Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Power "Ps" of Time Management


As an entrepreneur, mom of 3 and a wife of a wonderful hubby that needs attention too, TIME is always on my mind! 

What time is it? What do I NEED to get done today? Now? This week? 

These questions are constantly rolling around in my mind all day - usually times 3 - business, family, and personal. Exhausting! 

So in order to keep the time monsters quiet, I utilize a simple system that I start every day with.  I like doing things in 3's (mostly because more than three starts to feel like too much), so here are my Daily 3 P's of Time Management:

1. Plan
Seems obvious but you must plan your day, EVERY day.  For a while I was skipping this step and end up chasing my tail around and around all afternoon. Dumb! So now, I commit to spending 10 minutes planning out all of the tasks that should get completed each day, and if you do the same, your day will hum by productively and profitably! (Notice I said "should". There's always tomorrow, so don't kill yourself if you can't manage to get it all done in a single day).

2. Prioritize
This is huge. Don't necessarily start your day with the task you listed first, because chances are it's not the most important thing to accomplish that day.  Our natural default tends to be the easy tasks or busy work, when we really only need to focus on what we determine are the "A and B" tasks, which should relate to anything sales, marketing and revenue generating. All other tasks that are important but don't directly generate revenue should be designates as "C's" and should only be worked on AFTER all of the A's and B's are completed. Chances are the C's aren't as urgent as you think they are anyway, so focus on the "A & B Money Movers" and watch the magic happen!

3. Practice Time Blocking
OK, I stretched the P on this one a bit, but 3 P's sound better than 2 P's and a B! :) Practice time blocking is based on the fact that we can usually only focus for about an hour, so block out 50 minutes for each A and B task and take a 10 minute break after each 50 minute block.  This way you are protecting time for your most important tasks and also building in time to let your mind and body recharge a bit before jumping into the next important activity.

Bonus Tip:
Use a business journal to document every single day.  In the old days I was a dedicated Day Timer user (dating myself back to the 90's I know...), but since I live and die by my iphone and ipad now, I use a Moleskine journal (Moleskine.com) to plan, prioritize and document my day.  Specifically, I start each day with a new page dated at the top and write down my tasks, voicemail messages, brainstorming doodles, etc. for the entire day.  I especially like that it fits into my purse (there are several sizes and formats to choose from), it's great for taking notes in a meeting, and it has a handy flat pocket in the back for business cards etc. 

There you go! Simple, powerful and FREE! My favorite kind of tips!  

What are your best time management tips? Share in the comments below! 


1 comment:

Thomas Watson said...

Time blocking is a great idea. Thanks for a very useful tip.