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How to develop a good time management system
In this episode, I discuss the importance of a time management system.
By listening to this episode you will learn how to effectively manage your time.
Hello, we’re gonna talk about a time management system that will actually work. Something that you can stick to. As opposed to something super extreme and that you struggle to follow and you fall off track when you try to do it. I also want to talk a little bit about what gets in the way of you not accomplishing or doing what you say you want to do. And these are things that I’ve certainly worked on with clients and myself. Coaching myself through some of these obstacles as well.
I’m going to quickly share this, live with my Facebook groups, so they know we’re live as well. And we’re gonna go for it. So for those of you who don’t know. My name is Hailey, and I am a Marketing and Sales Coach for online coaches, consultants, service providers who want to grow their business and have more sales, and overcome some of their mindset barriers, getting in the way of doing those things. Because we all know that time management and getting things done on your to do list.
The thing we’re going to talk about today is actually pretty easy. As far as like, you know, what you kind of need to do. It’s just when it comes to actually doing it and putting it on on your calendar, a lot of things come up for you. So. Go ahead and share in the comments, if you know a little bit about what gets in the way when it comes to you doing the things you want to do during your week.
And I’d love to see that after this video and reply to some of those and give you some feedback. So. The first thing though, that we need to think about is what are your blocks about time. So in other words. I know that a lot of my clients when I’ve spoken to them, they just indulge in this. I’m so overwhelmed.
And there’s so much to do. I don’t know where to start. And the thing is, there really isn’t a wrong place to start. If you know, some options of what you’re supposed to do, the way that you get yourself out of that is by starting with something small, and blocking out the next 30 minutes.
Why overwhelm is created and how to overcome it
So one thing I just want to say is before we start this video is you don’t need the perfect tool or time management system. And definitely don’t use that meeting that as a way to procrastinate from actually getting started. And. Also don’t use a tool against yourself. So. I was just speaking with a client earlier this week about how he had a time management system, but he would kind of beat himself up and think why even bother using this because I’m not consistent.
And then would therefore, you know, allow that to cause further challenges when it comes to managing time. So the first thing I just want to say is, get your overwhelm is not something that happens to you. And your to do list is not something that happens to you. It’s something that you’ve created. And it’s something that you’re choosing to feel right now. Because you just decided that there’s a lot of things you want to do, and not enough time to do it in. So that’s the first thing.
It’s just any time you’re starting to indulge in overwhelm and feel like this is something that, you know, I just, I just have so much to do. And. You’re saying it like facts. The truth is everything on your calendars, they are by your choice. And some of the things you think well, I have to do this, though I have to go to my day job. I have to pick up my kids from school. Yeah. But you are at the end of the day choosing to do that.
It’s probably important enough to you that you want to show up at work. Or pick your kids up. So. Don’t let that turn into well, I’m a failure and loser and I can’t do anything else. Instead. Think about what are the options given the time I have. And what is the next small step. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is, anytime you put something planned on your to do list your mind or your brain immediately feels this constraint. Because it’s like well, but I wanted to do 12 different things during this time. And. So the key with yourself with any time management tool that you choose, is to practice honoring what you said you’re going to do during that time.
And. It’s not a treat this whole experience like a science experiment. Like I don’t know if I’m going to like my plan today. But I’m going to follow it and find out. And then I’m going to tweak the next day because I might find out I wish I would have been doing the laundry during that time. I should have planned that instead. So I’m going to get better at this as time goes on. But so many people come into whatever we are trying to attempt which might be your eating plan. It might be your workout plan. Or it might be your to do list.
Thinking that has to be this perfect thing and you have to get it right the first time. But really this is the science of studying yourself and your brain and your schedule. What fits and what works and what doesn’t. What habits can be stacked and what can’t and what you can multitask or what you can’t. And so it’s really the practice of getting self aware with yourself. And. So you have to give it that chance. You have to give it that fair, honest trial. Knowing that you’re going to probably change the way you manage your time over time.
So. That’s the second thing I want to clarify. Also, when it comes to where what I would first do before you start the system. I’m going to share with you today is first just write down what you’ve liked about past calendars. Planners, time management systems that you followed. And things you have not liked. So things you’ve liked and things you have not liked about certain time management systems. Things that didn’t work for you. Things that you know, you didn’t stick with. And it’s not to say that you can’t stick with them. But we just want to get a clear idea of what are your obstacles when it comes to time management.
And then the last thing is write write down some patterns. You know, that are not serving you with your time they’re taking up a lot of your time. They’re draining you. Whatever it is. And we’ll use those in the next steps. So write down those three things and should give you an example of a pattern or an obstacle you might have when it comes to your time management.
It might be something like I know that on Fridays I tend to start to kind of like check out at work like I tend to just start scrolling social media more. I tend to, you know, wake up a little later, etc. And, so you just know that about yourself. You’re going to either do something about it or you’re going to work that into the plan right? So that’s the first thing then you want to ask yourself well where do I want to go from here now that I have this list in front of me. About what I like. What I don’t. And some of my patterns.
What what kind of changes do you want to start making? And you know. What do you need to ask for help with? What’s unclear? Like maybe one of your things is you have an idea of what you want to do. But you haven’t broken it down into tiny sub steps. So it just feels so overwhelming you don’t even start.
And you know now what you need to do is break it down into like 30 minute or 10 minutes subtasks of things you need to research, etc, etc. Okay. Now. Before we move into the time management system I’m going to share with you today I want you to think about, I want you to understand the importance of being realistic. Meaning work in driving time to your schedule, working when there might be an emergency or an accident, etc. on the road.
Okay. So thinking about what could lie ahead. And be realistic. Don’t forget those like travel times. Time it will take to get from one place to another, etc. So that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Because a lot of times people just set themselves up to be able to look at their list at the end of the day and know that not everything’s going to get checked off. Because it was like a fantasy list. Okay. And, move the things off of your today.
Ways to adapt your planning system to work for you
So we’ll talk about this in the next steps. But one thing you can always do to not set yourself up for failure is brain dump everything you want to do today. Then take a look at that. And take a look at your top three priorities. Then actually schedule the top three priorities and the things you already have going on. Like driving. Doing this, that or the other thing into your calendar,. And then see what’s left, and see what you can pick from your dream list for today to put into those empty spaces on your calendar.
Okay. So now let’s talk about the actual system. So the first thing is to condense all of your brain dumps about things you want to do. Things on your current to-do list, things for next week, gifts, you gotta’ buy things, you have to attend whatever. Put it all on one master list. There’s no right or wrong here. We’re just dumping it out. It doesn’t need to be clean and organized yet. It’s just in one place. We’re putting all of our ideas, then you want to go ahead and organize your master list into priorities.
Now. Everybody here will probably have a different system for this. For me. I do top priority, which means like things I have to do this week. For my business. For personal stuff or whatever. Then I have a kind of like later list. It’s like probably next week within the next three weeks, etc.
Then I have like a someday list. It’s like, I’m probably not going to touch that for six months. Or it’s just an idea I want to do later I want to remember to watch that random documentary. Okay. So this is kind of a way you can categorize it. Another way you could categorize it if you prefer is by subject. So if it’s all your business stuff in one place. All your personal life stuff in one place. Any personal, any goals you’re working towards. Just kind of by, by outcome. By category. And, then the last thing though, before we move forward as well, is before, probably before you do this faster list. What you really want to think about as well is what are your objectives. Like why are we even doing this
To do less, what are your goals and objectives that the to do list should probably resemble. Because if you go into the to do list thinking about things you just want to do. And, and things that keep you busy. It doesn’t really matter. And, who really like, what’s the whole point, right?
So really go into this activity. Knowing what are your outcomes you’re trying to accomplish for this quarter or this month or this week. And, you know, make sure that there’s some tasks on your to do list that line up with that thing. So. What do you need to research to do that? Who do you need to ask to do that? What do you need to do to do that, etc. So you have your list. And then what you’re going to be doing is, you’re going to now take your weekly list or top priority thing, and turn it into what you’re doing, actually, today. So each morning, what I like to do is I, I have and just so you know, I keep my master list in my phone notes on my phone.
Because I if I think of something in line at the grocery store, want to add something I remember I got to answer somebody, I can add it quickly. And I can organize it later. I think that the easier you can make this to re-organize, re-edit, adjust, etc. So you don’t have to rewrite your master list all the time, the better. Okay. So. And also you have to understand the more, like, more those of you who are type A’s who want to use like a spreadsheet for your to do list. It’s so unpractical, like, you’re not going to stick with that. Because you’re not going to go to your spreadsheet computer every single time you want to add an idea to your list, right? So that’s the other thing.
Okay. See. Once you have your master list, now we’re going to take, what do you need to do actually today. So what I like to do is select your top, now I’m going to give you two options. Your top three priorities for your business or work. And your top three priorities for personal relationships. Whatever else you’re doing.
And if that’s too much, because here’s the thing, here’s where people get tripped up with this, they put a five hour task in one of the three priorities. And they know they don’t even have a five hour block to do that today. So make sure the three priorities you pick are bite size enough that you know they’re going to fit into your time batching today, or give yourself less, give yourself one, that’s two hours or four hours, and it’s going to fit in your time block.
So three priorities for personal. Three priorities for business. Or less if you need to find out what’s going to be a longer time block. But the next thing to do before you even put it on your to do list is break down those three things you wrote down, because sometimes we write down as our top priority today, get an email newsletter out, but we don’t know what it’s going to be about. We didn’t research the topic. We didn’t write it yet at all. And, we don’t know what photo we’re using, etc.
So you need to be like in your little box for that right newsletter, but you got to be like, you know, research the topic, write it, add photo, whatever, or sync for me, if I people I have to follow up with, and I have a whole long list that it’s gonna take me days, I just take the people I need to follow-up with for today. I put it there because otherwise, when it’s vague, when you are vague with yourself, and then it comes time to do that task, you’re like, I don’t know where to start, I feel overwhelmed, I don’t know where to, I don’t want to do this, etc. So you got to pick what you’re actually going to do.
Same thing with posting. Posts is on your list, and it’s one of your top three, you want to be like, what’s the what was my idea again, for what to post today, I can’t remember, write it down, etc. Okay, so then you’re going to take a look at your day, and what you actually have planned. So maybe today you have, you know, client calls from 10 to 12, you have a break from 12 to two, you have you know, pick up so and so at school at four, etc etc.
And so what you’re going to do now is fill in those blanks from outside of what your whatever your family stuff is, whatever your work stuff is with the three things you wrote for your business and the three things you wrote for your personal tasks and just you know, personal tasks and be like, I needed to go to the grocery store. I need to work out today, I need to do whatever. Okay, so now you you’re going to time batch. And people get really tripped up about this and worried because they’re like, well, what if I can’t stick to it or what if I want to do something else in that time.
The whole point is that it allows your brain to stop wondering what you’re going to do today and feel overwhelmed about what next thing to pick from your to do list and actually just get to work on what you actually need to do. And it builds your trust in yourself that when you say you’re going to do something, you do it and you can actually give people more estimated or accurate ideas of when you’re going to follow up with them or when tech spec that email from you or whatever
So that the whole point is for you to be a little bit pushed to do something within a certain timeframe. Give yourself a deadline, but at the same time, not put it on your list. And knowing that you’re going to struggle to get it done within that timeframe, because you’ve given yourself 20 minutes, and it wasn’t a kind thing to yourself to give yourself 20 minutes for a task that you know, will probably take an hour and a half.
So the things that you need to do when your time batching or keep in mind is that, number one, you do need to work in a little bit of buffer time knowing that there probably will be a technical error, or there will be, you know, an interruption from your child or whatever. So you work that in. And you also need to make sure though that the time you give yourself you’re going to stay within and you’re not going to obsess over the task, you’re not going to try to be a perfectionist, you’re not going to drag it out. It is what it is at the end of the time that you gave yourself for it and that you honor your list or priorities or commitment that you’ve given yourself.
And this is a practice, this is not something you’re going to start doing day one and nail it, you’re going to think of all the reasons why you can’t figure that you know why the newsletters not finished and you can’t press Send. But the challenge and the whole point of this is to get you out of that mode and into just okay, I accept that next time, I need to make a note to add longer to this. But today, this is what the newsletter is, and sent.
Okay. So that’s how you stay realistic with yourself and start to learn how long you take for things is by giving yourself the science experiment of can I get these things done today, and learning and taking notes and you know, making adjustments as you go. So that is really important as far as time blocking. And then once you plan those three things for your business or three things for your personal into your time-batched day, if there’s extra time, then you can go back to your top priority list and see if there’s other things you can work it out on. But don’t do that to yourself, if you know that the three priorities are going to take up pretty much the whole day.
And then the other thing is to to remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. So making sure that the daily time blocking reflects what you ultimately want, which is you know whether it’s growth in your business, and you’re noticing that your business takes up only 20 minutes a day, right? Like, we got to make sure the priorities match the timing right? So if it doesn’t, that’s more of a long term project for you to figure out how can I clear up more time on my schedule to do this?
How can I outsource more, maybe? Or who can I ask for help or what days can I batch certain things so that my time does reflect how I want to be spending it, right? And the last thing I’ll say about this is when it comes to like indulgences like social media or watching your favorite show or you know family plans tonight with your friends or party or whatever, make sure that what is what scares people is like well I want to be spontaneous.
I want to be able to have the night free so I can do whatever I want. But the truth is if you planned it, and you you executed what you wanted to do during the day and you didn’t save it for the night you’re going to be more free you could have you planned it you can now enjoy it more your brain gets to work on your to do lists during the day and you’re more free to enjoy the night with your friends like some planning actually brings you so much more freedom and it makes activities that you plan that are for indulgent or resting or relaxing or whatever so much more enjoyable because you literally put it on your calendar and you knew it was coming and you have that anticipation of it.
And it wasn’t something, you know, that you felt a victim to for example like you if you plan scrolling on your phone after a long day and you want to watch Tik Tok videos or something. It’s so much more enjoyable than if you wandered into it. After you know it while you were waiting for something to load on your computer and then it’s two hours later and you’re mad at yourself for watching Tik Tok videos and it wasn’t on the plan and now your whole day is derailed and yada yada yada and it doesn’t feel good right?
Versus something that could have felt good and had planned out doesn’t because you kind of said you let it in and all of a sudden you were scrolling Tik Tok or whatever. So that’s the other thing and then the last piece is don’t be a victim to this. So in other words your to do lists doesn’t own you. You own your to do list, you get to make the rules about what goes on and what goes off. And, you get to decide what time you go to bed.
You get to decide all of these things. So if you feel like my to do list just takes over me or life just takes over my day. You know somebody random calls me and I get on this call and then it’s two hours later, it’s not them. It’s you are in charge of this. So don’t beat yourself up and be like victim to your to do list. Be the person saying, I chose to do that, and that’s fine.
And I’m gonna adjust my plan as a result, or I didn’t choose to do that. And that’s what I’m sticking with today. But when you say time just gets away from me comments like that. It’s not true, it’s, um, it’s going to disempower you. And it’s going to cause you to not want to use a system, and it’s going to cause you to doubt yourself around how you manage your time, and it just takes you from a place of, well, what can I do to improve, it takes you out of that mode and it puts you in, this isn’t gonna work, why bother? I don’t want to try. I’m going to keep procrastinating, etc.
So I hope this was helpful for you. And if you really want to learn more about my Fastway Framework, because time management is something I work on with clients a lot, I just spent an hour with a client talking about time management pretty much because it’s one thing when you know what to do, but it’s another thing when it comes to actually executing it and putting it on your calendar.
And so it was so important that I made it part of my four step process with clients when it comes to helping them book clients. It’s a part of my Fast Framework, which if you haven’t already seen the Masterclass for the Fast Framework, you can comment Masterclass, or why don’t you just put Fast Class below because to remember which class it was, and I could send it to you. But that’s just one component of your business of course, and the other components are what I share in the in the class.
So anyways, I hope this was helpful. Have an awesome day and I’ll talk to you soon.
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