It can be really easy to look at other business owners and think “they are so successful and have so many things going on, I’m never going to be able to do all of that! Everyone has this feeling at some point, so don’t beat yourself up about it. The key is to find a tool or a system that helps you combat this feeling and get more done!
There is a quote that I always think about whenever I’m having that funky feeling like everyone else in the world is accomplishing more than me and I have no idea how I can possibly get any more done:
“You have the same number of hours in your day as Beyonce.”
I’m pretty sure that this quote was created by someone on Etsy so that they could sell mugs, and it might not actually be entirely true in the case of Beyonce because she has a huge team of people who help her each day. But in general, I think that the root of the quote is true. You do have the same amount of hours in your day as everyone else in the world, some people are just managing their time better than others.
I think that where most people struggle with time management is in determining what needs to be done right away and what can be done later. When I thought about this in my own life, I began to realize that the tasks that I accomplish first are usually either the ones that help someone else out rather than pushing me forward or the ones that are simply distracting and don’t really accomplish anything (hello, Pinterest).
I learned recently about the “Eisenhower Method,” which helps with prioritizing activities and better managing your time. This time management method was developed based on a quote by Dwight Eisenhower: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
If we can start figuring out which to-dos are important, which are urgent and which are distractions, we’ll get a better grasp on the order in which we should be doing them.
Important activities are those that will help you get closer to achieving your goals and push you forward in your life. For example, writing new content for my blog or exercising are activities that are really important and help me grow personally and also push my business forward.
Urgent activities are those that demand your immediate attention and could have consequences if not completed in a timely manner. An example of an urgent activity is something like answering client emails or paying bills.
Distractions are a third type of activity that I also consider. These are activities like looking at social media, playing games on your phone, or anything else that isn’t going to push you forward.
Now that you know the three types of to-dos, take each item on your to-do list and put it into one of these four groups:
1. Important/ Urgent – These activities should all be done immediately and by you.
2. Important/ Not Urgent – These should be given a deadline and be done by you.
3. Unimportant/ Urgent – These can be delegated to someone else or put at the bottom of your list.
4. Unimportant/ Not Urgent – These can be thrown out or done after all other activities are done.
The order listed above is the order in which you should complete your tasks. To help you out, I’ve created an Urgent/ Important Activities Planner Sheet! Download the planner then print a new sheet each day to help you stay organized and get more done!
A few final points I want to leave you with:
It’s ok to say no! If someone asks you to do something and you don’t feel like you have the time in your day for it, it is perfectly fine to tell them that you can’t do it (unless it is an urgent activity that will negatively affect you). Saying no can be really difficult but remember that you are not helping yourself or anyone else by saying yes to things that are not going to keep you on the right track.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! It can take a while to master the art of organizing your to-do’s and sticking to a strategy that works. I’ve always been told that it takes 3 weeks to break or start a habit and managing your time is no exception!
If you have other methods that you do to keep yourself organized and get the most out of each day, leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about what works for you!