When I chat to friends and colleagues, they’re often amazed at the number of simultaneous projects I’ve got on the go, and comment on how super-effectively I manage my time. Even more important, to me, is that I’m able to avoid feeling overwhelmed in the process.
Today, I thought I’d share some of the tricks I use to ensure that my time is managed as effectively as possible. These are tricks that I’ve learned, developed and perfected over the years, and I hope you can put them to use for your own time management and get more stuff done in a shorter time.
Tip #1: Don’t let perfectionism become your biggest time-waster
Time and time again, I see women waste time agonizing over not being good enough, or over-analyzing a situation. This is aptly referred to as ‘analysis paralysis’.
When we grew up, we were encouraged to strive for 100% at school. But as entrepreneurs, when we’re constantly chasing new opportunities, seeking perfection down every path is simply not an option.
Rather than focusing on being perfect, focus on doing your best at a given moment.
I’ll be honest with you: some days I perform at 100% of my ability, and other days, when I’m not feeling so great, I may only perform at 50%. That’s okay – I’m human. The more time you spend being self-critical, or judging yourself for not achieving perfection, the more precious time and emotional resources you’re wasting.
It’s okay that I’m not 100% today, as long as I get up and try again tomorrow.
Tip #2: No to multitasking; Yes to batching
Batching is grouping similar tasks together so that you can do them all at once.
In everything I do, I focus on batching specific tasks. I make a list of everything I need to do to grown my business, and then ask myself how best I can batch as many of those tasks as possible. If I need to write social media posts, for example, I make sure to complete a month’s posts in one sitting.
I avoid multitasking at all costs. For example, writing sales messages in between social media posts: our ability to sell and our ability to create marketing content come from entirely different creative processes, and our brain can’t effectively run both at once. I’d far rather focus my brain on a single task at a time, and this has allowed me to get more done in less time.
Tip #3: Put everything on a task list
If I come up with new ideas or remember things I need to do, I put them on my task list. Having one single place to store all these things allows me to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
I know that I’ll go back to my list and sort these tasks according to importance and urgency, so once they’re on the list, they don’t need to take up precious space in the front of my mind.
This way, I can focus on what I need to do in the present moment, rather than being distracted by all the other things I need to get done.
Tip #4: Schedule tasks on the calendar
If my tasks are not on my calendar, I don’t get them done. So, rather than just listing tasks and trying to complete them, I schedule them so that every morning I can simply open my calendar to know exactly my course of action. This helps me stay focused, and staying focused means I’m less overwhelmed and can get more done.
Tip #5: Focus on the process, not the result
As I already mentioned, every morning I check my calendar for the things I need to do, and I focus on getting them done. And, while results are important, I only spend a designated time focusing on them. Outside of that time, I don’t think about results but about my process and what I need to do in the given moment. I celebrate every single action and progress daily, which allows me to stay focused, get more done, and remain unaffected by positive or negative results that are sometimes outside of my control.
That’s it. Those are my top five time-management tips that allow me to get more done in a shorter time. Over the years, I’ve turned to these strategies to avoid feeling overwhelmed, stay more focused and, most importantly, manage my mental health. Being an entrepreneur is a long journey, and we want to enjoy it and grow from it.
I really hope these tips inspire you and help you get stuff done. And I’m curious – what are some of your time-management tips? Make sure to share with me on social media so we can inspire more women!
We sell better, together