Everyone makes time management mistakes. In fact, much of the process of creating systems that work for you is a trial and error process; however, if you can avoid some common mistakes you’ll be able to streamline your processes and eliminate much of the trial and error. You’ll be able to focus on the tasks of building and growing your business and spending your day doing what you love.
Mistake #1 Not Creating A Schedule That Works For YOU.
Make sure, when you create your schedule, you take the following into consideration:
1. When are you most productive? For example, are you better able to focus first thing in the morning? In the evening after the sun has gone down? Mid-day? When is your best time to work? This is the time to schedule the high priority or profit producing tasks.
2. What is your family/personal schedule? Parents, spouses, children, and outside commitments all play into your productivity and your schedule. For example, if you volunteer at your child’s school every Friday then it’s probably a good idea to keep Friday clear and to focus on your business the other days of the week.
3. How much do you want to work each day or week? You’re not required to work every day from 9-5. In fact, if you want to work two days a week or six it’s all up to you; however, when you’re planning your business, keep your needs in mind.
Mistake #2 Not Recognizing Time Suckers
Time suckers are those habits and tasks that take way more time than you think they do. They consume your day and before you know it, it’s time to pick up your kids from school or make dinner.
So….what is keeping you from being productive?
Common time suckers include:
1. Email – Aim to outsource and automate some of your email and then check it no more than twice daily. (Experts recommend not checking email first thing in the morning. Instead save it for the end of the day when you’ve already accomplished the important items on your task list.)
2. Bookkeeping – Outsource/automate what you can, and then set aside time each week or month to get the rest done.
3· Social networking – Be disciplined here. Schedule your social networking time and stick to it!
4· Perfectionism – Yes, you absolutely can spend way too much time on a project. Do your best and move on. If you struggle with this one, consider giving yourself a time limit.
5· Procrastination – Figure out why you’re procrastinating. It’s generally a sign that your system for whatever you’re procrastinating on isn’t working. Automating and/or outsourcing this task is often an easy way to end procrastination forever.
6· Household chores and errands – You can outsource these too. Housekeepers are great for business owners, and if that’s not in the budget consider scheduling your errands and chores into your day/week. That way you can focus on the most important tasks and know you have time set aside to manage your home later.
7· Online learning, searching, and browsing – it’s easy to spend an entire day perusing information about your industry and you can learn a lot; however, spending a day surfing the internet isn’t productive. Consider outsourcing any research you may need. Subscribe to blogs that you commonly visit, using a reader. Then you can stay up to date by spending an hour or two on the weekend or in the evening when you’re not normally “Working”.