Your Schedule Reflects Who You Are!
This morning I got up with the intention of writing a couple of articles for this website and spending an hour on my yoga mat. I was really looking forward to, what for me, is an idyllic way of spending time. But somehow I allowed myself to get distracted by the worm hole that is Facebook. Before I knew it, most of the morning had passed and I only had time for one of these activities before I went out to meet friends. So I prioritised writing this article and skipped my yoga practice.
If I hadn’t looked at Facebook first thing this morning, I’d have written my two articles and completed my yoga practice. I’m telling you this story because one of my clients asked me only a couple of days ago for advice on how he could manage his time more effectively. So that’s my confession out of the way! It’s not always easy to ‘walk the talk.’
The philosopher and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What you’re doing speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you’re saying.” The bottom line is that if I say that one of my greatest priorities is to develop an advanced yoga practice, and I don’t then practice, this is not the priority I insist it is. How we spend our time (our diary and daily habits) has to be aligned with our deepest values if we’re to realise the goals and dreams we’ve set for ourselves. Our diary and daily habits don’t lie! They’re a barometer of who we are – focused or distracted – organised or chaotic – ordered or undisciplined.
When I’m not distracted by the worm hole that is Facebook, these are the time management habits I find work well for me:
- At the end of each day, write down your key priorities for the next day and work out when will be the best time to complete these. If you forget/ are too busy, do this first thing in the morning.
- Set aside a dedicated day each week for your own business development and marketing activities. Monday is my day for this. Now I’m not saying that I wouldn’t schedule a meeting with one of my dream ‘joint venture partners,’ because I would. But I’ve made a commitment to myself to ‘work on’ my business on Mondays because this allows me to be focused and productive.
- Earmark time to deal with social media and your emails because it’s far too easy otherwise to end up responding to other people’s agendas and to not progress your own. I do Tweet outside these times, but usually when I’ve paused for a quick break.
- Midway through the month, schedule a ‘Clear The Decks’ day to catch up on your invoicing, updating your sales pipeline, following up with new contacts, those emails you’ve not quite got round to… And if/ when you’re on top of these activities, use the remaining time for some marketing activities.
- At the end of each month, set aside a day to reflect on how far you’ve achieved your goals, acknowledge what went well, what you’ve learnt, what you could do differently going forward and what new skill or habit you need to cultivate within yourself. And then set your priorities for the next 1 and 3 months. Summarise this in a journal or else you’ll forget! And then refer back to this periodically through the month, and when you come to your next monthly review.
- Write up your priorities for the next 1 and 3 months and place these in a place where you can be reminded of them during the course of the day.
What time management techniques work best for you? Which aspect of time management do you find most difficult? How do you stop yourself from falling down the social media worm hole?!