As part of my Back to School / Back to Business series, I encouraged you to take a look at your schedule to see where you are spending your time and add in any changes to your schedule. I also shared a link to my time audit workbook to help you figure out where you are spending your time.
Once you review your schedule or conduct a time audit, you want to use that information to streamline what you can. Look at the things you do each day and see if there are time wasters that you need to manage. Look for tasks that you can batch – for instance, assign financial tasks, errands, or client meetings to specific days.
Look for the things that are not a good use of your time. Things that you can outsource to free you up to do other things. Although “outsource” can seem like a buzzword in business, extend it to your personal and family life.
Think about the things you do that others can help with. Do you have a friend or neighbor who can share the carpool duties? Do you have children you can hire to do simple tasks such as filing or help with cleaning?
Although I never did have help with the carpool, I did enlist my girls to help in the office occasionally. Now, I have a new driver in the house that can help driving her younger sister to activities or run out to the store when needed.
The point of the time audit is to streamline how you spend your day by addressing the things that are not a good use of your time, which brings me to the second part:
Doing things your way!
I am all about creating balance in your life and your business. Many of my private clients are moms who are building businesses, and they are doing it in a way that allows them also to be available for their families and other needs.
That means you need to do what is right for you – I know you will hear people saying you have to get up a 5 AM every day and schedule consistent times for activities. There is nothing wrong with it but if your lifestyle doesn’t support that, you can’t force it.
You do need to be consistent and deliberate in what you do, but you also need to be flexible and have that mindset that you create boundaries but leave room to address your needs. To do that, ask yourself this question:
“What does my perfect and most effective daily routine and schedule look like? What do I need to do, to make this happen?”
- Decide in advance how you will set up: Your day, Your availability, and your schedule
- How will you divide your day between family, down time, work, health, and other activities?
- Will you be completely unavailable during work hours or available for part of your day (e.g., mornings only)?
- Will you have set theme days during the week?
- How will you allow clients to contact you? By phone? Email? Facebook Messenger? Web form?
- Will you attend local events?
- How many hours a week do you want to work? 20 hours a week, or 40 hours a week?
- When will your workday start and how much of that time is available for appointments?
Make sure that you include breaks, self-care time, family time, personal social time, and then also time to work on your business.
The best business plans are concrete, but also allow some flexibility.
Do things your way – Plan your business as thoroughly as possible, including your goals, milestones, deadlines, and targets but also allow for flexibility.
Ready to streamline your schedule?
How we think we spend our time and how we are truly spending our time, can be two very different things.
When we have a good understanding of where we spend our time and how much time is used for each task, we can begin the work to use our time more effectively.