Every day seems to fly right by. Let's face it. You're busy! But do you end each day wondering what the heck you accomplished in pursuit of your goals and dreams? And, as a busy business owner, do you wish you had a better process or some simple scheduling tips to better plan your day?
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The thing is, effective scheduling isn’t usually a skill that business owners are born with. It takes knowledge, time, and practice to get better at planning your time in a way that maximizes your productivity but creates time for personal goals, fun, and self-care.
These easy but powerful scheduling tips for business owners will point you in the right direction when it comes to successful time management habits. And, you should even have time for a stroll down the block or a quiet moment alone to enjoy a cup of tea!
Easy Scheduling Tips for Business Owners
1. Consult Your Calendar First
You can reach your goal if you plan for it. A good place to start is with your calendar, which should be your home base to manage your objectives and schedule related tasks.
A calendar is imperative to successful time management and productivity. This powerful scheduling tip for business owners will keep you on track and purposeful in your daily activities.
Most importantly, a calendar and a schedule provide structure. What’s so great about structure? It improves your focus and reduces your distractions. In doing so, you’ll improve the likelihood of finishing your tasks and accomplishing your goals.A calendar and a schedule provide structure that improves your focus and reduces your distractions. In doing so, you’ll improve the likelihood of finishing your tasks and accomplishing your goals.Click To Tweet
Always use your calendar to plan your time. Planning keeps you proactive rather than reactive in your daily activities. Before you commit to anything, always check your calendar.
2. Plan Your Day…The Night Before
Don’t underestimate preparation.
To be a productivity powerhouse, you must know what to focus on and how those tasks move you forward in your goals. This is how planning and scheduling your time help to identify and complete the essentials on your to-do list.
Planning is really a “pre-work” step that can be completed in advance. Plan each day the night before. This way, when you sit down to work, you won’t waste time figuring out what to do. You’ll begin your day with a clear purpose and goal in mind.Planning is really a “pre-work” step that can be completed in advance. Plan each day the night before. This way, when you sit down to work, you won’t waste time figuring out what to do.Click To Tweet
3. Eat Your Frog…When It Suits YOU
Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you’ll go through the day knowing that you’ve accomplished the worst thing that’s going to happen to you that day.
When applied to time management, “eating a frog” means tackling your least desirable but most important task early in the day. This forces you to complete the most critical task at the onset of your day, which prevents procrastination.
With that said, I like to approach my “frog-eating” in a slightly different manner. Instead of scheduling your big hairy task for first thing in the morning, I believe it's most important to schedule that task for the time of day when your energy is at its peak.
In other words, not everyone functions at their best and highest early in the morning. If you do, then by all means eat that frog in the morning. But if you need to ease into your day, schedule it for later in the morning or even in the afternoon if that's YOUR jam.
What's most important is that you allow yourself enough time to finish that task and that you remove distractions while you work on it. The point is to get it done — but do so based on your natural rhythms, not when “someone” says “this time” is the best time to do it.
There is no one size fits all solution to how one works. You get to create habits that work for you.
If you're not sure when your peak times are, start paying attention and rearranging your schedule around it. Over time, this practice will improve your performance and productivity.
4. Block Your Time
Blocking your time traditionally means setting aside a certain number of hours or minutes for only one task. Adopting this scheduling tip for business owners will help focus your time, attention, and effort on the categories of work that matters to your success while “blocking” out things that won't.
Schedule recurring pockets of time to work on things that are important to work optimally. Most tasks I do fall into one of these categories:
- Professional development
So, I block out time based on these categories and plan my work within those time frames. It helps me stay focused while preventing me from overplanning and getting sidetracked by other people's priorities.
I like to say that time blocks are appointments with yourself. Treat them that way and you'll always have time to get what matters over the finish line.
Your time blocks should support your taking focused action. Make the most of the time you have. Break your big projects into smaller tasks and do that work within your time blocks.
When planning your block time, be cognizant of the hours that you’re most productive. Schedule your most high-priority task during that block of time. And, be sure that you and those around you respect your time.
It takes experience and practice to get used to time blocking. When you schedule too much time for a task, you end up taking longer to complete your work. But, dedicate too little time to a project and you’ll risk failing to meet your goals. So play around and experiment with what works for you.
You can start by getting those times on your calendar!
5. Avoid Overplanning
Cramming lots of responsibilities into your schedule is one sure way to end the day feeling unsatisfied and inadequate. Don’t set yourself up to fail!
It’s better to have time left over than to be left with incomplete work. So, be diligent about giving yourself enough time to complete your tasks.
For years, society has promoted multitasking as a good skill to have. However, we know now that multitasking compromises your ability to complete tasks well. It also impairs your ability to function. Switching back and forth between tasks slows your progress and hampers your focus.
In other words, multitasking isn’t a good thing. The more you jump from project to project, the more you’ll lose focus and precious time. As a result, you’ll get less done rather than increase your productivity.
6. Schedule Breaks into Your Routine
Your brain needs regular breaks to function at a high capacity throughout the day. Don’t expect to crush your goals if you’re not taking brief rest periods to keep your momentum moving forward.
To make sure you pause in between time blocks, schedule regular breaks on your calendar.
Now, I’m not talking about working on other projects or chores during these breaks! You want to stay in the zone and maintain your focus.
Get up, stretch, take a walk, or listen to a song. You get the idea. You want to give your brain a short respite from the task at hand but not entirely switch your focus to other endeavors.
Why These Scheduling Tips for Business Owners Are Effective
Life happens. Everything doesn’t always go as planned. That’s okay! But starting with a schedule gives you the best chance of accomplishing the most. It’s completely worth doing even if your day or week doesn’t turn out to be what you’d hoped for.
What’s so great about these powerful scheduling tips for business owners are that they:
- Keep you focused but aren’t inflexible
- Allow for downtime
- Offer you peace of mind through manageable and planned action
- Prove you don’t need more hours in a day, just more focused time
So, give the process a try. You'll find yourself being more productive in no time.