most. If you put your favorite activities at the end of your day you will not only be more motivated to accomplish your goals but you will end the day on a high note.
Time Management Hack #2 – Track Your Time
Many large companies will do time audits and assessments to understand how employees are spending their time and how productivity can be maximized. This kind of business systemization should be treated just as seriously by you as a business owner. Your time is your business life blood so you need to understand HOW you are spending it.
Setting up a system that allows you to track how you spend your time can have a huge impact on both short and long term business success. There are many different ways that you can do a time audit so the format doesn’t really matter. What ultimately matters is doing the work.
Implement a system that forces you to enter how you spent your time for every hour of the working day. You might want to break it into 15 minute blocks, 30 minute blocks or 1 hour blocks (or any other break down that makes sense for you). In this system you literally write out how you spent your time for each block of your working day. Do this for an entire week and then assess your gaps in productivity. You will almost certainly find areas where you can improve your productivity. Knowing this information allows you to make better decisions about your time and ultimately, about your business.
Time Management Hack #3 – Working In Time Blocks
There are countless strategies about working in time blocks. Unfortunately you will simply have to try a few to find which works best for you. One highly effective strategy is to work for 45 minutes and then allow yourself a 10-15 minute break. This strategy works for a few reasons. One, 45 minutes sounds a lot less daunting then staring at an 8 hour day. Two, once you get into a rhythm of working 45 minutes with a break it will be very easy to maintain this schedule. You will find that if you actually hustle for 45 minutes and then take a break your time working will be much more efficient.
Every strategy has its drawbacks. The most important pitfall to avoid here is to allow yourself more than a 15 minute break. Get up, walk around and maybe have a snack. Don’t start watching TV or surfing the web. You have only 10-15 minutes and then you have another 45 minutes of work.
Another huge pitfall for any strategy incorporating time blocks is that of expectation. You have to be realistic in order to be successful. Don’t schedule 10 blocks of work time throughout the day if you have never done that before. If you schedule too many hours of work and mark down what you expect to finish you will have a false sense of accomplishment. For example, let’s say you have 20 projects to complete. And if you really hustled you could complete two projects within a 45 minute block. So you schedule a ten hour day. And even though you haven’t worked that hard in ages, you feel a sense of accomplishment because at the end of your paper there isn’t any more work to be done. The problem is, now you have 10 hours of work to do. The best case scenario is you trudge through and your work becomes sloppy by hour 5 or 6. The worse case scenario is you imagine you have all this extra time because you will be done in 10 hours so you schedule more things to do. Do yourself the favor of being realistic. If you only work 4 hours a day, then schedule yourself 4 or 5 hours. Next week add an hour somewhere until you build the discipline to work longer.
Time Management Hack #4 – Outsource As Much As Possible
Outsourcing can be a daunting task. Whenever you give up control of your business it can be scary. However, there is simply no other way to increase your income, reach or business if you do everything yourself. So then the question becomes, “which items should I be outsourcing?”
The answer is simple, anything you don’t want to do. People tend to enjoy the things they are good at. They are successful and are able to complete these things quickly and well. The opposite is true of things they don’t enjoy. If you don’t want to do something, you will waste time avoiding it as well as eventually doing it. So when it comes to items you don’t like doing, get someone else to do it.
This works very well for a few reasons. One, the job gets done quicker. Two, you stay in a much better mood. At the end of the day this is all about leverage. Leveraging your time is a skill. And if you plan to work from home, it is a skill you will want to hone early.
The only limit to this is the ability to outsource and the cost of outsourcing. If you simply don’t have the cash to pay someone to do it then obviously outsourcing is not the solution. And if you spend just as much time supervising it as you would doing it yourself then it isn’t worth outsourcing. However, the vast majority of business items can be outsourced eventually.