You’re hard at work when you need to hop onto your Facebook Fan Page to reference something. All of sudden you see a BuzzFeed Quiz you just have to take or an adorable picture of your friend’s kid you want to comment on.
15 minutes later you’re still scrolling through Facebook and you’ve already forgotten why you ‘hopped on’ there in the first place.
Time management can be tough.
And that much more so when you’re trying to balance regular work, a part-time business that is your passion, and your family.
Believe me, I get it. And honestly, time management is something I have to work on all the time.
So today, I want to share what I have found to work best for me.
1. Focus on one task until it’s done before moving on.
Many of you know I am a huge fan of Amy Porterfield. I consider her a bit of a mentor. I’m in all the courses she offers and advice I’ve gotten from her has helped my businesses immensely. I also LOVE her podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy.
And while many of the podcast episodes have made a big impact, Amy’s interview with her business coach Todd Herman remains my favorite.
Throughout the episode, Todd gives gem after gem of wisdom about managing time, getting stuff done, and putting yourself out there and being seen.
While I highly recommend listening to the entire episode (Listen to it HERE), I want to talk about my biggest takeaway: context switching.
Let’s say you have 5 projects going on right now.
If you’re working on all of these projects at once, or even 2 of these at once (like you’re checking some email in between working on your blog), it’s going to take you longer to get your blog written because you have to reacquaint yourself to the blog after checking emails.
Basically, you were switching the context of what you were working on and now your brain takes some time to readjust.
Here’s what Todd says about it:
“If you are working on one project and one project alone, context switching says that you have how much of your time available? Well, you have 100% of your time available because you are working on one project and that’s it.”
“I ask people how much time they have available [if they are working on 2 projects at once] and most people will say they have 50% for one project and 50% for the other. That isn’t the case.
You actually have 40% for each project because context switching will cost you 20% of your time. It is literally a lost amount of time in your day.
So if I have eight hours and I was working on two projects and skipping back and forth between the two of them I could literally cost myself a hard cost of 20% of my day.
That compounds and compounds over time so that if you are actually working on five projects at once you have actually lost 75% of productivity at the end of the day. That’s 75% of the day’s hours to context switching because you have to reacquaint yourself!
Or maybe you’ve moved a notebook around and you can’t find it. Or you don’t know what page you were on. Maybe you had a tab open and now you can’t find it. You are wasting all of this time to try to reacquaint yourself.”
Does this blow your mind?! It did mine. Who would think that context switching (which is often called multi-tasking) is wasting so much of your precious time?!
So instead, Todd recommends you put your projects in order of importance. And then start the most important project first and work on that until it is finished, even if that means it takes several days. Then start on project two until it’s done, and so on.
Ultimately, you’ll get more done in a faster amount of time because you’re not needing to switch contexts.
So simple, but so effective.
2. Set a timer.
Also, a super simple tip but this one works so well for me.
I get distracted at the drop of a hat.
Sad truth: While writing this blog post, I had to go online to get a screenshot, and ended up scrolling through Facebook, basically playing out my initial example in real life.
What works really well to keep me focused is to set a timer (just on my phone, nothing complicated), for a short period of time – like 10 minutes.
While the timer is on, I can’t do anything but what I’m working on. Then when the timer goes off, I might take a short break, and then set another timer.
Again, simple, but this works really well for me.
3. Accept that you won’t get as much done as you’d like.
Like many of you, I have two businesses. I spend the majority of my time running the social media and marketing for my family’s business. Then I spend the rest of my time teaching entrepreneurs to use Facebook to help grow their businesses.
This has meant that sometimes I’ve worked all day and then kept working late into the night.
Guess how much my wife likes that?
Her first tip: Accept this truth: You won’t move as quickly as you’d like.
That sounds kinda harsh, but for me, it was actually a sigh of relief.
I’ve been working on getting my online course – Facebook Marketing Made Fun – ready to launch. I’m super excited about it and know it will offer some really quality stuff to help you grow your business using Facebook.
I was hoping to launch October 1st, but with running 2 businesses and trying to have a home life, there’s just no way. So, accepting that I’m not gonna move as quickly as I’d like means I know that I’m getting it done as quickly as possible for me, and that’s okay.
Because ultimately, you do what you can do.
And for most of us, myself included, your family comes first.
Which leads me to step 4…
4. Schedule everything
To make the best use of my work time, (In addition to being easily distracted, I also forget what I’m supposed to work on very quickly if I don’t write it down.) I use Google Keep and Asana to help me make to do lists, schedule my tasks, and make sure I’m staying on track to get done what I need to get done.
Both of these are free and relatively easy to use. Here’s what they look like…
You guys know I’m all about taking action, right?
So, try out some of these tips and then let me know how they work for you in my Facebook Group Here.
Or have some time management tips you swear by? I’d love to hear them! You know where to share ‘em! (Hint: in my Facebook Group)