Like leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s an ongoing commitment and as changes in life come up, adjustments need to be made. Time management is a lifelong skill and is a constant learning process. I’m often picking up new ways to do things and am inspired by my research and experiences of working with my lovely clients.
As my business has evolved and grown over the years I’ve had to reimagine my weeks and rejig how I do things. An exercise I do with my clients is creating a time map. This is where we imagine their ideal week and map it out on their calendar – colour coded and all! If they could have their world at this moment in time exactly as they wanted it, what would it look like? Morning routines, evening routines, social life, work hours, everything!
I create a time map every evolution that my business takes. Years back I was juggling a part-time job and my business. I had my client days mapped out, my marketing time and I had social time. That time map looked very different to how it does now but still reflected back to me the priorities that I wished to honour. When I moved to full-time business my time map changed again. And then when COVID hit I rejigged it to ground me and keep me motivated. At the start of this year, I revisited my time map and ensured that research time and writing time were built into my week. I keep Mondays free of meetings and clients so I can use this time to work on the business. It’s not something I’d have had to do a year and a half ago so there was a nice celebration also wrapped up in the exercise!
Part of reflecting on your current time map is thinking about the amount of time you will devote to each priority. Something I ask my small business owner clients is when do they wish to work? And then we go through the following three steps to embed this in their time map. This is also a good exercise for my busy professionals to advocate for their own work-life balance as it’s all too common to do overtime or skip lunch.
Step 1 – What would you like your working hours to be? Write down your intended “Start” and “Stop” times.
Step 2 – What would you need to take care of in order to consistently follow through on your intended Start and Stop times?
Step 3 – Now, make a commitment to yourself to Start and Stop.
If it’s been a while since you took an objective look at your schedule, take 10 minutes to consider and build a time map that reflects your priorities as they currently stand. Feel free to book a 30-minute call to hash it out.