Time is our most precious asset. How we spend our time in large part determines what we will get out of this life. Are you wasting your time running around in circles, trying to figure out what to do next? Or are you making the most out of each and every day? Maintaining a schedule is crucial to being successful in business and in managing the demands of day to day life.
Truly successful people understand the importance of time management. In a interview with CNBC, Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of asset management at JPMorgan Chase & Co. noted, “Calendar management is the single most important thing, especially as you get busy and have more responsibilities. You have to be maniacally focused on owning your calendar…What are the short-term issues that need to be dealt with? What are the long-term issues? Unless you can stay on top of that religiously, it will end up owning you, and that’s not a way to go about staying organized and on top of things.”
The B.O.S.S.Y. series is all about setting up a solid foundation before starting your business. If you are already a business owner, use the series as a self-check to assure you are operating on solid ground. In the third installment, we discuss your Schedule and how to manage you time.
1. Make a List
In no particular order, write down all of things you need and want to do. Write it out as it comes to you. Walking the dog. The church picnic. Your dream trip to Bermuda. Everything. Include everything you can think of that you need to do in order to accomplish each task. For the trip to Bermuda, you need to save the money, book the flight, go shopping, and get a passport. Put it all on your list.
2. Plot it Out and Write it Down
Use 3 colored highlighters to separate your list into 3 categories A) Day to Day Activities – doctor’s appointments, social media posting schedule, kids’ school projects; B) Short term goals – signing contracts with 5 new clients, finishing your degree, getting a major car repair; C) Long term goals – opening a 2nd boutique, buying a home, throwing your parents a 50th anniversary ball.
Get a planner and start plotting out your life. I am a planner addict, but you don’t have to be. Get one from the dollar store if you have to. It’s fine to set reminders on your phone, but there is something about writing things down that activates our brains in a way that cannot be accomplished digitally.
3. Make time for YOU and Family Fun
Any mother will tell you how hard it is to find time for yourself. She will also tell you how difficult it is to find time for the family just to hang out an have a good time. In this step, I give you the secret to finding time. Ready? Here it is: MAKE the time. Schedule family night the same way you schedule a weekly staff meeting. Carve out an hour for a massage the same way you carve out time to do the laundry. Burn out is real and the best way to avoid it is to make regular relaxation and rejuvenation time a priority.
4. Life Happens
There is a saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Life is going to happen the way it’s going to happen. There will be things you can’t control: illness, downhill economy, red lights. That is no excuse to go about life with your eyes closed, hoping you won’t run into a brick wall. Having a plan doesn’t guarantee success, but it makes it a so much more likely. Make a plan that leads to where you want to go and make adjustments along the way.
5. Stick to the Script
Once you make a realistic plan, stick to the script as much as possible. If today is your squats day, squat! If you are scheduled to get a tooth pulled tomorrow, don’t “loose” your keys. Go and handle your business. Then it’s done and you can move on the next. Don’t let procrastination postpone your dreams. The time is going to pass you by either way. Have something to show for it.
Figure out what you need to do, make a plan, and stick to it!
Until next time,
Rachel Henderson is a single mompreneur who helps other single mothers turn their pass ion into profit, while maintaining their home. She has over 20 years experience in accounting and business, and is now focused on spreading entrepreneurship among young single mothers. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, and making gift baskets. She lives and plays with her three boys in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Her faith and the love of her family keeps her motivated every day. For more information visit www.mzrachelzplace.com.