Yep, there is no such thing as time management.
Everyone gets the same amount of time.
Oprah, Marissa Mayer, you and me.
So if Time Management is BS, then why are there so many books about the subject?
I think it’s because people want to feel like they are in control and the majority of us want to be productive.
The key is you can’t manage time but you can manage YOURSELF.
There is a discipline involved with making the most of the 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds in a day. Whichever way you want to look at it.
There are lots of great books around and courses you can do that will teach you strategies for “managing” your time.
You will find some work for you and some don’t.
The best way to find out is to try a couple of them and see what works, and then you might find you come up with your own special recipe.
Over the years I have tried several different time management or rather self-management techniques.
I have perfected a strategy that works for me. My own special “time management” 4-step recipe.
It helps to get me out of overwhelm. It puts me back on track when I’ve only had 5 hours sleep the night before and I’m not sure which way is up and which way is down.
You may find this works for you too, or some elements of it work for you.
It’s laid out step by step here:
On a Sunday night I spend about an hour reviewing my week and planning for the week ahead.
The first thing I do is a brain dump of everything that needs to get done that week and over the next 3-4 weeks.
Getting everything out of your head and on paper is very cathartic and allows you to free your mind, so you can focus on what needs to be done instead of worrying you might have forgotten something.
When I was working for a large multinational corporate company, I once had a meeting with the VP. I walked in with my pad and paper to take notes.
She informed me that she never took notes; instead she kept all the information in her head.
If you are like that too, then I take my hat off to you. I’m not. My head is too busy and I have too many balls in the air to try to even pretend I can remember without a list!!
It’s important to forecast out a little so that you can prepare.
As they say preparation is king!
On a sheet of paper (I like to use the Kikki K Daily Planner) I write out all the tasks I can think of, relating to business and the things I need to get done at home.
If there are tasks that didn’t get done last week, ad them to this list too.
The next thing to do is priorotise the tasks that need to get done that week. Then go through the list and work out what can be done the week after and the week after etc.
Make sure you put a deadline next to each task.
At this point you also want to reference the list you had from last week, which will have tasks that are due for completion in the coming 3 weeks. (If this is your first time, you won’t have last weeks sheet)
The next thing I do is group all the tasks that need to get done this week, into their categories such as – marketing, admin, finance, study, home, signature program etc.
Then I transfer each task and write it on a grid with columns and rows, on something like this planner (yes I’m a bit of a Kikki-K fan) under each category mentioned above.
So now you have a task list completed for the week.
This step needs to be done every morning.
Usually while I’m having my morning coffee, I take a few minutes to look over my grid of tasks that need to get done for the week and I choose my TOP 3 for that day.
These are the top 3 things that I need to do that day, before I do anything else.
Sometimes it’s only these top 3 that get done. So I chose big tasks, things I’m procrastinating about but when done will make a big difference to my business.
As an added extra, I then write my top 3 for the day on my whiteboard. That way I can always see them and I get double satisfaction of crossing them off my list twice!
You may have read this article and thought to yourself, “gee, this girl likes to double handle things!” to which I can say I see your point. Writing and re-writing can seem like a waste of time.
However, like I said before, I find the writing part very cathartic, it allows me to empty my head and get it down on paper.
The process of re-writing also helps to imbed things into my subconscious mind, so I’m less likely to forget what I need to do.
And in this busy life we live in, if I do forget, I have my list to refer back to!
Oh, if you do happen to forget something, or an unanticipated task pops up through the week, you can use a spare column or row to jot those down.
As with most thing there can be hiccups, so this process doesn’t always work perfectly for me.
I’m sure my 2 boys plot together to throw my schedule out (even though they are only 4 and 10 months!) so I do need to be flexible with it.
However, if I go off track, I simply go back to this process and get my day humming along again!
Try this process for yourself and see how you like it.
There might be something you can take out of it or you might love the whole thing.
I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.
Here it is for quick reference
Step 1 – Brain dump all tasks that need to be done
Step 2 – Prioritise tasks
Step 3 – Group tasks into categories and transfer onto planner
Step 4 – Choose your top 3 for the day.