Do you wish you had a magic wand that could create more time in your schedule?
Guess what? You do!
The magic wand is your mindset – one that pulls positively from your self-worth and commitment to your boundaries.
Just think what you could accomplish if you had more time to do so. That book? Another networking meeting? An exercise regimen? The possibilities are endless!
Let’s delve into where your “time leaks” are and how you can plug them. In the end, it’s not about finding time; it’s about prioritizing your time. Plugging your time leaks will help you create the space for prioritization.
To make more time in your schedule, you need to find where you are not being productive. If you find these “time leaks,” you can plug them with productive, profitable activities instead.
Here are three major time leaks in your day:
Time Leak #1: Social Media
Raise your hand if you’ve mindlessly scrolled on social media. My hand is raised with you!
Social media is the King of Time Suck, and it feels like a Catch 22 if you’re using social media for marketing. How do you make your social media time more productive?
First, it’s important to differentiate times to use social media for business purposes – and for personal reasons. You need time blocks for both.
For me, my business-related social media is my first task of the day. I batch my social media and do it at once. Then, I have a time slot at lunch where I check for responses, comments, and other engagement.
Do the same for personal social media, as well. It’s okay to mindlessly scroll on social media if you’re “off the clock,” but if it’s interfering with your productivity, it needs to be done when you’re not working.
Another consideration: Hire someone to do your social media marketing for you. Let your social media manager handle the posting, comments, and engagement. That’s one less reason for you to be on social media, thus creating more time in your schedule.
Time Leak #2: Email
Someone once told me that email is someone else’s emergency, and it’s true. How many times have you dropped everything to answer someone’s “urgent” email?
Here are some processes to implement to help manage your email:
- Create one inbox for your clients and vendors to reach you. Ideally, have an assistant monitor it for you. Put an autoresponder message on this inbox, giving a time frame as to when someone will get back to the sender.
- Create a super-secret email address for you. This would only be given to your contractors or employees, mentors, closest of friends – only those who absolutely need it. Do not give it to your clients or vendors. Protect your super-secret email with your life.
- Only check your email twice a day. Let your team know these time frames. This could be communicated on your autoresponder message.
- Turn off your email unless it’s during your “twice a day” check-in.
- Remove all email notification
- Be disciplined This is your time. Don’t waste it on email management!
Time Leak #3: Cell Phone
Ahhh, our cell phones – where would we be without them? It’s our portal to the world. However, our phones are major time sucks, too.
Again, when the phone rings, it’s probably someone else’s emergency. The same with notifications about text messages, Facebook messages, and email – all someone else’s emergencies.
Similar to managing your email, it’s time to create a process to help you manage your cell phone:
- When you’re working, turn your phone off, or put it on Do Not Disturb.
- Leave an outgoing voicemail message that explains when you check your voicemail. Leave your public-facing email address on your message, encouraging people to contact you there.
- Turn off all notifications – from email to social media.
- Create a time block for returning calls and text messages.
- Tell your friends and family that you’d love to speak to them after 5pm.
My final bit of advice
If you are unsure where your time leaks are, here is what you should do.
Tomorrow, I want you to start a Daily Log of your activities. Do it in 15-minute increments. Start when you wake up, and then jot down what you’re doing afterwards until you go to bed. For example:
- 6am – Went to the bathroom, took the dog out, started my coffee pot.
- 6:15am – Scrolled through Facebook while waiting for the coffee to brew, fed the dog.
- 6:30am – Turned on my computer, checked email, looked at Facebook and Instagram.
- 6:45am – Went back to the kitchen to make breakfast, ate breakfast at the kitchen table while looking at my phone.
You get the idea. When you write down how you’re spending your day, you will see your time leaks.
Finally, remember that you are worth this. You can still be an awesome wife, mom, daughter, entrepreneur, friend, and neighbor with boundaries around communicating with you. Sure, folks may grumble – but that’s their problem, not yours.