Are you managing your time effectively? As wedding professionals and entrepreneurs we’re bad about falling into the trap of counting every hour at the computer as “work time.” Be honest with yourself for a minute: are you practicing truly effective time management? How much of that time is spent browsing through Facebook, checking the latest posts on your favorite blog or diving down the rabbit hole in the name of research?
We’re all guilty of it but to be more profitable and productive we have to manage our time effectively. While the ideas below will take some getting used to, the end result will be to spend less time at your desk and more time away from your computer doing the things you love to do.
Make A Plan And Break It Down
Effective time management starts with figuring out what you want to get accomplished.
Determine what your next big project is and what ongoing tasks need to be taken care of on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re working on a training program for onboarding new employees, for instance, that might involve outlining what you want to teach, writing the training course, editing and formatting, creating worksheets and slides and figuring out how you’ll evaluate their progress.
Additionally, you probably have daily or weekly tasks like writing blog posts, emailing your list, interacting on social media sites and forums – not to mention prepping for, setting up and taking down things for actual events.
Figure out what projects you want to work on over the coming weeks, then make a master list. Knowing what you should be working on to be more profitable is half the battle.
Write Out Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists
Next it’s time to write out your to-do lists. Start with everything you’ve written down in the last step and break it down into smaller steps, such as daily or weekly tasks. Use whatever method works best for you. I’ve recommended the 139 Productivity Method in another article, so you know I’m a fan!
Use a weekly list if you prefer working on larger tasks or projects all day long. Try daily lists and break larger projects up into manageable chunks that you can accomplish in just a few minutes or up to an hour. You are more likelyl to accomplish tasks that require no more than 7 to 20 minutes! Check out this article on the Secrets of the Most Productive People. (Here’s a hint: it’s doing some work and then taking a break. Rinse and repeat for success!)
Keep your to-do list on a piece of paper and cross things off your list as you get them done. Or use an app for your smartphone. Remember The Milk is a simple and easy to use list app. It allows you to create tasks, assign dates, priorities and even make the tasks recurring (great for reminders to write those blog posts).
If you want to take effective time management to the next level, block time for specific activities on your calendar.
For the Most Effective Time Management – Set A Timer And Get To Work
The tasks on your to-do list will take as long as you allow them to take. To stay productive use a timer and get them done. Pick an item on your list and estimate how long it should ideally take you to get it done. Then set that timer! Check out this article by Zapier for the 12 Best Pomodoro Timer Apps to Boost Your Productivity!
Remind yourself that if you work hard and fast, you can be done for the day and go play. Train yourself to work faster over time, but don’t forget to take breaks. 25 minutes of intense work followed by a 5 minute break seems to work well.
Continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Do more of what’s profitable and fun! And try to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible – without sacrificing quality, of course.
For an even more impactful way to jump-start your time management and motivation, check out Automatic Motivation: Set your motivation on autopilot
What are you going to try to manage your time more effectively this week?