Approaching the issues surrounding time management that lead to the stress of not being to fit all that life throws at us in. Matt identifies the measures of time management further in his podcast below.
I used to think time management was tricky
As entrepreneurs, we spend so much time in our lives craving one thing – more time! Time management seems like one of those things we just can’t get a hold of. Have you ever considered that maybe entrepreneurs, like you and I, are simply not good at organisation? No matter how hard we try, we just can’t get it right.
Let’s be honest – how many times have you downloaded the latest time management app, only to neglect the app 2 weeks later?
All along, most of us miss out on living because we are too worried about not having enough time. And the clock is ticking…
The hour has come to break that cycle, my friend. In this blog post, I am going to walk you through every single time management tool and technique that you will ever need. This is it! This is the blog post that will remove the issue of ‘not enough time,’ for good.
I learnt to put the big rocks in first
If you take a jar and first fill it with sand, you will then struggle to fit any ‘big rocks’ into your sand-jar. Yeah, you know the analogy well. Big rocks must go in first.
It’s better to put the big things, - the more important things – into your schedule first. Before anything else, get your priorities right. For me, that means prioritising my wife, kids and health before anything else.
Priority no. 1 = Date Night
The number 1 priority that I always put in my diary is date night. That’s right, date night. It is essential for my wife and I to make sure we get at least one evening together, of uninterrupted time, right? Why? Well, my wife and I have done this from the first week we got married. We’ve been married nineteen amazing years. Nineteen fantastic, fun-filled, brilliant, beautiful years! Part of the success of our marriage is simply because we do date night. So, if you are in a relationship, I would strongly recommend to you that you schedule in date night , once a week. Date night can be anything from just chilling out, watching a movie, and going out for a meal. This is critical.
Don’t Leave ‘Family Time’ Out of Your Busy Schedule
Family time is another ‘big rock’ that you need to schedule before any meetings come your way. Have some fun with your family, even if it’s just sitting and watching sports together. Make sure you do something together, which is fun and family. My family and I have adopted a habit of having breakfast together. It’s not totally there 100% of the time, but the majority of the time, I will have breakfast with my family and we will also eat together in the evenings. If I need to do extra work, I can do it once the evening meal is over, but we do make time for a family meal where we just catch up. I urge you to steal this idea! Set a breakfast meeting in the diary for you and your family to enjoy. Make sure it happens regularly – daily, even. You don’t want to miss out on the things that matter most.
Prioritize Your Health Before The Week Begins
All too often I see entrepreneurs dropping their health in order to work harder. Sadly, this is not sustainable and at some point you will face burnout. Me? I’ve never had an issue with burnout with these principles. I schedule workouts about four or five times a week. This is not a hard and fast rule, but my health is a priority, without a doubt. Is the same true for you? If not, it is time to make a change. Your health drives you to be the best you, you can possibly be. I also walk into the week with a journal in hand. Mental and spiritual health is key. I like to journal and think about the day, read, pray and prepare.
OK, so my priorities are set: date night, family time, and happy health. Ideally, this is where you need to be.
Now, I appreciate these priorities may sound slightly idyllic and at this point, you are tempted to call it quits. Top tip: put resource into making your priorities happen.
So, as an entrepreneur, you are faced with a choice. You could work all hours of the day and make more money. Or, you can take some money, work fewer hours and build a team around you, right? Empower your team; let them remove some of the responsibility you think you have to carry! In the long run, you will get a better quality of life and actually create a high and sustainable income.
After your ‘big rocks’ have been neatly situated into your diary, it’s time for inxob: zero. This is as simple as it sounds: make sure you have no emails in your inbox by the end of the day. How do you do this? Create one list where all your tasks are. Get your email inbox down to zero and create one list on asana that you aim to work through. Asana is the one time management tool that I swear by. It’s easy to use, tracks my progress and helps me to empty my inbox on a daily basis. One question I get asked a lot is “what platform do you use to store and file emails.” I actually just use Gmail. I really like Google mail inbox., and we have the Google mail business apps.
2. The Time Management Tool for Creative Ideas
OK, so you can file tasks in Asana. But what about ideas? You know, when your head starts whirling with possibilities and plans for the future of your business. Every single idea, all my thoughts, notes, emails, pictures, and documents – even my daily vlog – all goes into Evernote! A word of caution: it is easy to get carried away with tags and files using Evernote! Create a simple system whereby you can file everything by using easy-to-remember tags. When it comes to documents, I use Dropbox. That’s right: Dropbox. I love it because I can work on a file in the office and it will be on my computer at home. It synchronizes, it backs up everything, it’s got revisions on there. You can use this as a team, with a business account.
3. Lesson Learnt: Busy Schedules Are Unsustainable
This is possibly the most significant time management technique to remember: recongnise the seasons you are in. Simply put, there are seasons of life that we go through. There are seasons of insane busyness. There are seasons of time when life is a little quiet. There are times that are really difficult to manage. Yet, you will also face times of celebration. A season can last any length of time, but it’s important to know: all seasons come to an end. It’s not summer all year round, neither does winter overstay it’s welcome. I have met numerous people who find their identity in being busy all of the time. If you feel your sense of worth comes from being busy: you will need to take small, manageable steps to resolve that issue. Don’t over-fret. Being busy all of your life will have a knock-on effect on your marriage, family time and health – the 3 main priorities that I outlined at the beginning of this blog. So, my question is: what season of life are you currently in? There are going to be seasons where life is busier than usual. We all go through them and we have to adapt and plan for those times. Keep communicating with your family. Try and avoid getting identity from the busyness and set a date for the busy season to end.
Get your diary out, put the big rocks in first.
Set a date for this season to come to an end and talk to those closest to you about what you are going though. Whether busyness or a season of joy: it’s important to communicate what is going on in your life to your nearest and dearest.
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