Do you feel this way: there’s so much to do and so little time? The answer is to not try to create more hours in the day but to be ruthless with your time.
Do you have a time management plan but still find yourself failing to reach goals? Most likely you’re not being strict enough on yourself and others about scheduling. Unfortunately, time is not limitless. Deadlines are real, and we can’t always push things off or switch them up at the last minute.
I’ve been trying for years to find someone with time on their hands who wants to sell it.
We have to effectively use the time we have because we can’t make more of it or re-do the things of the past.
Once you reconcile the fact that time is finite and that tomorrow comes faster than you’d like, you will want to be more ruthless with your time. Here are a few tips to boost your time management.
10 Best Tips to be Ruthless with Your Time
1. Just Say No
Being courteous and conscientious are some of the greatest qualities one can have. However, they also regularly cause people to improperly manage their time, usually due to not wanting to say no to someone. But, we need to come to a place where we can confidently say ‘no.’ to things that we don’t want to do, don’t have the time to do, or won’t be able to give our best. It is OK to say no!
I find nurses have trouble saying no. We’re primed to help people. And as legal nurse consultants, we are primed to help our attorney clients. Sometimes their request are impossible to accomplish on short notice.
2. Wake Up On Time
Many people struggle with this, but that’s usually because they make it harder than it needs to be. If you work from home, you are in complete control of when you wake up each day. It can be easy to take the attitude of “I work from home and I can make my hours the way I want to. I don’t have to set an alarm to wake up.”
This is a dangerous way of thinking and operating your business. Regardless of where you work, you need business hours. To have structure is a good thing.
3. Be Early
Whether you have to drive to an appointment, meet a deadline, or have an online meeting, always schedule yourself early. This is to help eliminate the feeling of urgency, which can be a large stressor for many. If you’re always ahead of the clock, you can easily handle any emergencies that come up so that you don’t end up stressed and late.
4. Turn Off Technology
Isn’t it funny how the very thing we rely on to be more productive is also the number one distractor? Every time our phone buzzes or email pings, we’re tempted to fall down a rabbit hole of FaceBook scrolling and internet shopping. Thankfully, there is a simple fix. Turn. It. Off. You might even find it best to keep your phone (or TV) in an area separate from your workspace.
I also find it helpful to keep the phone turned away from me so I don’t see notifications and to turn the ringer off when I don’t want to be disturbed.
5. Understand Your Internal Clock
Each one of us is running on a different internal clock than the next, and it is important to not hold ourselves to standards that aren’t in line with our own needs. Sure, some people thrive off being the early bird, but plenty of others can be just as successful being night owls. Whatever your routine might be, just be sure it truly provides your body with the greatest fuel for success and not just what you see others doing.
6. Make Lists
Instead of writing down “Finish Huge Project” on your calendar, break it all down into smaller pieces that lead up to the final deadline. It will be much easier to come to the end of the task when you know all of the steps that need to be taken. Also, it is quite hard to gauge the amount of time needed without the full picture.
I love using trello.com for this purpose. It is easiest free system I’ve used to set up lists and tasks.
In conjunction with creating those lists, put all the deadlines and small steps onto your calendar. For some people, scheduling daily tasks, family events, and far-out projects can be very beneficial. Also, having a good understanding of what your life and time commitments look like makes it much easier to schedule things or not when others need your time.
8. Avoid Meetings
While this might sound counter-intuitive to being a business owner, it’s not. Yes, initial meetings and other, large ones can be very important to building rapport and remaining on track, but most everything else can be accomplished in continual updates. These can be done through a project management system or update memo, which renders weekly meetings a waste of time.
9. Touch It Only Once
Don’t allow yourself to push things off to a later time. If you get an email that needs a response, send it as soon as you get it. I bet you know how unbelievably easy it is to overlook an email, thinking you’ll take time to respond later.
If a bill shows up in the mail, pay it then. Throw the junk mail in the trash when it comes in. However, it is best to only check your mail when you have the time to deal with it then, otherwise, you’re simply creating the do-it-later cycle.
10. Don’t Overschedule Yourself
It can be very easy to overwork yourself when you’re trying to be ruthless about your time, but there is a fine balance between the just right amount and creating overload. It is important to have brain breaks and time for fun.
Sure, you can work 8-10 hours a day, but make sure you have included frequent breaks and time away from the computer. Additionally, you can’t forget about weekends and vacation time. While the success of your business is important, your personal and mental health is more so. Best of all, if you find that work-life balance, being ruthless when you’re clocked in will be so much easier.
You can only do so much in a day. If you drain yourself, the greatest asset in your LNC business, areas in your business will begin to reflect it. Structure your business by managing your time effectively. In the beginning, you may feel challenged assigning tasks to your calendar, however, if you stick with it, you’ll love the results. Ultimately, you are in charge of what you do daily. A good philosophy to develop is to under-promise and over-deliver. Your reputation depends upon it.
Set up a time to talk with me about how to grow your LNC business. Click on this link to request a call: http://LNC.tips/gethelp – we’ll see if coaching is the solution you need to move forward in 2021. If not now, when?
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs to obtain more clients, make more money, and achieve their business goals and dreams.