When working with routines, especially if you are self employed or work from home, it is really important to have clear boundaries between work and personal activities.
It is very easy to just nip out to do a personal errand which disrupts the discipline necessary for work flow. Become aware of the things you find yourself doing that you use as a distraction – notice why you want to be distracted.
Create awareness of what your habits and patterns are by using a diary to record everything you do and review it at the end of each day. Did you use your time in a productive way? Did your day have the flow that you wanted to experience?
If not, challenge yourself to set clear boundaries around when you are available for business activities and when you will attend to personal or family activities and continue to monitor the result to see how this small change could work for you.
I use a printout from my on-line calendar for a typical week to help get the clarity I need to make this work for me. This template includes all my regular, time sensitive appointments and the blocks of time around these that will be dedicated to business, personal time and family. When I first started to use this template I had to reschedule some appointments so they fit better with my intention to have clear boundaries between work and personal time.
It’s all about become really aware of your patterns, holding the intention of what you want to create and making small changes each day to bring it all into alignment.
Planning is the most important activity you can make time for – it is equally important whether you are busy or not.
It does not have be a long and arduous process – a few minutes taken daily to consider your goals, write out a list of what you want to achieve and to reflect on what task would be the most important one for the day will make a huge difference.
What is the one activity, that would give you a feeling of satisfaction at the end of today because it’s been completed? This is your key activity for the day.
One key activity daily when nothing is scheduled in your diary will create momentum and motivation, while one key activity when you are busy will ensure that you focus on what’s most important which gives you a sense of achievement and knowledge that steady progress has been made at the end of the day.
So what is your key activity for today?
I have been noticing recently a few seminars promoting exit strategies for your business. It is a great idea to think ahead and decide how you want to finish up your business when the time comes, to set a clear outcome. Do you want to just shut up shop, have a business to pass onto the next generation, or have an asset to sell at some point. This is really important as it gives you the long term goal, with a time frame to work towards and it makes daily, weekly and monthly prioritizing so much easier.
Working with a client this week I realized that setting an exit strategy can also work in other areas of life as well. If you have something in your life that is not working for you and you would love to leave it behind why not create an exit strategy to do so.
For example if you are in a job that you hate, or a home that you want to leave what are the things you need to do to reach completion and be able to move forward into something new? Are there skills that need to be learned, are their commitments or tasks that need to be completed – what are the things to be done before you can finally leave it behind? Write it all out on a list.
Once you can see clearly what needs to be done you will be in a better position to identify the first action step you can take and the sense of relief will be immediate.
Call/ text 0212 406 535 or email me if you need someone to support you in this process – I’m more than happy to help.
As mentioned in my previous blog I have started to work with closed lists each day to become really aware of what a day’s work looks like. This allows me to actually see if I am being realistic with my work load or not.
Here is a summary of the closed list that I work with daily, in the order that seems to work well for me right now.
- Current Initiative – the project I have selected to focus on until it is complete. ( This can be used to clear any back log when I get behind as well).
- Writing on my blog, 3 times per week.
- Emails from yesterday which I flag for follow up in Outlook.
- Voice messages from yesterday, requests from anyone.
- Paper work – letters, receipts, record keeping etc that arrived yesterday.
- Task Diary – these are any tasks I have collected the previous day to think about or action
- End of Day I review my next days list and close it off.
This process is taken from Do It Tomorrow by Mark Forster – check out his website at www.markforster.net for more information.
For support in creating a new way to manage your time and work load email Heather or call/ text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to talk.
Life has been very busy for me just recently and I have been planning what I wanted to achieve from each day very carefully.
As well as deciding what is most urgent I have also become aware of another factor in my planning – what gives me energy. Some tasks will energize and inspire me to do more, where as other tasks just seem to wear me down. When I attend to those things in my life that are really important to me first my energy levels definitely go up.
So this weekend I have been checking in with myself by asking…
- What area of my life is most important to me right now?
- What can I do today to make sure I give this area of my life the attention it deserves?
This has helped me prioritize and as a result I have been able to achieve a lot more with a lot less stress.
Why don’t you try asking yourself these two simple questions and let me know what you discover.