How to Stop Time Running Away With You
Some days it takes all day to do a certain task, another day it will only take a couple of hours. How come similar jobs can take different times to complete? I recently discovered this phenomenon has a name ‘Parkinson’s law’. Parkinson’s law says work expands to fill the time for completion.
Whatever time you allow yourself for a task, you will find enough work to fill the time available. If you give yourself all day, it will take all day, if you give yourself an hour, you will knuckle down and get it done.
Working silly hours
If you allow yourself to work crazy long hours, or seven days a week, it will take over your life. You’ll be busy all the time, constantly finding things to do and chasing your tail. You’ll move from day to day, time flying and reach the end of the week, having still not finished the urgent project. Sound familiar?
It’s tricky because running your own business, there’s always ‘stuff’ to do. At times you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, going around and around.
Working this way, you’ll eventually burn yourself out. It isn’t sustainable and will affect your health, life and you could easily fall out of love with your business.
Work smarter, not harder
Start by committing to how many hours and days you want to work. You’ll be surprised if you restrict yourself to five days a week instead of seven, you may get the same amount done, just in less time.
Logically this doesn’t make sense but it’s possible by working smarter, not harder.
You have a limited amount of time, so you need to use it wisely. Start by reviewing your job list and deciding what tasks are important and necessary and what can be deleted. This should start to give you a picture of the things you need to focus your time on.
Out of the tasks left on your list, work out if any can be delegated to someone else (if you have the budget). If you’re not in the position to pay for help at the moment, make a note of the tasks as they can be the first things to go when you can afford it.
Allocating a time for your tasks will force you to focus. We spend a surprising amount of time getting distracted and being busy. Huge distractions are email or social media so set times for these too. Work out how you can best structure your days and give it a try.
I split my week into different zones depending on my priorities: days for working with clients, for admin and accounts, for marketing etc. Time blocking specific tasks within these days for helps me get things done. I make sure there are gaps in my diary to keep on top of email and social media which keeps me organised by allows me flexibility too.
Set your intentions
Pick the most important tasks for the week and work them into your diary. This will help you to ensure you have time between your commitments to achieve them. This activity is setting your intentions for the week which will help you focus your efforts and improve your productivity.
I use my morning journal to set my intentions and it’s been revolutionary in making the most of my time. Read the article here.
Time is our most valuable resource, once we have spent it, there is no getting it back. Start spending your time wisely and in a way that supports the life and business you want to create.
If you struggle with your diary and setting priorities, contact me to find out how I can help you.