Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 13 - Time Management

A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts with himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch.
- Kemmons Wilson
Founder of Holiday Inn Hotels

Here we are in the last week of January and I have to admit, I'm really frustrated with my progress. I had visions of plowing into my business once the crazy holiday season was over. I thought the rest of my life would slow down enough so there would be minimal distractions and I could dedicate all the hours I needed to grow my business.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

Life still gets in the way, no matter the time of year. I have a tendency to always look forward and think that next week, next month, next quarter, etc. will be easier and I'll have all the time I need. I was certain that January would give me plenty of time to solely concentrate on myself. How did I ever manage a day job and this business!!

Part of the reason I wanted to run my own business is so I would have more control over my life. And I do. However, I am still learning how to manage my time when I control the clock and priorities. There is no longer a 'boss' telling me which tasks have to be taken care of first and no one to see if I'm in the office by 8:00 am.

I have a long list of goals and tasks, and I naturally want to complete the tasks that are more fun first. While I did write up a schedule and had a clear list of goals for the month, I didn't do a good job of 'chunking it down' and turning these goals into concrete tasks so that I stayed on track.

So, after this month's missteps, I resolve to do a better job documenting the tasks I need to complete in order to achieve the goals I've set for the month.

Here are my new steps to better manage my time and tasks:
  1. Every Sunday night:
    1. Review my month goals.
    2. Write down tasks needing to be completed for the week.
    3. For each task, determine a priority level.
      1. Priority 1: Absolute Must; Not completing this task is detrimental to my business.
      2. Priority 2: Definite Must; Not completing this task affects other tasks.
      3. Priority 3: Should; This task is good for my business long term and keeps my momentum.
      4. Priority 4: Nice to Have; This task is to be completed after all other priorities are completed.
    4. Next to each task, write down which day of the week this needs to be completed for priorities 1 and 2.
  2. Each morning, review my tasks for the day and schedule the time of day each task needs to be completed.
  3. Cross off tasks as they are completed. If they need to be delayed until the next week, move the task to the next week's list.
This weekly list is being kept in my goal book, in the pages right after my monthly goals. Having all this information all in one book makes it more manageable.

Here is the start to my new weekly list:
I prefer to write my lists in notebooks as I have a tendency to scribble out information and edit. This is just my preferred method and it works for me.

Here is a picture of my goal book for the year. I have January and February tabs already completed.

I have to admit I feel better already seeing it in writing. By maintaining a monthly, weekly and daily list, I hope to stay on track and not get so discouraged when it feels like I'm not moving forward with my goals fast enough.