More than time management, it’s productivity management

Every year as my children get older I think things will become less chaotic. Here are a few of my mistakes.

I think: We’ve added a driver, therefore, I’ll have fewer errands.

Reality: We’ve added a driver but not another vehicle so that just equates to more organizational skills from me as we navigate car sharing. On more than one occasion I’ve been the one left without a ride.

I think: My kids are older, they’ll sleep more. Therefore, I’ll sleep more.

Reality: They don’t really sleep at the right times still and for some reason, teenagers want to have their most meaningful conversations at precisely the hour my brain begins to shut down.

This list could go on and on as you can imagine. With all the chaos going on in my home as we’ve gotten yet another school year started I thought I’d do a little research on time management skills. I’ve already missed a couple of appointments and classes my kids were supposed to attend. So I decided to look at what others have done to avoid making these same mistakes. As I peruse lists I’ve found a few consistencies so I thought I’d condense those here for you today.

 

  1. I keep seeing this word “declutter.” I don’t think clutter is a problem for me in general but then I think about the clutter in my mind. I keep a written date book, not a digital one. I do this for a very specific purpose other than the fact that my date book is super cute. Whenever I pick up my phone to enter something in my calendar I end up doing several different tasks that aren’t datebook related. Also, I use the word “task” very loosely. So the clutter in my mind has to go somewhere. When I try to manage it all in my head is when I miss important events. So, whether you use a written calendar or a digital one, it’s important to get the clutter out of your head and onto a calendar.
  2. Another theme that is repeated is to make lists and prioritize them. When we make a list for ourselves we tend to do the “easy” tasks first. To really really be productive I challenge you to make two lists. One personal list with the top six things you need to do each day, and one business list with the top six business-related tasks. At least 2 of them should be income producing activities. Then, do the hardest ones first. Make them the most important and get them out of the way. I’ve also been reading about not having your daily lists be too long. I think Mary Kay was smart when she developed the 6 most important things list idea for her beauty consultants.
  3. Delegate: I’m actually pretty good at this one. At some point in life, I realized that having a 10 year old clean a bathroom was better than it not getting cleaned at all. Do I clean the bathroom better than a 10-year-old? Ummm, that’s a hard yes. But, do I have time to clean every bathroom in this house? Ummm, that’s a hard no. So, if I delegate the stuff that’s really going to be ok if I’m not the one doing it, I have time to do the other things that I actually am the only one that can do them. My kids can’t do my job, but they can do their own! (Ok, so it takes one training session and a few follow-up checks, but kids really can clean, even if they think they’re going to die.)
  4. Wake up early: I get it. I really really get it. I bawked this one for years and years. When you have babies, it seems impossible. (actually, when you have teenagers that get up in the night to make waffles and turn on all the lights and watch youtube at 3am in the kitchen it seems impossible…we got a loud fan in our room.) But if you can start getting up early just 1 day a week, it will turn into 2 and 3 and eventually it will be 5 or 6. I can’t tell you the crazy amounts of stuff you’ll get done before everyone else gets out of bed. Even if you’re not using those early morning hours for work, perhaps you want to use those hours to workout, you’ll have increased energy and be a happier person. Maybe you’ll just get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do and use that time to drink a cup of coffee, look at your calendar and read something inspirational. Start small, but take it from the girl that is the most NONmorning person you’ll ever meet. Waking up early will totally change your productivity. I’m going to add a second point to this same number. Routine: create a morning routine for yourself that works. What I do in the morning may not work for you. But whatever it is, it should wake you up, and get you motivated for success. You should also have an evening routine that sets you up for a productive morning. Do you need to make lunches or choose your clothes (or anyone else’s) for the morning? I’ve even been known to lay out my makeup in the order I need to use each product. That way I can just pick it up and throw it in the drawer when I’m done the next morning. Do what you need to do at night to save time in the early hours.
  5. The last one is a “don’t.” I usually try to stick with positive points…but I have to share this one as a “don’t.” Don’t Multitask. This one is hard if you’re working from home with a small child. Everything you do is multitasking and that makes sense, you do have to keep that baby alive after all. When we say don’t multitask it means with your business. When you’re making calls…make calls. When you’re sending follow up text messages, don’t also check your email. Just do what you’re doing and do it at 100%. Then, do the next task at 100%. You’ll get done faster and find that you’re way more productive.

I am sure you have great tips and tricks you use throughout each day to help you stay on task and to manage your time. I’d love to hear about those. Also, don’t forget to use your weekly plan sheet! Let us know what other ideas you might have. Comment here or on our FB page.

(I found the image above on Pinterest. PinkOffice is not associated with the website listed and we may or may not support their views.)

December time management: Stress free Christmas

Owning your own business at the Holidays can be a super stressy time, as if the holidays aren’t stressful enough!

As the woman of the house you’re likely the head decorator, the lead chef, the baker in chief, the CEO of shopping, the party planner extraordinaire AND you own your own business! That’s a lot.

Being a good time manager is the key to keeping the stress low and having a great time over the holidays.

December Week 1

Contact your customers, post on social media, have skin care classes and parties galore. Provide wrapped gifts as add ons at every party and every individual close. Get wish lists and contact husbands, boyfriends and significant others if you haven’t already done this. Setting office hours to wrap gifts, make calls and create posts will help reduce stress. Decide the hours you’re going to work in your office, what ever times work best for you. Work those hours and walk away. If an order, phone call or notification come in, let it go. You’ll get it next time your in your office or when you’re not with those you love. When office hours are over, bake, decorate, wrap and shop. This is your time with your family.

December Week 2 

Post the last day you’ll deliver on whatever social media you use to communicate with your followers. Will you make deliveries on the 22nd or 23rd? Will you wrap gifts past the 23rd? Make decisions for your business early on so that you don’t end up in a situation where you have to say no. You don’t want to lose any sales, but being available early will help them think of you first instead of last. Continue to contact customers and work your business as usual until your designated date. When you set hours for yourself honor them. Honor them by working the hours your chose ahead of time and honor your family by ending them when you said you would. Close your office door behind you, shut off your computer, don’t reply to notifications, close your datebook. Your family will be grateful to have you completely present with them.

found on pinterest

December Week 3

Make final deliveries, offer add ons and have them wrapped and ready. Deliver to offices and other places of business if possible, have business cards and samples with a little candy cane or something of the sort ready to give to anyone else you see when you make your delivery. Post on social media a last minute gift and remind your customers of your final delivery date. Work the hours you set and do all the other fun holiday stuff you planned before.

found on pinterest