You aren’t going to find or create your dream career if you feel like there is not enough time in the day. In order to be able to master your next career transition, you have to be able to master your life now. That starts with good time management habits.
First, we will help you master your time and productivity so your calendar and to-do list actually make you happy, not stressed.
These time strategies I am teaching you will change your life, just like they did for me. These are the principles I live by and try my best to implement every day!
13 Time Management Habits of Successful Women
1. If You Don’t Have a Plan, Your Calendar Will Control You
One of the biggest time management mistakes is just doing whatever comes your way instead of having exact times when you will do certain things in your week. Discipline and planning are required if you want to achieve your career goals. This is why I have a weekly review session where I review what I am doing each day of the next week and everything is scheduled into my calendar.
2. Set Boundaries for Social Media, Family Time, & Personal Time
I find that most of my clients do not take the time to enjoy life and be present. I know I have been guilty of not taking a break from the internet and always being tied to my phone. Now I carefully guard my Sundays for family time and try my hardest as well to have times when we turn off computers as a family and don’t talk about work (which is not easy when you and your husband work together!!). It’s so important to realize what your priorities are and to guard that time as much as possible.
3. Categorize Your Time: Focus Time, Administrative Time, & Sacred Time
One of the most important time management habits is to categorize your time. Write down all the tasks you do at work and then circle the tasks that really are going to get you promoted, give you raises, or make you HAPPY at work if you are an employee, or income producing activities like sales calls and partnership conversations if you are an entrepreneur. That is for focus time blocks on your calendar. Try to make entire days of this focus work if possible.
Then set aside time for administrative stuff, which are items you just have to do whether you like them or not but they don’t necessarily focus on the results of your job or business and don’t always lead to quick successes.
Finally, sacred time needs to have a spot on your calendar for personal time, hobbies, and family, etc. Planning sacred things into your schedule will make you more effective in your career.
4. Batch as if Your Life Depends on It
Batching is when you group similar tasks into blocks of time. During this time you have no distractions. Did you know that every time you are distracted, it takes 15 minutes to regain complete focus again?
Examples are only looking at emails or social media at certain times of the day. Setting a timer, shutting off distractions and only working on your dream business or job searching efforts. I also recommend batching errands, meal planning, meetings, laundry, or personal appointments.
5. Your Calendar Doesn’t Control You
If you haven’t read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks yet, I highly recommend it.
What Gay Hendricks says in this book is this idea behind Einstein time. This is where you are in charge of your time. You are where time comes from. You can make as much of it as you want. I want you to shift your thinking to this Einstein time, where you experience a major surge in your productivity, creativity, and enjoyment. This shift takes place the moment you embrace one profoundly simple truth and that is you are where time comes from.
So say to yourself right now, “I acknowledge that I am the source of my time.” And your stress will disappear the moment you accept that and you really claim ownership of it.
6. Discipline is Required to Achieve Your Career Goals
I have to continually remind myself of this when I want to sleep in or go to bed during a big time in my career or business. This is what will separate you from the rest. It doesn’t require that much time, it’s just some time and that is where your discipline comes into play.
7. Practice the Pareto
The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your input creates 80% of your results. Focus on the 20% that will get you the results you want. That means you must really focus on what is working when launching your dream career or business. You need to focus on the 20% of what is going to make the difference to save time and get faster results. 80% of what you are doing right now could be a waste of time.
Here are some examples….
- 80% of job leads are found through networking.
- The top 20% of your resume is the most important section.
- The first 1-2 minutes of your interviews are the most important.
- If you are an entrepreneur, figure out which 20% of your time produces 80% of your business’ results, then you can spend more time on those activities and less time on others.
- Identify the characteristics of the top 20% of your customers (who represent 80% of your sales). Then, you can find more customers like them and grow your sales and profits.
8. Free Up Your Time
Because your career goals are SO IMPORTANT right now and are really going to determine the rest of your future and happiness, you need to be very focused and selfish with your time management. Just because your sister wants you to babysit and you are unemployed does not mean that you can babysit. Your full-time job needs to be job searching or growing your business!
9. Make a Morning Ritual
The biggest mistake that I see made over and over is waking up and checking email. I know I did this too when I was at my day job. It really ruined my entire day especially when I worked with people on the east coast who had been sending work emails for hours. No one should have to wake up like that!
Now my morning routine consists of journaling, meditating, listening to affirmations, reviewing my vision board and goals, reading, praying, and exercising. This has completely changed my life and my outlook on the day ahead.
10. Find Your Best Time
Not everyone can jump out of bed in the mornings and get to work. Not everyone can do his or her best work from 1 am-4 am. When are you the most focused? Morning, afternoon, or night?
Don’t spend your BEST TIME watching television. Spend your best time focusing on what is the most important to you right now – job searching, launching your business and getting your career unstuck.
11. Wake Up Earlier
The more decisions you make in the day, the less energy you have for your passions, your dreams, and your goals. Make the best decisions and do your best work on launching your dream career or business first thing in the morning!
12. Limit Your Priorities
When it comes to time management habits, I recommend only focusing on ONE THING at a time. It’s time to make a list of everything you need to get done this week. Then, I want you to prioritize this list in order of importance.
I find that instead of making a to-do list with 20 things I need to get done each DAY, it’s much easier to make a priority list of six things I need to get done each WEEK. Then, I don’t move to #2 until #1 is done and I actually get all my tasks done for the week. When was the last time you can say that you finished all of your tasks for the week? Your priorities should be the tasks that will make the biggest difference in your job search or launching your dream business.
13. Plan Your Weekly Review
How do I plan out my week for success so I am not stressed? I go into Monday knowing exactly what I am going to do for the week. My biggest time management secret is my Friday afternoon weekly review. Here’s my routine:
Step 1: Clean up last week. Clear out email inbox. Clean up, organize and get ready to start fresh next week.
Step 2: Create my to-do focus list for next week with the top 6 things I need to get done for the next week prioritized as to what will help me move my career and business forward.
Step 3: Knock out all administrative items that aren’t on my top six priority list FAST. These are tasks I don’t want to be doing throughout the week that are just going to be taking up my time when I should be focused on more priority items.
Remember to take baby steps! You don’t need to implement all time management tips tomorrow. Take it slow and you will become a productivity rock star and decrease your stress in no time!
Originally for Classy Career Girl
Written by Anna Runyan