Get it all done? For a working parent, trying to have a loving marriage, happy friends, enough sleep, making efforts to look good and eat healthy, regularly upgrading their knowledge AND running a successful business, is it even possible? Yes, it is. And, no, your sanity doesn't have to go down the drain. The way you plan your time is crucial to how much you'll get done. What I'm going to share with you in this blog post is actually very simple, but its effect will make you think it's some sort of witchcraft to multiply the hours in a day. Well, I guess magic spells are not so irrelevant in the month of October 🎃.
Get a Planner
I don't know about you, but digital planners just don't work for me. At least not when it comes to listing my daily tasks. I carry my book planner everywhere with me. Even to the gym! But I learned the hard way.
You see, I was one of those people who think they can remember all the stuff that needs to be done. Newsflash, I was wrong. the laundry basket with the clean and dry clothes sat in the utility room for a whole week and I was wondering why no one in the house has nothing to wear. It took me one dead fish to realise I'd forgotten to clean the tank on time. The final nail in the coffin of my disorganisation was forgetting to follow up on an enquiry which cost me a big project. Since then every single task I have for the day goes in my book planner, no matter how minor or significant it is. I strongly suggest you do the same. It's the same with goals. If you put them down on paper you are 3-5 times more likely to accomplish them. There's special power in the writing memory of your hand.
Split Your Work in Different Categories
Listing your tasks is not enough to follow them through within any given time frame. You have to separate everything you need to do into different categories. Here's how it goes:
1. Personal development
- taking an online course
- finding a mentor/ speaking to your mentor
- meditating/ spiritual time
2. Personal care
- taking a shower
- getting your nails done/going for a beard shape up
- going to bed at ...
3. Family life
- school runs
- feeding the baby
- making dinner
- doing the laundry
- paying a bill
- arranging for quality time with your spouse
- accepting an order/ closing a deal with a clent
- creating the product/ packing and sending/ delivering a service
- replying to questions on social media
- promoting your latest content/ offer
- sending/ processing invoices
5. Business Development
- generating new ideas
- posting a survey to test the market
- planning strategic content for the following period
- finding new partners/ opportunities/ clients
The more specific you are the better! Sometimes a daily list can look like something that should be spread over a week. The truth is, it really is going to take you that long if you do not write it down in an organised way.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
A lot of people think multitasking makes you more productive. Confession time: I was one of them. Unfortunately, it is exactly the opposite. The human brain operates on less than 16% of its full capacity for the completion of conscious tasks. If you ask your brain to split its attention to two or three things at the same time, it means each task is getting 5% to 8% of your brain power. The result is clear for anyone who understands basic maths. It will either take you much longer to get each task done or you will do a rubbish job on one or more of them and eventually will have to redo it all over again. Either way, that's low productivity level. In practical terms, don't try to complete an online course while you are plucking your eyebrows or checking the highlights of today's football match.
If you try these 3 steps, I promise you you'll end up with a lot more hours than everyone else. Ok, not really, you'll still have 24 hours to work with, but you'll get a lot more things done than the rest of the population who doesn't plan their time well.
I want to hear your stories! If you tried this time management method let me know how it went in the comments below.