Welcome to the final blog of this four blog series, designed to ensure that both yourself and your business are hitting this forthcoming next quarter with a bang.

Across the last three blogs, we’ve covered topics across mindset, delegation and cash flow.

Today’s final subject relates to the management of your time and how to get the best out of this – an area that the majority of my clients tend to be struggling with when I first meet them.

It doesn’t matter what stage you are at within your career or entrepreneurial journey, the one thing that we all have in common is that there are 24 hours in a day.

It’s how you to choose to spend these hours that can be the major difference in how successful you subsequently become.

Poor time management can lead to a range of negative outcomes.

For example – overwhelm, where your perception is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do.

It can also lead to decreased productivity – where (as we touched upon in email two of this series) you place too much time on the lower value tasks within your business at the cost of the higher-value tasks that only you can do.

A lack of prioritisation on the same basis can leave you with no time to focus on important aspects of your personal life such as personal development, health or quality time with your loved ones.

And it can also result in missed opportunities, subsequent reduced income and increased stress levels.

The good news is, there are some very simple and effective ways to combat this – one method that has the most impact time and time again is designing and adopting a default diary (or ‘model week’).

Your default diary essentially serves as a blueprint for structuring your week to shift from being reactive to proactive and ensure time is allocated to allow you to focus on the priorities.

It can also provide a sense of control and direction for both your personal and working life – and using auto-repeating entries and reminders can ensure that the important things get done on time and every time.

The idea is that you fill your diary with regular important tasks, and block out time for the important things that you need to do in order to drive your life and your business forward.

A simple way to look at this is what happens when you book a meeting into your calendar.

Once that meeting is happening, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be distracted by calls or emails – your focus will be purely on that meeting from the time it starts until the time it’s over.

This is also a brilliant way to treat your important tasks.

So if you need to spend an hour per week reviewing your cash flow and focusing on actions to improve the cashflow – then block that hour out at the same time each week – and treat that hour as if you would treat a meeting – no interruptions or distractions until you’ve got it done.

There are a number of studies to show that when we are distracted from working ‘in flow’ on one thing it can take an average of 18 minutes to get back into flow. 10 interruptions a day are costing you 180 minutes or 3 hours of lost productivity!

Consider what you can achieve with an extra 3 hours a day?

Diarising the important things that help you with personal productivity, effectiveness and wellbeing is just as important. I have clients who were literally forgetting to take lunch or go for a walk but now it’s included in their default diary, they always make time for these tasks. Or if our intention is go to the gym at the end of the day, but our willpower diminishes by then, align your diary to your energy cycles and diarise the gym for first thing or lunchtime?

Colour-coding your diary entries is also a really helpful way to get a snapshot of your day / week / month and to see the balance of what you’ve got going on.

So for example you could colour-code blue as personal development time, green as internal meetings, orange as external meetings and red as important regular tasks.

Need help with setting up your default diary? Let’s schedule some time for me to work through it with you.


While you’re here…

  1. Here’s a book I can recommend that will help with essential time management disciplines – Eat That Frog!: Get More Of The Important Things Done Today by Brian Tracy
  2. Our next 90-day Growth Planning event takes place on Friday 5th April in just a week’s time – these are inspirational days and your opportunity to take a day out of the office to learn, plan and network with some 60 growth-minded  business owners. Find out more about the event here.
  3. Here’s a link to a case study where a business owner client made a fundamental shift in leveraging her time to give her better results for the business and herself personally. [Takes just under 5 minutes to watch]