the hidden truth about time management system

Your alarm goes off.

You drag yourself out of bed, fumble through brushing your teeth and washing your face {barely!} and pick up your phone to do a quick {hah!} check on email.

30 minutes later, you’re still groggy and sleepy but scrolling through your FB feed, liking posts by people who you don’t even remember meeting ever.

45 minutes in and you’re now hungry, so you grab a snack {read, last night’s leftovers or whatever was in a packet and didn’t need cooking} and open up the news sites. After all, you can’t work while eating, so why not read the news?

60 minutes after you’ve woken up… and here’s what you’ve accomplished – washed face, brushed teeth, maybe used the loo, read random FB updates from even more random people, ate an unhealthy snack and read the news.

You’re ready to work except… now, now the kids are gonna be up. Oh well!

Sounds familiar?

Or maybe your scenario may include rushing through the day, like the Energizer bunny {but without the energy!} and finding yourself crashing into bed, feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.

Or maybe you experience what I like to call busy-itis. A chronic condition or desire to always be busy.

Someone asks you “How are you?”  Response:“Busy!”

“How was your day?” Busy!

“Can you take a break?” Nope, busy!!

“What’s happening with your life?” Nothing… busy, busy, busy!!

See? Busy-itis.

We wear busy as a badge of honor. Hey, you aren’t alone. I’ve been known to wear this badge myself.

Here’s the thing…

Being busy isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.

Rushing around may seem okay to you and you may even enjoy it, like I enjoy working under pressure.

Reading random news and FB updates may feel comforting to you on some strange level, and really, that’s okay.

But here’s the other thing…

Are you making time for the things that matter?

Or are you losing out on what counts as you pursue what society deems you should?

Now, this is not a rant on us against them. That isn’t my style.

This is just a friendly reminder to re-evaluate your time management mindset and habits. I’ve already shared killer time management techniques that work to free up time for parentpreneurs, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.

What I’m gonna do is talk about the truths behind time management that works. Truths that no one really addresses.

You get hacks, like:

Wake up at 5:30.

Don’t check your email, first thing.

Don’t spend time in meetings.

But do these really fit your life and your business? Yeah. I thought so.

Read on and prepare to be amazed by the simple truths that have evaded us for ages. I almost leapt out of the hotel bathtub like Archimedes, yelling “Eureka! Eureka!” when it hit me. Don’t worry. I didn’t. Me running half-naked in a hotel lobby is a sight no one needs to endure. 😉

In Productivity 2.0: More Impact, Less Work, I repeatedly emphasize the importance of making time work for you, rather than the other way round.

More importantly, we talk about how what works for me, may not work for you. That’s right.

And literally, hundreds of readers have emailed me to tell me how much the strategies in Productivity 2.0 have helped them craft a time management method that works best for them.

Wonder why? Hang on. I’m spilling the beans on these little-known truths about time management for entrepreneurs.

As someone who manages several client projects, this blog and the business – marketing, hiring, training, researching, etc., and more importantly, as someone who has tried pretty much every productivity hack out there, here are the 3 time management truths that I want you to know, learn and keep close to your heart.

That’s it. Only 3 things that you really need to know. Can I hear a collective sigh of relief go around the room? Thought so!

Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Truths that No One Ever Tells You About

1. Your time management will be very different from everyone else’s

First up, how you manage your time will be very different from what I do.

You may function best using an electronic app to record your to-dos. I use a paper planner.

You may be a night owl, packing the late hours with your most productive work. I work the morning like the high-on-energy Judy Hopps. {What… you haven’t seen Zootopia?!}.

You may like working ahead of time while I work amazingly well when under the pump.

Bottomline: Strategies remain. Techniques and implementation differ.

I don’t see the point in you pushing yourself to be a morning person, if your body clock doesn’t jive with that.

2. Respect and savor your life’s seasons when planning your time.

We’re not entrepreneurs in isolation. Many of us, including yours truly, are parents, home managers, spouses, friends {good ones, I hope!} to those around us.

There will be seasons of your life when it’ll seem that everyone around you is zooming ahead in flashy cars while you’re phut-phutting on a little scooter on the entrepreneurial highway.

That’s okay. No really. It’s okay. We’re all on our own path. This is NOT a race. I repeat, this is NOT a race. 😉

3. There will always be changes to your time management techniques and you need to go with that

Finally and most importantly, what is it they say about the best laid plans? Yeah, something like even the best laid plans can go to waste, right?

So, even after you’ve nailed a schedule that works for you, there will be days when you aren’t feeling up to it {yes bingeing on pizza for dinner does that!}, an unexpected crisis {think 6-year old hurting her eye with a paper bag! I kid you not!!} happens, or you realize that the schedule you’ve planned is just way too unrealistic. What? That never happens to you?!

So, yes, expect changes to your plans. This is something the Type A in me has had the hardest time dealing with.

So, what can you do to nail managing your time, with ease and without feeling like smashing the clock or your head against it?

Two things.

I know. Only two. I’m smart, like that!

Here are the only 2 time management tips that you need to focus on as a parentpreneur:

  1. Identify your most profitable activity for the day and accomplish that right at the start.
  1. Identify your most challenging activity for the day and knock that outta the park, next.

Rinse and repeat.

Both these activities will give motivate you, spur you on and keep you from getting distracted by whatever’s not profitable or challenging. Yes, Facebook, I’m looking at you!

How you choose to implement these two is up to you.

Here’s what works for me. I plan my schedule accordingly, so I’m working on a profitable activity first – writing for clients, social media management, keyword research, then a challenging activity – responding to emails {you have NO idea!}, outreach {same thing!}, making phone calls {don’t even get me started on these!}.

ONLY when they’re done, do I dip into entertainment activities – Facebook for news feed scrolling not social media management for clients, reading blogs to entertain my mind and so on. It’s such a happy emotional release, because I know I’ve done good stuff and tough stuff and now, I’m savoring that reward. Mind tricks, people. Mind tricks.

Again, that’s me. What would YOU do?

Share with me your greatest time management challenges in the comments and I’ll send the toughest ones a copy of Productivity 2.0 FREE. Want to skip commenting {really? Why?!!}, snag a copy for yourself now here. It’ll be the best $9 you invest in making time work for you. Guaranteed.

what every entrepreneur must know about time management