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Prioritising Your Time

By Emma Grounsell
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Prioritising Your Time…

We all have the same number of hours in the day, and yet some people seem to be so good at getting the most out of their valuable time, while others feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  So, how do they do it?  Can you do it?  Do you feel that you are achieving everything that you need to achieve in the time that you have, whether it be at home, work or your free time?

I know that as a self-employed working mum it can be hard to juggle all the responsibilities we have – looking after the kids, looking after the house, getting client work done whilst the kids are at school… it goes on.  So, what can we do to make sure that the really important things are getting done, alongside the day to day stuff, and ensure that eventually we are working towards our long term goals?  It is the fact that we have to fit all the goal activities around the daily mundane tasks that can cause us to feel like we are running out of time.

But what is a priority?  I’m guessing that it is different for all of us and it really depends on what you are trying to achieve and what you value.  If your focus is building your business then getting the laundry out in the sunshine isn’t really going to help but writing that blog or finishing a client project will.  The laundry always needs to be done but it can probably wait until you finish work.  It is a constant balancing act and process of re-assessing where you are.  I always end up going to my much loved To Do lists to help me prioritise.  What absolutely has to be done today?  What are the most important tasks today that will drive my business forward?  What needs to be done but can wait until later in the day?  What deadlines do I have for today, this week, next week?

What is URGENT and what ADDs VALUE?  Do you even want to be doing half the things you find yourself doing?  If the task is both VALUABLE and URGENT then it is a priority.  Focus on that and get it done.  Collecting the kids from school on time each day or cooking a healthy meal every day IS a priority for me but neither of those will make my business successful!  Is your business admin a priority for you?  Does doing it yourself add value to your business or would your time be better spent elsewhere doing an activity that is client focussed?  If admin isn’t a priority then you need to delegate those tasks to someone else so you can prioritise your time more effectively.  And the same goes for those household chores!

What if something can’t be done at that particular moment, perhaps because you are waiting for someone else to do something.  This can be really frustrating but in reality, you can do absolutely nothing about it, so let it go for a while and re-assess those priorities – what can be done instead at that moment in time?  Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix, outlined in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, can be really helpful in making these decisions.

So, with a little more thought and a good idea of what you want to achieve lets see how much more can be achieved in those 24 hours!

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