If you are alive today you are feeling stressed out and busy! When I was young I can remember a time when a phone call was a big deal, we all jumped up to yell “I got it” and ran to the phone. Today a phone call comes from your pocket and you probably are thinking, “oh no, one more thing to do!”.
Between calls and texts and notifications and everything else, we are all stretched out to the max.
But it doesn't have to be like that! If you are in business for yourself and want to find out where all your time goes, I have a super easy, horrific idea for you to try!
Record your time for a week. Everything you do, all day long. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish and also what has crept in that is not necessary or needed.
>> Get my form from the video >> Where Did My Time Go?
Time Management Tips
Okay here is how I do this! I generally try to do this at least quarterly so that I don't get too far off track with my work.
The part of the system is to figure out what your feelings are about what you are doing. I use smiley, straight and sad faces to record this.
Smiley faces are for things that I love doing. Writing blog posts is a smiley face for me. Researching marketing tactics, smiley. Making forms, smiley. There are tons of things that I “get” to do in my business that are really fun and exciting. I try to make sure that my business is set up so I get to do more of these things.
Straight faces are things that I have to do but are not glee filled. Paying my bills is like that. I have to do it, it is not my favorite but I don't mind doing it. I do this every 15th of the month and always think, “this is going to take HOURS”. It actually takes about half an hour and reminds me that I should stop being so histrionic about things that I find boring.
Sad faces are things that have to go away. As I go through my day I notice when there is a sad face and try to figure out a way to fix it. I have an AMAZING gal named Shell who works for me and luckily some of the things that I HATE doing are what she is good at. You can outsource or just eliminate these from your life!
Last but not least are the urgents. This is a GREAT way to figure out if what you are doing is the best use of your time as you go through your day.
Urgent Important. My urgent and importants today included finalizing a webinar powerpoint that needs to get done for tomorrow. It is urgent because of the time frame and important because I owe my listeners a great experience. Also urgent important is writing this blog post. My site traffic is a big reason I get so many email signups!
Important Not Urgent. I have a couple of upcoming speaking events that I have to add to my calendar on my to do list today. While it is important to get them on there, they are all in a month or more from today. There is NO urgency to these what-so-ever as long as I have them written down and can reference them when I need to!
Urgent Unimportant. Next up are things that need to be done soon but are not important to my business moving forward. Having to download pictures every day from my subscription to a stock photo site is one of these. It has a time constraint, but if I don't download them nothing bad happens. I get ten more the next day. These are the ones that make us go off track the most. YES, it would be good to get them but NO they are not vital to running my business.
Unimportant Not Urgent. I really don't have these anymore because of my tight scheduling. If I write down that something is not urgent and not important I stop doing it. Fussing with my Facebook pages is like this. I know that some people are super successful with their Facebook pages but for me they are just something that needs to be checked from time to time. I schedule posts to fill them up, but don't take any time in my day to try and “work” them. Now, this is because I have strong Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, yours might be different. If Twitter is not a sales driver for you, stop doing it and move your time to something more productive!
Note: Another thing on this list for me was checking USAToday on my phone. There was never anything nice there and sometimes there was story so horrible it knocked me off my game. For that reason alone it had to get deleted from my phone! I didn't have enough will power not to look if it was right there so I just let it go.
Time Management Wrapup
Well there you have it! The first time that my friend Kir recommended I do this I wanted to cry it sounded so hard, but now that it is a habit it feels really good. I don't have to spend time on doing things that I hate and feel good about doing things that really make me happy!
If you spend a little bit of time now, you CAN find out where all your time went and find ways to be less “busy” and get more productive!!