There is nothing worse than the feeling of complete and utter overwhelm.
Deadlines are approaching.
Customers are waiting.
There are simply not enough hours in the day.
Well here’s the thing, I may not be able to create more hours for you – but I can certainly share with you my 5-steps to successful time management
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!
1) YOU are your biggest problem.
Give yourself a break!
If you are reading this blog, you are not lazy.
All of the things above aren’t happening because you are taking lots of time off work and don’t really care that much about completing your to-do list. You are here because you feel absolutely maxed out, exhausted and have no idea how to get everything done.
Try and keep things in perspective.
At the start of every single day, ask yourself – what ABSOLUTELY has to get done today, this week, this month. And just take one day at a time – stop worrying about the big picture. Take the small steps, it’s still the same journey!
I use Trello for this – it’s a free tool and I have multiple boards going. For my business, a marketing agency near Birmingham, I have the following columns:
‘Tasks this month’
‘Tasks this week’
I simply move my cards between the columns and it really helps me to focus and prioritise.
2) Make your own timetable
Just like being back at school… block out time to work on each of your tasks of the day.
This is simple, use your outlook calendar or your gmail calendar and schedule chunks of time in to work on your daily tasks. Block out your lunch breaks and any errands or personal tasks you need to do that day and stick to your timetable.
If you go over, you may need to work a little later to get it done… or find another time slot the next day to move it across. However, if you get it done – it means you can either go full speed ahead with the next task and maybe finish earlier if everything is done OR treat yourself to an extra 10-15 minute coffee break. But DO reward yourself. We constantly kick ourselves for all the things we didn’t get done in a day – be proud of what you did achieve.
3) Last thing at night
Before you shut down your computer and head home for the evening, add this to your routine.
Write your list for the next day.
We waste so much time ‘planning’ a day’s work and often at a time when our brains are most active (first thing in the morning). Save that brain power and get your list done the night before. That way, when you start work the next morning you know EXACTLY what task to start with and by the time you’ve finished your first coffee you’ve already ticked something off your list!
4) Collaborate with experts
Don’t try and do it all yourself!
When you’re running your own business, you try to do everything yourself for as long as physically possible. This is understandable, especially for start-ups.
However, you’re not thinking smartly.
If university degrees were easy, they wouldn’t take 3-7 years to complete.
If you could learn the skillset of a senior digital marketing expert by watching a few YouTube videos, people wouldn’t have spent 10-15 years progressing in a career building up that skillset.
If everyone else in the world could learn what you do for a living, overnight, why would anyone need to buy from you ever again?
The truth is, this is not a smart way to work for 2 reasons.
- You will never be as good as an accountant at doing your finances. You will never be able to design as well as a graphic designer, and you’ll never smash adwords or your SEO by watching a few do it yourself videos. This is NOT because you are not capable… everyone is capable if they put their mind to it and work hard to learn something… but whilst you’re doing that, what’s happening to your workload?
- Which brings me to number 2… why spend time doing something that will take you 5x’s as long as someone else, and be half as good (if that)?
Don’t try and do everything yourself. I know this is hard, I’m heading into my 3rd full month of running my marketing agency near Birmingham and trust me, I’ve tried to do as much of it as I physically can. However, deep down I know, I need to focus on what I do best – and get some help!
Which leads me very nicely onto my 5th and final step…
5) Outsource like a pro!
I launched Flamingo Marketing Strategies Ltd on the 3rd June 2019.
Already, I’ve got a messy desktop and computer files, a disorganised email inbox, a handful of broken quickbooks reports, a completely sporadic marketing plan (which is ironic as that’s what I specialise in) and I already feel like there are not enough hours to get everything done. This has happened because I am trying to do EVERYTHING myself.
My biggest problem is I really struggle with delegation. I’ve had teams of 2, right up to 16 people that were all capable of owning elements of my workload, but I’ve always struggled to let go. If you’re reading this with half a grin on your face it’s likely that you’re in the same boat.
Well the good news is, I recently came across Systems & Outsourcing. On their home page alone, they share 6 videos that will really get you thinking about what successful outsourcing looks like – check them out here.
Dr. Steve Day (Founder of Systems & Outsourcing) is helping business owners daily, implement these methodologies into their businesses and free up their time to focus on running the business and leading from the front. If you’d like me to put you in contact with Steve, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll arrange a call to explain how the process works and how you can join his programme.
The bottom line is, don’t try and do everything yourself.
Whether you decide to outsource worldwide using programmes like Fiver & Upworks, or whether you decide to find a local Virtual Assistant and pass over your admin jobs that eat up so much of your time. There are smart ways to double the number of hours in your working day and hopefully this blog has given you some food for thought.
If it’s marketing support you need, Flamingo Marketing Strategies offer a 60-minute strategy call to go through your business and help you work out what you should be doing to move you closer to your business goals.