7 Time Management Tips to Reclaim Your Sanity and Productivity

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Weebles WobbleTwo things often happen this time of year – you review what’s happened so far and smile, knowing that you took advantage of opportunities, minimized “hiccups” and generally had a great year in both your business and your life overall.

Or. . .you wonder where the year went. What happened to those amazing goals that you set 12 months ago, wondering why this year didn’t turn out as planned (or hoped).

What if we thought of the year, or even just as day, as if it were a “Weeble” (you remember, “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down”)?

  • Occasionally wobbling, but having systems in place to ensure we rarely fall and bounce back when we do?
  • Having a center of gravity and resourcefulness so grounded that it helps “set us right” even on our worst day?

Reclaim your sanity and productivity with these simple systems:

  1. Have a “why” for everything you’re doing today.  Your “why” should relate in some way, shape or form to your goals.  If it doesn’t, and it’s not required/family-driven, why are you giving your attention to it?
  2. Use a timer.  Personally, I love Polder Timers (there’s something about the digital sand) and use it whenever I really want to focus and get things done.  If I have 30 minutes between client sessions, I’ll schedule the timer for 25 minutes and, knowing it’s counting down, spurs me into quick action.
  3. Know your Peak Productivity Time and set a routine to work within that time frame.  Routines create muscle memory so that you’re often doing something before you even fully realize it.  Like driving home from the grocery store. . .some days you look up and realize you’re home without really focusing on how you got there.  Your routine should include time for breakfast, lunch and breaks as well as when to check emails and social media.
  4. Eliminate distractions and focus on “what’s next”.  Exit out of Skype and your email.  Shut off your wireless or go work somewhere that has no wireless to prevent you from mindlessly surfing, using social media.
  5. Work smarter, not harder. . .aka “Time Chunking”.  What “like” activities can you chunk together so that your mind’s already in that space?  Some examples:  client sessions on certain days of the week, business admin items on Friday mornings, writing on Mondays.  What makes sense in your business?
  6. “Inform/Implement Ratio”.  Determine how much time you want to spent learning “informing yourself” about your industry and then spend at least 3 times that amount of time implementing the info you’ve learned.  All learning without implementing won’t serve your goals.
  7. Get Support.  Who’s in your corner?  From outsourced team members you can delegate to (even 1-2 hours/month) and your family to a mentor or community which has your best interests at heart.  The two most important factors for success are #1 (knowing your “why”) and having a support structure in place to motivate and inspire you when times are tough or things don’t go as planned.

And, most important of all, is to have fun — in and out of your business.  Be sure to take time to “decompress” and enjoy life.  You’ll be amazed at the renewed energy and ideas that can come from an unplanned afternoon out of the office.

Please share any of your favorite productivity strategies below.

Looking for additional tools and strategies beyond what I share here?  Check out Paula Eder’s site at www.TheTimeFinder.com