Lately I’ve gotten so many inquiries about how I find the time to work my 9-5; create valuable blog content; support my husband; travel; and grow my YouTube channel without going insane. The short answer: time management techniques that convert to increased productivity.
That being said, I’m the first to admit that I’m still learning to balance my ever evolving and oh so multifaceted life. But along the way, I’ve discovered how to enhance my time management and see sizable strides toward goal attainment without the heap of overwhelming stress that used to make me want to sleep until I could forget about my goals and responsibilities.
If you’re anything like me, you also balance many roles and titles. You’re hard working and constantly driven by multidimensional goals. But with this drive comes the feeling that there are never enough hours in the day.
If You’d like to do more to be productive but sometimes struggle with time management, I’ve got the perfect formula to help ease the strain and prevent burn out.
Interested in take time management and goal attainment to the next level? Here are 7 things you need to succeed.
A Set of Practical Goals
The key to successful time management starts with a plan. When we get strategic about how we plan to tackle our months, weeks, and days in practical ways that make sense, we alleviate the sudden urge to pull out our hair or scream at the top of our lungs.
Every plan should come equipped with a set of overarching goals. At the beginning of each month, write down what you hope to accomplish by the 30th or 31st. In my case, these goals are usually categorized into business goals and personal goals. Think through categories that fit well with your lifestyle, and start writing.
A List of Motivating Factors
Now that you’ve clearly noted what you’d like to achieve, you need to explore why your goals are your goals. Ask yourself, “What intended outcome is encouraging me to put in the work in the first place?” For example, I am motivated to blog consistently because I understand that consistency is key to the growth of my brand.
Making motivating factors plain results in 1 of 2 things:
- Reassessing whether certain goals are actually a priority
- Encouraging you to stay the course when you are tempted to take one too many days off
Either way you need these factors as a guiding light for finding and maintaining proper direction. Refer to your motivating factors regularly throughout the month. By referring back, you’ll find yourself motivated to remain productive. This technique also acts as a checkpoint for ensuring that your time and energy are dedicated to the right things.
Measurements of Success
Every goal you set out to accomplishment should be measurable. Take a moment to write out how you will measure success at the end of the month. For example, if your goal is to write more consistently for your blog. Perhaps the measurement for success is publishing 8 blog posts per month. Regardless of the goal, having measurements of success will give more definite structure to your plan. This insight helps estimate the time and effort necessary to achieve a goal.
You can’t manage your time if you have no clue about the time it takes to get the job done. I’ve learned that being knowledgeable of the micro-steps makes it possible to boost time management and productivity.
Systems and Habit Necessary to Accomplish Goals
Here you’ll put on your thinking cap to determine necessary systems and habits for accomplishing your goals. If done properly, breaking down these systems and habits will ensure successful outcomes by helping you establish routines which increase productivity.
In my case, I notice more productivity when I batch (pre-plan) content for the upcoming week. Since I am most productive when I batch, batching is a system/habit necessary to accomplish my goal of posting more consistently.
In your case, perhaps meal prepping is a necessary system for weight loss or waking up at 5am is a necessary habit for meditating. Whatever the goal, there is almost always a system or habit to help you accomplish it in an efficient manner. Efficiency is the oil that greases productivity.
Accountability Partners and Responsibilities
Accountability partners are total life savers. Find someone who is willing to keep you on track and hold your feet to the fire when you’re feeling lazy. Share your goals with them, and let them know the responsibilities you’d like them to take on as you go beast mode.
My business coach, Kendra, holds me accountable for organization/systems/processes. She hosts weekly checkpoints with me to ensure I am staying on track and suggest things that I should tweak to see better results.
Every Sunday, draft your weekly action steps. These steps should be micro-components necessary to achieve your overarching goals. For instance, if your overarching goal is to lose 10 lbs by the end of the month, your action steps for the week might include:
- consulting with a dietitian
- meeting with your personal trainer 3xs per week
- purging the fridge and pantry of unhealthy food
A great way to shape your weekly action steps is to referring to your measurements of success and necessary systems/habits then determining how you can apply them throughout your week.
Once you’ve drafted a list of all your action steps for the week, it’s time to pull out your planner and divy them up by day.
Make sure you are realistic about what you can accomplish each day. Once you’ve done that, pre-plan blocks of time specifically dedicated to certain tasks. To take the pressure off, I’ve created a goal setting workbook that’s perfect for organizing your plan of action. Click here to get your free copy.
In addition, check out these tips to increase your productivity each day and tweak them according to things that work for you.
Develop a routine which includes filling up on motivational posts about goal attainment and stay focused on positioning yourself to win.
Solid Work Ethic
None of the things listed above will work unless you work. It won’t matter if you have a bomb accountability partner or an amazing list of action plans if you don’t work the plan.
I get it. Life gets hectic, but its up to you to maintain the “want to” to demonstrate better time management and productivity. Keep that in mind and WORK! For me, being boss means using my nights and weekends to fuel my dream even after I’ve worked 40+ hours at my 9-5. I understand that solid work ethic is necessary to turn my plans into productivity that results in success.
One of my fave Boss Ladies, Mattie James, does a great job of explaining the importance of positioning yourself to produce results. Here’s the link to her podcast on Why Planning Your Goals Isn’t Enough. Be sure to check it out.
If for some reason you should get off track or find that certain systems and habits just don’t work for you, remember to quickly move past moments of defeat by reminding yourself that failure propels success so long as you refuse to quit.
Mastering time management is a technique that takes discipline and dedication, but starting with these seven things is a great step in the right direction. Which of these seven things do you already utilize? Which things do you plan to implement more regularly? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you.