How to create more time in a week (No Time Machine Necessary)

Look at your to-do list right now.

How many items have been on it for more than a day? More than a week?

The problem with an endless list is that endless part. Chances are if you can’t finish it is because you don’t need to finish it. There are probably tasks that are too big or vague that you will never be able to finish.  

The solution is not necessarily changing what you want to get done, but how you get it done.

What is one big task or goal you want to accomplish? 

A lot of my clients have goals beyond running their business. 

They want to expand, add new products, or hire a larger team. So I challenge them to specify these big goals, chunk them into manageable parts and work towards actualizing them (or parts of them) each day. 

Let’s call this goal “X.”

To keep them accountable I check in on them. I ask, “How X is going?” 

9 times out of 10 they will tell me the same thing, “I didn’t have time to work on X this week, because [insert the million excuses we’ve all used about not having enough time].”

But the problem isn’t their time. It’s their focus.

They got caught up once again in smaller day-to-day demands. Whether that was delivering on a client’s need or answering an email from an employee moments after it was received. 

They didn’t prioritize their goal; instead they focused on the smaller stuff because it seemed more immediate.

I can’t blame them for this instinct.

Technology has made us creatures of instant gratification 

We want things solved immediately. 

So when a client needs something today or an employee needs an answer right now, we think we have to provide a solution immediately. But here’s the secret, aside from healthcare workers in a trauma ward, no one needs anything instantly from you-no one! It’s OK to take more than an instant to provide results. 

In fact, practice “do not disturb” hours or periods of time in your schedule that you prioritize working towards larger goals.

Avoid the Chatty Kathy and the inbox.

Unique work environments require unique adaptions.

Maybe you're working from home and it isn't a chatty co-worker or confused employee who are vying for your attention, maybe it's your kid or spouse.

They are important there's no denying that, but you're allowed to set boundaries. Communicate with them and be serious with your intention to designate a special space or time where you are isolated and "unreachable." 

Give yourself permission to focus on your goals and needs.

For you it might work best to set a timer or place a red "do not disturb" sign when you are in your "zone."  However you choose to make this distinction, stick to it! Your family will understand that you need uninterrupted time to do your best work.  Remember it's not just their actions that matter your actions matter, too! Make optimal work time a priority. Use it to do meaningful work. Don't give into the temptation of your home's unique distractions. Put in the effort if you want to achieve your goals (even from home!) 

Wherever you are, take time to mute your distractions so you can engage in meaningful and productive work.

Your health and wellness are a priority, too!

Do you work 24/7? 

Even though it feels like it, the truth is none of us work all the time. 

In fact, when you’re feeling like you’re always “on” you’re probably not being as productive as you could be. Studies have shown that workers waste a lot of time on the clock.

Are you struggling with prioritizing your goals while still maintaining your business?  We will identify where to  focus your energy and come up with an action plan that will get you on track to achieve your biggest goals.

Many of us find that while we’re “working” we’re also checking social media or eating a snack. The problem isn’t that we’re taking time to eat and engage in fun activities. The problem is when we layer these activities in-between every few moments we end up wasting a lot of time. And we’re usually prone to these distractions and errors because we’re overtired.

If you keep clicking away from the task at-hand to scroll through a mindless feed it’s time to step away from the task all together.

I’m serious. Give yourself down time so when you return to work you’ll be refreshed and ready to give it your full attention.   

The best way to avoid burnout is to make your health a part of your weekly schedule.

Putting it all together!

You have to re-imagine your week.

I help my clients create a unique system or “Aligned Action Plan '' to restructure their time around their priorities. We look at factors like personal “peak” performance hours and chunking tasks into manageable time frames.

This type of planning takes discipline.

Will you drop the ball some weeks? Yes, and that’s OK!

So many of my clients will follow this plan for a week or two and find they have “more time.” But the truth is they just are learning how to focus the right energy and time to the tasks with the highest priority in their life. 

The problem is once they get into a groove inevitably something will throw them off. Whether it’s an unexpected life event or business crisis they get behind. Instead of getting back on track and factoring in the lost time, they revert to their old ways.

That is why our team can help.

We’ll work through the difficult times of re-committing to your priorities and get that momentum back. Having someone hold you accountable will increase your chances of sticking to your plan and keep you on track to achieving your long-term goals and success benchmarks.

So if you’re ready for “more” time in your week, reach out. We can get you started on your personal Aligned Action Plan today.

If you're struggling with finding the time to invest in your goals and business's future, reach out! We've helped countless businesses escape the cycle of day-to-day operating. Learn how to prepare and plan so you can achieve your biggest goals while you manage your business. 

Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.

Erickson Business Coaching

Erickson Business Coaching, Inc. is a training and coaching company dedicated to helping skilled professionals build successful practices.

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April 5, 2020