Time Management Checklist, Oh-so Simple!
We are constantly reminded by our calendars that the holidays are right around the corner! As exciting as that may be we all have a BIG challenge.
The most challenging thing about the holidays (and it's not the relatives ..oops!! did I just say that!), it is TIME!
Juggling all the responsibilities you have now, add onto that, one of the busiest seasons for most of us, holiday parties and wrapping up year end responsibilities, where are you going to find the time?
I have compiled productivity and time management tips and strategies used by the most successful people to help prioritize, get organized, focused, and enjoy the holidays... Stress-Free.
My thoughts are, if we can begin implementing these time management strategies now, by the time we are in full swing of the holidays we will be effortlessly gliding through the busiest season, with plenty of time to get that favorite dress for your holiday party!
With this time management checklist, I can walk you through the importance of Income Producing Activities (IPA’s) and Non-IPA’s, and how simple it is to work step-by-step through any unfinished tasks you may have.
Let’s begin and not waste any more time! (You have things to do!)
1. IPA and Non-IPA
The sole purpose of being an entrepreneur of your own business, is not only to follow your dreams, but to have the time and financial freedom owning your own business brings! Then we realize that there are so many plates to juggle and things to do that we get overwhelmed and don't know what to do first.
Each task is equally important right? Wrong!
In my coaching I use a simple strategy called IPA and Non-IPA's. That is, Incoming Producing Activities and Non Income Producing Activities. When my clients feel overwhelmed I have them take a sheet of paper, divide it in two and write IPA on one side and Non-IPA on the other. Simple enough, huh? Now, you write all the tasks you have on your mind and categorize them under either of these. The IPA’s are activities that actually create income for you working toward your goals. (ie. Calling prospects, taking orders, signing up new client, following up, etc.). It can be as simple as running a Facebook Ad, sending out mailing lists and autoresponders, or a speaking engagement. These simple activities accomplished one at a time are stepping stones to achieving your goals.
Non-IPA's would be research, updating your website, or any activity that you can easily delegate.
I take it one step further and track your IPA's of your choice. If you focus on accomplishing 3 main IPA’s, 80% of the time you will experience a lot less frustration and become successful in half the time.
Which leads me to my next point…
Prioritize your IPA’s and list them from most important to least important. Choosing 3 important tasks or activities to do each day, helps you to narrow down your focus and get down to business. These would be tasks that I would ask myself, "When I complete these tasks I would feel fulfilled today and one step closer to reaching my goals". Prioritizing will help grow your business by keeping you focused!
3. Manageable Tasks
Sometimes we find ourselves not wanting to tackle a task and we keep saying “I will get to that tomorrow….and tomorrow never comes”. If this is the case, you might need to break that task down into smaller bite sized tasks so you can accomplish a little at a time.
If a task seems too complex, be sure to break each and every one down. Time management is so crucial, yet we all struggle with it from time to time. So, take it with a grain of salt and say to yourself, you can do this!
4. Most Productive Time
Everyone has certain times of the day we work best and are most efficient. For me it is in the morning, I can get so much accomplished before anyone arrives at the office, I LOVE IT! For you, it may be in the afternoon. You know your daily schedule like the back of your hand. Your body functions off of routine! So choose the best time of day for you to sit down and knock out your IPA's.
Now for the final step in my time management checklist...
An old quote I like to constantly say in my mind, “Progress, not Perfection". Meaning, as long as you have the will power and dedication to progress, it doesn’t have to come out perfect the first time. In fact, it might not ever be “perfect”, but perfect is so overrated anyway! Have the mindset to finish and complete something, and take the first step and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Always remember to avoid multitasking (Be sure to also keep an eye out for my next blog that will cover extensively on blowing multitasking right out of the water!). Also any other interruptions that might come your way (your cell phone, emails, and social media need to be set to “Ignore”)!
Even if you start implementing one of these time management strategies immediately or decide to start your morning off fresh by implementing all of them. Just start! That is the key, " It's Progress...not Perfection".
You got this! I know you do!
I'd love to hear from you, so share your favorite time management strategy that works for you!