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If you’re like me, you have a lot of people and things competing for your time and attention. Do you ever have days when you feel like you didn’t get anything done? It’s like the hamster on the wheel, running as fast as it can but not getting anywhere. “I’m spinning my wheels!” is what I always say. When this happens, I say to myself, “Crap! My day was totally out of control.” Was is really? I would say so. It’s obvious I didn’t do a good job designing my day.
That’s the focus of this week’s blog post. Are you designing your day, or is your day designing what you do? Keep in mind, if you’re a salon owner that still works behind the chair, well, we know where we can find you pretty much day in and day out. But what about when you’re not behind the chair? How are you spending your time?
A very simple productivity tip that I adopted and have found to be very useful is taking a moment to block out times on my calendar that dictate where I’ll be and what I will be doing during the day. I normally do this as part of my morning ritual each day. When I’m feeling extra ambitious, I might even do it on a Sunday night and mark out my calendar for the entire week ahead. A big advantage for doing this is that it eliminates the extra energy that it takes to figure out what to do next as you move through your day. When time is marked out, all you have to do is simply follow your calendar! Remember, only mark out time on your calendar that denotes where you will be and what you’ll be working on. I happen to use a productivity task management tool called Omnifocus. Inside my Omnifocus application is where I can find all of my to-do’s and tasks that I’ve assigned to myself. So, when I’m working inside of Omnifocus, I mark the time out on my calendar and name the time block “Omnifocus”. This is the time on my calendar that represents when I’ll only be working on tasks.
I also mark out time when I’m commuting and even exercising. Having visibility of how I’ve allocated time for each hour of every day really helps me see how much time I’m actually getting stuff done. After implementing this process, I was surprised to discover that I was lucky if I got as much as three, maybe four hours of every day to really work on stuff! When you subtract out all of the meetings, commuting time, one on ones and conference calls, there really isn’t a whole of time left over for other things. To increase productivity, I now try to schedule all of my meetings and phone calls on one or two days during the week. This leaves me with rest of my week to actually get stuff done. It doesn’t always work out, but it has certainly made me more mindful of how and when I schedule my meetings and calls. Give my system a try and see for yourself if you’re more productive. I bet you will be.
I’ve attached a screenshot of my calendar to show you what mine looks like. What about you? Do you have a different way of managing your time? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.