Whenever someone asks me what the secret to great time management is, my answer is always this: good habits.
We are creatures of habit. We get dressed in the same way every day, we brush our teeth in the same way every day and chances are you have your favourite table at your local coffee shop – where you sit every time you go there. Habits. As humans, habits help us feel comfortable and in control. It is a good thing. Provided we have good habits….
And so it is with our time management. If we create good habits, we can have good time management. One type of habit I use very effectively in my own business and with clients, is the habit of routines.
Creating a list (or checklist) of routine tasks and then following that list, can help massively in controlling how we invest our time. This is how I use my routines list:
Firstly, I listed every task I have to do every day. This could include items such as processing email (to inbox zero), engaging on social platforms and processing new ideas and thoughts. Then I listed all tasks I have to do every week. This could include writing a blog, sending invoices out, processing all non-business emails (to inbox zero), planning the next week etc. Finally, I listed all tasks I need to do on a monthly basis. These are things such as completing mileage sheet, updating all project files, accounts and so on.
I schedule a specific time slot every day, for daily routines (in my case, this is between 9AM and 10AM). I also schedule a time slot every week (same day every week if possible) to take care of weekly routines. And – you guessed it – I schedule a time slot every month (usually towards the end of the month) for my monthly routines.
As with all habits, one becomes used to this routine very quickly. Within a week or two, one is used to getting all those tasks done every day – it has become habit. This means, these tasks actually get done! And it puts us in a place of full control – certainly with regards to these tasks.
The power of routines is massive. It creates not only a feeling of control, but more importantly, it creates an anchor in your day. Something solid. Something you know will happen, no matter how the day turns out.