ActionCOACH Southern Indiana

Time to Plan to Plan Your Time

We all want more – more energy, more money, more time. And out of all of our resources, time is the most precious because it’s the only finite resource. Whatever we do, we can’t buy more time or make more time… Or can we?

Absolutely we can MAKE more time. It all starts with a great Planning! When you plan, you make time to do the things that are most important and necessary. So, if you’re ready to stop saying “I don’t have enough time”, keep reading below for tips to help you plan more in your business so you can MAKE more time in your schedule.

Plan Time to Plan

I almost feel silly typing that out, but in order to have a plan and make time, you have to make time to plan. Go ahead. Do it right now. Open your calendar, look for an open window where you will have some time to focus. Look for that window during the time of day when you do your best work. Try to aim to get this done in the next seven days. Now… write on your calendar “Time for Planning” or something similar. Perfect!! You’ve done the hardest part. You’ve taken the first step to planning your time.

The second hardest part is sticking to that time. Treat this planning time as you would your best customer. Don’t let anything else steal that time on the calendar. Don’t let any distractions take you away during that scheduling time. Make this time to plan your number one priority during that time.

Multiply and Divide

As you begin planning, think about all that you want to accomplish. What goals have you set for yourself? Where do you want your business to be in a month from now? A year from now? Five years from now? Let everything come to mind and multiply on the paper.

Now that you’re overwhelmed and stressed, look at all those things that you want to achieve and begin to divide that out.  If you want to grow your business by 20% in the next 90-days, then how much do you need to grow your business each month? And again, how much each week? Then each day? As you reverse-engineer, think about that result broken down.

As you see the smaller tasks broken down, be sure to check in with yourself. Ask yourself “Does this work get me closer to my goal?” If not, it may be something to re-evaluate. If you’re not sure, it is time to test and measure your work. Reach out to your local ActionCOACH to help you build out this system!

Automate, Delegate, Eliminate

After you have divided the large goals into smaller tasks, evaluate each item on your list and ask yourself “Is this something ONLY I can do?” If the answer is “yes”, ask yourself if there is any tool or technology that can help you automate that task. If the answer is no, ask yourself “Can I delegate this task?” If you have a team, this may be a bit easier. If you’re flying solo for the time being, think of people who could help you. Maybe a friend, volunteer, intern, or a virtual assistant? If you can’t automate or delegate, but YOU don’t need to complete the task personally, maybe ask yourself how important it is to get done. Sometimes we find tasks we can actually eliminate, at least for the moment, so we can focus on more important items.

Prioritize and Schedule

Now that you have your list of what needs to get done in order to achieve your goals that only YOU can do, it’s time to focus on what must happen, what should happen, and what could happen if everything else is done. This is where we set priorities! Take some time to break things down into categories. Put your “must-do’s” in one category. Do the same for “should-do’s” and “could-do’s”. Be very disciplined with them. I could almost always guarantee that not everything will be an “must-do”.  Try to make your “musts” your smallest category. And if you’re having trouble deciding what MUST get done, look at any due dates or schedules you may have. Ask yourself, “Will my business fall apart and close if this doesn’t get done?” If that answer is really truly a “no”, keep it out of the “must” category.

Now that you have your entire action item list organized by priority, start from the top of the “musts” and put time to work on that task on your calendar. Again, go ahead and do it right now. When you set a date, it makes it easier to ensure it will get done. After you’ve scheduled all the time you need for you “musts” category, do the same for your “shoulds”. Only if you have scheduled both your “musts” and your “shoulds” can you start to schedule your “coulds”. This category is the “this would be nice to do, but won’t ruin my business if they don’t get done”.

If you’re having trouble scheduling everything, be sure to revisit the “automate, delegate, and eliminate” or meet with your ActionCOACH to help you create your ideal plan!

Author: Kyleigh Mazer, Business Coach in New Albany, IN