If there’s one thing I’ve learned while juggling a full-time career, growing a business, and raising a family, it’s how to make every single second count. Just yesterday, I loaded the dishwasher while simultaneously paying a bill online and playing hide and seek with my kid (count to ten reallllllllly slowly).
In today’s world with endless apps and distractions, it can be easy to let a whole day slip by without really having much to show for it. The truth is, though, time is not a renewable resource. Once a day is over, it’s gone for good. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to maximize your efficiency.
1. Have big-picture goals.
I evaluate my goals and set new ones every six months or so. Mine are typically related to fitness, finance, or my business, but I often have personal goals as well. The key is that they are actionable, measurable, and achievable with a little hard work. Dream big, get excited, and write down your goals somewhere that you can look at them every single day. My three big-picture goals for the remainder of 2017 are to lose ten pounds, book one new client per week, and to save $2000 for an upcoming home improvement project.
2. Create daily goals.
Begin each day by writing a quick list of your goals just for that day. These tasks should tie-in to your big-picture goals. For example, my goals for today are to eat one zero-carb meal, follow-up with two potential client inquiries and submit paperwork to sponsor Leprechaun Lilly again this fall, and to draft a personal budget for the month of September. These are small, discrete tasks that when built upon every single day, will help me achieve those big goals. I write these tasks on a notepad next to my computer so that I know exactly what I need to do when I have a few minutes to spare.
3. Schedule your tasks.
I’m juggling so much that I’ve found it difficult to schedule my entire day successfully, so instead, I give myself time limits for individual tasks throughout the day. For example, I allotted myself thirty minutes to write this blog post – at the end of that time, I will either roll with what I have so far, or I’ll save and continue writing later. The key is to not allow any one task to dominate your entire day.
4. Outsource all the things.
I value my time above all else, including money. I can always make more money, but I cannot make more time. Therefore, I outsource everything I can as my budget allows, and it’s been a HUGE gamechanger for our family. This doesn’t always have to mean hiring help or spending money – perhaps it means trading services with a friend or colleague. As long as the trade is equal and satisfies all parties, I’m a huge advocate of swapping services. It takes a village, right?
Well, my thirty minutes are up! What time management practices work best for you? I’d love to hear about them!