“How do you do it?” is a question I am asked at least once a week. How do you balance all you have on your plate? I chuckle at the perception, as I am sure I do NOT get it all done as there is always something I wish I could have completed when I finally lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day. However, there are some things I do to accomplish more…
Maximize “dead” time
There are many tasks and moments in a day that I call dead” or waiting time. While waiting for the laundry to finish, the bell to ring to dismiss the kids from school, the person who is late for the scheduled meeting and other times between scheduled tasks during the day.
I utilize this time and complete the tasks that fit. For the thirty minutes while the wash is in, I write my weekly blog. When I eat lunch I read my google reader to stay updated with latest trends in graphic design and social media. And while waiting for kids, or any other time I am waiting in the car…I post on facebook. I also post on social media when having fun with the family, taking lots of photos to document our day or when I see something interesting.
Write your plan the day before
I learned this from my graphic designer, who is one of the most productive workers I know. She makes a list of what she is going to do the next day, and unless I interrupt with an urgent project, I have yet to see her not complete her list. (I am not as great at that as she is, but I find when I do it, I have a more productive day than if I didn’t.)
Run your household as a business
This is my weakest area. I am making a conscious effort this year to process the heck out of the household tasks and become more efficient at getting things done at home. The same as your business needs a leader to pay attention, so does your household. Planning, implementation and review of process is necessary for your home as well as your business. When your homelife is running smoothly, your work challenges seem smaller and/or vice versa.
Face challenges head -on.
Hiding our head in the sand and ignoring a problem does not make it go away. My mother taught me at a young age, that sometimes the problem you thought was gigantic and impossible, is often minor and can easily be solved if faced immediately. It is only when we hide, lie or run away, that it magnifies and becomes bigger. You can save time and stress by facing all problems immediately, even if you don’t know the answer to solve it. Sometimes the problem can find its own solution or be a blessing in disguise, we just don’t know it, until we look a little deeper. When we become lost in our challenges or emotions born from those challenges, other things do not get done and time than gets away from us, making us unproductive.
Of course DELEGATE
There is nothing wrong with giving up some of the control. This is the most difficult part of maximizing time most people have. We think we are super humans and can do it all. Just because you know how to do each task or you like it done a certain way, does it mean you have to be the one to physically do it. Delegate. If you are one of those people who must have it done YOUR way, that’s okay. Write down the process and pay someone to do it YOUR way! This truly is my favourite part of my time management, it took me a bit to realize how great Delegation is…but once I grasped the concept I now embrace it! I no longer have to do the things I don’t want to and I solve the problem of wanting it done my way, by hiring people who are better at the task than I am. Book keepers, house cleaners, (unless you have teenagers, than I am pro-child labour! I feel they need to learn for their own homes real soon – we hope!) programmers, graphic designers…I always hire those who I could learn a thing or two from.
I don’t know about you, but I am at my happiest when I am celebrating. When I set a list of goals and take the time between to celebrate my accomplishments with a glass of wine, a bowl of ice cream (with carmel and pecans..YUM!), a weekend visiting my sisters (who live too far to visit daily) or even the time to read a new book from one of my series, it makes crossing the tasks off my list all that much sweeter!