Way too often, it can feel like our days and hours guide us, rather than running the day and having control over our own schedule. Our schedules can easily become the master and we … their abiding servants.
But not only does that arrangement not feel great, it can only last so long. When you and your energy, needs, or desires aren’t aligned with your schedule you will crash and burn sooner rather than later. To help you avoid or–even better–stop the madness once and for all, here are five things you can start doing right now to regain control of your time and business:
Get super clear on what’s going on in your day right now. If you already have a day planner or calendar, review it and get clear on where your time is spent. If you don’t, spend the next few days keeping a time journal: write down everything you do and how long each task takes you. It may feel tedious, but the results will astound you.
Identify what’s not working.
Where is too much of your time being spent? What do you absolutely dread doing? What are the time wasters in your calendar? Make a note of all of these things and also jot down how much time you currently spend on all of them. As Tony Jeary explains in SUCCESS magazine, “Try conducting a MOLO (more of, less of) exercise to ensure that you’re detecting opportunities and that you are capitalizing on your strengths, efforts, time and resources. Make lists for what you want more of and what you want less of. Consider posting those lists in a visible place in your home and office so you see them every day. Keep MOLO in the forefront of your mind.”
Consider what you’d rather be doing.
Have you been craving going to a yoga class? Are you longing to catch up on weeks’ worth of your favorite shows on DVR? Write a list of all of the things you would love to start including in your schedule as well as the time commitment for each. Leisure time is a major part of work-life balance and your overall health and wellness.
Now it’s time to make some changes. Look back to what’s not working in your schedule: how can you delegate or outsource some of these things? There are many great resources for outsourcing. For example, Fancy Hands is a New York City based startup that lets you book a remote personal assistant to complete tasks for a flat fee. From setting up doctor’s appointments to booking sporting events tickets and researching the best restaurant for a power lunch, they do it all. Also, TaskRabbit aims to help you live smarter and outsource household errands and skilled tasks to trusted people in your community. For example, building a baby’s crib, dropping shipments at FedEx, or even picking up groceries. Now think about all of the time wasters you can eliminate from your day.
Make changes and live it.
Now it’s time to start including all of that stuff you’ve actually been wanting to do into your schedule. Fit both business and life activities in the clear blank canvas you now have thanks to smart elimination of time wasters and outsourcing. However, making real life change takes time, no matter how badly you may want it. Evaluate how your new schedule is working out on a daily basis. Figure out what is working well and what needs to be adjusted, then shift accordingly. Above all, make sure to be gentle with yourself. Progress always trumps perfection.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jordana Jaffe is the founder of Embarkability, and an organizing expert for entrepreneurs helping them plan more in their business so they can play more in their lives. Whether you need to map out your marketing plan, simplify your weekly schedule or organize your budget, Jordana aims to add ease and order to your business and life. Download her free ebook, “Most Fav Organizing Resources That Have Truly Changed My Life” here. Connect with @jordanajaffe on Twitter.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.