Do you struggle with your time management? Are you sitting comfortably? Let me tell you a short story…
Once upon a time I was working fulltime in the Australian Public Service, I was travelling interstate every three months , I was also studying my Masters of Public Sector Management (and MBA for public service), one child starting school & the other in preschool, and then I started my first business. Huh!? Yup, in my spare time I started a business. Now, I run two businesses with two school age children & do this without putting them into care during the school holidays. (I admit that the sanity wavers at times)
So how did I do it all?
Change how you perceive time
Before Gay Hendricks introduced me to the theory of Einstein time in the Big Leap, I knew that when I was calm and in the zone – time seemed to stand still. When I feel pressed for time, things go wrong and time goes all too quick. When I feel that I have a lot of time and that I am in control of my time, this is exactly what happens. While it is true that we do ‘waste’ time, sometimes, more often than not we are actually holding the belief that we don’t have enough time & it is better spent elsewhere. If however, we turn it around to a belief that time is a resource and one we can control, our beliefs around – then we find that we have an abundance of what we seem to crave.
Work at night
Gary Vaynerchuk advocates working between 7pm & 2 am. When I was starting up, I had to keep these hours.; to some degree I still do, I work until about midnight-1 am most days. I am grateful to have an understanding husband, but I make a conscious choice not to work weekends & to prioritise time together when schedules allow.
The other thing I changed for a while was showering at night. Granted, I did not do this at 2 am, but when I was heading to bed at a decent hour, I would shower of a night time thus giving me time in the morning.
I have to add that when it comes to school holidays I really burn the midnight oil. It means that I can make the most of the kiddies being at home, be a fun Mum, & still meet client & business demands.
Reverse engineer your week
I still bookmark events early in my calendar and schedule my time around these milestones. Rather than being tripped up by a deadline, it allows me to be flexible with my time. In fact, I always built flexibility into my timeline to give space for illness or the need for some downtime.
Plan using a calendar
I have been using Google calendar for a while. It has been the easiest way to integrate hubby & my calendar across devices and to ensure he knows where the kids need to be (& when). When I started business coaching I started to use Calendly, while I no longer use the free version, it has allowed me to open up my Google calendar to clients for bookings. This has removed the tedious email juggle on organising a mutually suitable time.
Schedule social media
When I started out there wasn’t post scheduling & I was only on Facebook. When scheduling was introduced, I embraced the native platform to help manage my time. I have now signed up to Buffer to help with my Twitter presence & I schedule my videos in Blab. This means that I can post to my social media platforms 24/7 (if I wanted), but more importantly that I can post when my customers are on but I am preoccupied elsewhere.
I also use scheduling as a business tool for my social media management clients. Their clients are all on Facebook at the same time, thankfully scheduling means that I can post at the same time, but not have to be online.
I used scheduling to the ultimate when I spent a month overseas in 2014.
Use a content calendar
Speaking of that holiday, it wouldn’t have been possible without a content calendar. I used one from Kellie O’Brien, I chose it because she shares a lot of the celebratory days/holidays and I find having these in one location great when you are stuck for content ideas.
I have also started to run a weekly theme across my social media platforms. Now this does not mean that I autopost the same content at the same time across all of my presence. Instead, I choose a topic and schedule/work through posts on that topic across the platforms. I learnt this from The Social Leader & it means that I am not scrambling for ideas. This frees up my time to work on other projects, or just have some time out.
Know your ideal client
Knowing & having an up to date ideal client avatar means that my content is relevant to their needs, consistent & it gives me a ready list of content ideas. If I am ever stuck, I can turn to this description and choose a pain point, a need, a value, a benefit & address it that week. Once again, it saves me time in trying to find a topic. It also helps to know where they hang out, have a look at the following blog post as I let Australian business owners (and ones who want to sell in Australia) in on a secret.
Know your benefits
Flowing on from knowing my ideal client is knowing my benefits. Knowing my benefits makes it easier to respond to customer queries, formulate reviews, & generating other useful content to help my clients.
Make good use of the tools available
So earlier I mentioned Calendly & Google Calendar. I do have a few other time management tools up my sleeve.
Facebook for Business
I admit that I am still cutting my teeth on this one, but my big love for this is that it removes the distraction of my friends’ Facebook activities from my view. I can only see what is happening on the pages I manage. There is no chat, she liked, he commented, they shared in my field of view. It means I can jump on to Facebook, do my thing & jump off.
I used to use the platform a lot, I now use it for posting my Instagram images to a Facebook album and to Twitter. I do have it auto-sharing from Facebook to Twitter for one of my businesses. It is a powerful tool built on If/Then statements & integrates with dozens of applications for hundreds of combinations & thousands of benefits.
I use Buffer to schedule the majority of my Write to Right Twitter feed, my Facebook page & my Facebook group. Not only is it great because I can do this from one spot, but also I can reschedule old content. This means that I can leverage older & high performing content, or put the spotlight on older & perhaps less seen items.
I use Feedly to find relevant articles for my Buffer streams. With the content curated in one spot, I don’t have to troll the internet for relevant content, remember where I saw it & retrieve it at a later date. Fabulous!
What are your favourite time management tips? I’d love to learn more. 😀