We all have different times of day that work best for us. And, we sometimes have the luxury of doing certain tasks during that time, and then again, sometimes we don’t! If you begin by using daily mapping to understand when your best time are and then look at the types of tasks you need to accomplish, you can get more done. You’ll feel more productive AND you’ll experience less stress.
Begin by taking one day – and preferably several – and track what you do that entire day. What activities are you involved in? What do you do in various blocks of time? Do you choose what you’re going to do or do you react to what shows up in your inbox or your voice mail?
If you control your day and your time instead of reacting to it, you’ll achieve productivity and sanity.
Once you track your day, you’ll get a very clear picture of how you use your time. In business, we have to spend a certain amount of time in money-making activity (or we go out of business very quickly!). Most of us have to handle at least some administration. There is also follow up, new learning – be it techniques to improve your skills, new software to run your business, whatever the learning, most entrepreneurs are involved in some (or a lot) of it.
If you divide the activities into creativity, planning, problem solving, money making, record keeping – everything that you have on your plate, then you can allocate the percentage of time you want to spend in each activity.
Many coaches recommend you spend 80% of your time in money-making activity. That means if you work 30 hours, you’ll spend 24 of those hours in your practice. You’ll spend 6 hours in everything else. Many people don’t achieve 80%. They get closer to 70% or 60%. When you track what you do in a day, you’ll learn where you spend your time, but you’ll also observe when you do certain activities more effectively.
Many people find that if they allocate creative activities to their first time in the morning, the idea flow more easily. Others find that if they get the ‘difficult’ tasks done first, they feel freer all day long. Why? I suspect because we spend so much time anticipating the difficult tasks, that by the time we get to them we realize we’ve already spent more time thinking about them than they take to complete!
Mapping your day and observing your activities will give you a great window into how you’re doing on intent vs. action. Awareness is curative!