When you own your own business, it’s discouraging to feel like you “aren’t doing it right.” A client recently told me:
“Today I didn’t have client calls but I struggled so much the first few hours of the day that really it was just time wasted. If I don’t have calls in the morning, I may as well not go to the office until after lunch…as soon as afternoon hits I am way focused. What do you think about client calls only until 1PM and then the afternoon is office time?”
There’s a simple three-step solution to making decisions like the one my client faced.
1. The first step towards adjusting your schedule to one that works for you is to become aware of your peak (when you are most alert and productive) and trough times (when you are least productive).
2. The next step is to create a menu of those tasks and projects that can go into those peak and trough times. [link to full blog]
For example, projects that require your strongest focus, motivation, and energy should be scheduled during your peak time. Tasks that require less brainpower, like filing, clearing your desk, or some email processing, could be checked off during your trough times.
3. Last, take advantage of as many peak times each week as possible by arranging your tasks into the appropriate time slots. When you plug tasks into your calendar with an awareness of “best times,” you’ll begin to create a new routine around scheduling. One tip I use for scheduling is to color code my tasks on my to-do list, purple to schedule in the morning and blue for afternoon.
I get it – it can be hard to leave a task undone and move it to the next day. What helps me push through that “undone” discomfort is a reminder that in the long run, when I match the task with the appropriate time of day, it typically takes me half the time.
Matching tasks to the right time of day is just one way you can gain more time each day. If you want to tweak how you schedule your peak and trough times, we can discuss in our next session!
Lisa Crilley Mallis MA, COC, ACC
Helping service-based microbusiness owners eliminate day-to-day busyness. ImpactiveStrategies.com