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Time Management - blog

Finding the time

Theres a lot said these days about time management and productivity but at the end of the day to me it comes down to two things. One is eliminating all the unnecessary crap we do and, two, is doing more of the things you enjoy.  That being said if you’re the business owner you are probably going to have to do some stuff you don’t love doing but that is necessary to running your business.  Maybe that’s chasing up payments, paying bills or networking.  We’ve all got stuff to do that has to be done and there’s no one else to handle it!  For that stuff you just have to suck it up.  My advice would be to set a time to get at least some of the yucky stuff done regularly.  I try to do some of the more annoying stuff first thing Tuesday morning.  

Personally, I am not great at time management as between the two businesses and running our home my schedule is very changeable.  I also have to deal with my very unpredictable health.  I do have some guidelines that help keep me mostly on track.  Sunday evening or first thing Monday morning I write a big long list of everything I need to do.  I have three general areas - the cleaning business, the online art store and everything else.  I include all of the appointments I have that week, any birthdays or anniversaries coming up, people I need to call, as well as all of the business tasks that need to be done.

Generally, I divide at least the first half of the week into cleaning business in the mornings and, art business in the afternoons and evenings.  All essential accounting is usually done on Monday, preferably in the morning.  Checking accounts, making sure payments have been received, checking if there any bills or wages due that week etc.  I also empty my inbox and print off any emails that need follow ups on.  Tuesday’s, I generally schedule things I’m dreading for first thing. Chasing debtors, completing tax documents and handling any difficult or complicated calls.  Once that’s out of the way, there’s usually a big sense of achievement that you got that annoyance off your to-do list.  If there’s time I also try to include some data entry to keep up to date with the accounts.  Social media posting and creative time is usually done in the evenings.  The second half of the week is for catching up - you can be sure I haven’t got everything done on my list and also, for hopefully writing and creating.  I try not to work weekends but happily I’ll sometimes swap time in the week for weekends off if there’s something I’d like to do.  

Each morning I try to make myself a short list of what I’d like to get done that day.  It’s nearly always overly ambitious but that’s me! Top three things are always listed first and if I get those completed I can usually sleep soundly at night.  I keep lots of lists and rely heavily on my big calendar and my diary for scheduling everything.  I like to write things down but maybe you prefer a digital calendar and diary.  

These are what work for me.  Don’t forget about eliminating anything unnecessary off your list.  I no longer do budgets for my business as I have a pretty good idea about what coming in and going out.  I do however, keep a cashflow forecast for the year which highlights anytime cash might be tight.  I update this about once a month.  The real challenge is finding what works best for you.

Till next time,

Sarah-Jane X

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