A few peeps have asked me to teach a time management course. I’ve declined. This isn’t because I wouldn’t be happy to take your money for such a course (oh hello, new bedroom furniture and pretty pretty curtains!) but because everything I know about time management is ridiculously simple.
Have priorities and stick to them.
That means waking up to make a list of the things that MUST get done, the things that SHOULD get done, and taking a glance at the things it’d be AWFULLY NICE to get done. Must get done: pay bills, take care of clients, shower. Should get done: work out, make some dinner, plan marketing events. Awfully nice to get done: Have some wine, shave legs, watch a movie, file accounting receipts.
If figuring out how to structure time effectively is something you need, check out structure that doesn’t suck.
When you say you don’t have time for something, you’re actually saying it isn’t a priority.
Read that again, because it’s pretty much the best advice about time management I’ve ever encountered. If you say you don’t have time for something, you’re just saying it isn’t a priority. I used to say I didn’t have time to work out — when in reality, it wasn’t a priority. (And Lord knows, if I have time to be on Facebook, I have time to do some squats and push-ups.) Same goes for healthy eating and cooking at home.
‘I don’t have time’ is a convenient excuse to avoid examining the underlying issues surrounding your life choices.
Which business tasks don’t get done? Which tasks do you routinely put off, reschedule, or avoid? Those are the items that have to be prioritized.
I suggest putting icky tasks first on the list, so they’re done right away. No excuses, just check tasks off the list and then move on to tasks you don’t actually enjoy…easy, right? 😉
Schedule tasks to make sure they’ve been given priority status.
If I just wanted to ‘pop in’ to CrossFit a ‘few’ times a week, I would never show up and sweat my ass off for my twice-weekly cursing sessions. (I mean, workouts.) Because those sessions are part of my routine and on my calendar, they happen.
Likewise, if you’ve decided that healthy eating or your son’s softball games or your accounting spreadsheets are a priority, pencil them in!