In this “case-study” blog series, I discuss common problems facing my clients, and offer practical tips on how to tackle the client problem in a simple but effective manner.
“I’m trying to launch my business while working and looking after my family, but I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I never achieve my goals fast enough, even though I am constantly on the go. I feel lost and deflated. I constantly think I can’t do this. I am ambitious and have plenty of drive, but feel stuck and don’t know how to gain momentum.”
Mindset Self-Limiting Beliefs & Rewiring Thoughts
It sounds like you have plenty on your plate, and you’re cursed with the “superwoman” mindset, that you should be able to do everything, with far less time.
Let’s think about how realistic that actual is, and how true the notion is that you should be able to do everything.
Do you have more or less duties than pre baby? MORE
Is it hard work looking after children, emotionally and physically? ABSOLUTELY
Do you have time to dedicate to yourself? HA! I DON’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I WENT TO A GYM
Is it stressful to jump from work, to childcare, to laundry, back to work everyday without making time for yourself? GIRL OF COURSE IT IS, YOU’RE NOT SUPER-HUMAN! BEING “IN FLOW” IS CRUCIAL
Based on everything you have said, perhaps you’re being a little hard on yourself, and that your expectations on yourself, are high, which is great, but they are also unrealistic.
Start thinking about how you can be kinder to yourself, and give yourself credit for the accomplishments you achieve in the time that you have.
Practical Tips on How to Make The Most Of Your Day
Carry out a 360 degree assessment of your day, and let’s establish the facts in terms of what you have to work with!
How Many Hours Do You Have?
- How many hours do I have in a day?
- How many hours do I have in a week?
Look at your calendar and calculate your possible working hours.
"How Many Hours Do You Have?"
Make sure to carry out this exercise realistically, and conservatively.
I’ve attempted this a couple of times by myself, and I always overestimate the amount of time I have to work and underestimated how long projects take.
Now figure out where you’re losing time What am I wasting my hours on?
Most people have plenty of dead hours in their day, be it, spent procrastinating, checking social media, watching your favorite TV shows.
You know the average person spends 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on their phone, add you binge watching Netflix 2-3 hours a night, and the rest.
Are There Any Ways For You To Create More Time?
Can you delegate any tasks?
Sometimes, there might be a financial argument for outsourcing the boring household tasks like cleaning and laundry.
How about using Amazon Prime Now for cutting out those trips to the store? Instacart is a similar time-saving option.
Could you do with an extra pair of hands in your business? There are some amazing Virtual Assistant’s out there who are very reasonably priced and could be a real assess from a time management perspective.
Learn To Say NO
Do you have a tendency to overcommit then feel terrible for cancelling, or simply like you spend your days running around completely frazzled?
There’s a real benefit to saying no! Saying no is not unkind, selfish or hurtful, and remember, you’re saying NO so that you can say YES to better things.
People really struggle with Prioritizing, and leave important urgent items to the end of the day due to procrastinating too much.
Prioritising is a skill. Start by considering...
What Are My Priorities?
- Home/ family
- Working out Working (on your business or, your office hours)
- Self-care Social
- Nutrition & prepping meals
Then business related priorities. How your business hours should be allocated:
- Business - Core services / work 65%
- Business - Business development / career growth 25%
- Business- Admin 10%
To determine your priorities and urgency of your tasks, I am a massive fan of using the Eisenhower Matrix, (so was Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and if it was good enough for him....
I have adapted his system over the years for use in work and life tasks.
I now use a digital priorities list, using Asana. I’ll share this method with you in a future article, but for now….. Simple grab a piece of paper.
"Are There Any Ways For You To Make More Time?"
- Urgent & Important
- Urgent Not & Important
- Not Urgent & Important
- Not Urgent & Not Important.
Then list off all your tasks.
- Urgent & Important - ACTION
- Urgent Not & Important - PLAN
- Not Urgent & Important - DELEGATE or DO Not
- Urgent & Not Important- ELIMINATE or add to a backlog.
Now you’ve successfully prioritized, planning your schedule, adding to your online calendar and following that schedule is a must.
Plan Your Schedule
Planning ahead is crucial to increasing productivity and managing time. I love the quote "when you fail to plan, you plan to fail".
With planning, you remove any feelings of overwhelm; you remove the opportunity for procrastination, and breakdown tasks into more manageable chunks.
One of my favorite methods adopted in the context of weekly planning is time-blocking.
What is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is simply scheduling time for things you want to get done, one task at a time, in a given 2-3 hour window.
With time blocking, you choose just one thing to do in a time frame.
For example: 9:00 - 11:00 - work on client project.
In that timeframe, there’s no checking emails, social media, doing that bit of admin work, making cups of coffee, laundry etc.
You commit to carrying out the work you have committed to doing in that allocated time frame.
Keep email closed and only check at certain times.
"Social & Self Care and Crucial to Your Happiness"
Finally! In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor emphasizes how important it is to make time for yourself, doing something you love to release those happy endorphins.
Do some exercise, even if it's a walk or gentle yoga. It will make you more creative, productive and energized.
We all have a tendency when we are busy and stressed to neglect ourselves, and our relationships with friends and family. Yet, exercising and connecting with friends really makes a big difference to our mindset and productivity levels so….
My second and final task for you is to one time a day, every day, get into the habit of sending a voice note to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while.
5 minutes, and I promise they’ll be delighted to hear from you.