Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean I run my business perfectly - I wish it did! But I think I’m just like any other small business owner in that there times when I feel I could conquer the world (well, my little corner of it anyway) and times when I wish I could crawl under the duvet and stay there for at least a fortnight. So my business is a constant work in progress, just like yours ;)
The way I coach is by combining what I’ve learned with what I’ve experienced and what has worked for me and/or for clients. Theory is all well and good but unless it’s backed up with personal experiences, then it isn’t tested or proven which could result in spending far too much time experimenting with something that has no chance of success.
Being in business today means you don’t have the luxury of time to try out new systems that may or may not work. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, or a newsletter subscriber, you’ll know I love sharing what works and am constantly on the look-out for new technology and tools that will help as many people as I can. Recently I was looking back through some client time management questions and came across a few common themes I want to share with you today.
Carrying your to-do lists and plans in your head
You are not a memory expert!! Much as you might like to think you have your schedule clear in your mind, writing it down on paper or typing it into your electronic organiser of choice will ensure you deal with what’s important and maximise your productive time each day.
Waiting to have a clear diary before starting that important project
Oh look, there goes a flying pig! Well it’s just as likely to happen isn’t it? I know from personal experience that waiting for a clear window of time means that important projects (most likely the ones that will lead to increased revenue!) keep on being pushed back by more urgent appointments and activities. Don’t wait for that clear diary, just get started - today!
Changing track too often during the day
This can happen if you don’t have a written plan for your day. You jump from one task to another, depending on what’s urgent or who’s shouting loudest. The main problem with this behaviour is that it takes a while to gather your thoughts and necessary resources to set off on each new task, and that ‘recovery’ time is multiplied every time you change track. Grouping similar tasks together results in a more efficient use of time.
Micro scheduling your day
This is the opposite of not having a written plan! Cramming your daily diary so that every waking hour is accounted for isn’t a good idea either. Life has a habit of turning up with something unexpected that will throw your micro-schedule out of the window and leave you constantly chasing to catch up with yourself. Factor in some ‘contingency’ time to avoid this happening, you’ll actually be more productive.
Poor filing & office housekeeping
Whether it’s pieces of paper or documents in computer folders, if you can’t find them quickly when you need to, poor ‘housekeeping’ is probably the culprit. A little time spent keeping on top of the admin and filing each week will increase your efficiency - and save hours tracking down important documents. (Ahem, confession time - this is an area I’m working on at the moment!)
What cautionary - or inspiring - time management tales do you have to tell?