How many times have you found yourself at the end of your workday feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and even more behind than you were when your day started?
Your calendar is packed so full that when a time sensitive project gets added to your to-do list, several other projects have to get sidelined and end up in the land of "I have no idea how I will ever get this done" and you find yourself working on weekends and evenings just to get caught up.
If you feel like I'm talking directly to you, keep reading because help is on the way!
3 Time Management Tools That Will Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress
1. Schedule Your Free Time First. I get a lot of resistance from my clients about this until they actually try it. I know it feels almost impossible to carve out time for yourself in an already packed schedule but I promise, daily free time can be one of the best things you do for your productivity.
Stepping away from the daily grind, even if it's for an hour, will help you become
Here are 2 examples of scheduled free time:
Monday evening 7pm-9pm-FREE TIME - you get to choose whatever you like in the moment -as long as it's not work.
Monday Evening 7pm-9pm - take online yoga class and read 3 chapters of my new book. (you decide ahead of time how you will spend your free time)
2. Schedule Focus Time Every Day. I like to schedule a 2 hour block of focus time every day-first thing in the morning, if possible. This is the time you can compete projects, write articles, do required research for an upcoming project, etc.
Turn off your phone, shut your office door, tell the people with you that you will be unavailable for the next two hours. Creating a distraction free zone is so important!
Another really important thing to do when scheduling your focus time is to schedule what you will be producing, not what you are working on. This sends a message to your brain that you mean business and expect to have a finished product at the end of your focus time.
Here's an example of scheduled focus time:
Tuesday 10am-12pm-complete outline of book, Come Up with 10 chapter titles and write a 3 paragraph introduction.
Notice I didn't say -work on book.
I got super specific on what I would complete in that time frame. It's a very simple but powerful trick.
3. Schedule buffer/overflow time. This one concept is magical. When you know you have some "extra" time put aside for emergencies, you can remain calm and in control when an unexpected, time sensitive project or an emergency trip to the dentist suddenly comes up.
Each day or every other day, block off an hour of buffer/overflow time. This hour can be used to compete a project that got pushed aside for that impromptu meeting or for more research that needs to be done before completing a doc, etc.
If you don't have any surprise disruptions to your day, you just landed a bonus hour to use however you like!
Start a new project, hone a new skill or take a walk out in the sunshine.
A Final Note
Incorporating these three scheduling tools will increase your productivity and decrease your stress BUT trying to carve out the time to an existing schedule or creating this new structure might feel a little clunky at first, like anything new does.
Commit to these concepts for at least a month and let yourself feel uncomfortable with the change. It's so worth it!
If you liked this article and want more daily tips, tools and motivation, sign up for 365 and receive short, audio trainings sent directly to your inbox every day!
You can sign up by clicking the photo below.
Enter your info to download my free Scale Your Business Mindset Guide