Last time we looked at being more systemised in your approach to your business.
This time the focus is on behaviour and habits. We will also be giving away two really useful time management tools at the end.
As indicated, let’s focus this time on your behaviours and habits.
This is crucial, as you can have the best plans and systems, but unless you act accordingly in a consistent fashion all is lost!
For me an ingrained habit is to plan the next day the night before and I would urge you to do this. Not only will this ease the stress and give a sense of control but I find it maximises the effectiveness of how the time gets used.
NB. There is a day planner as one of the downloads at the bottom.
Another important habit is to allocate some time to plan for the week ahead. Review your 90 day plan (which we looked at in part 1) and allocate time in your week to work on key tasks. You know the old adage “working on your business rather than in it”. This is what we are ensuring is done here. Then treat that time as precious. My weekly planning also includes a range of tasks I need to check. Are the accounts up to date? What preparation is needed for meetings in the week? Is my email box down to 10? (more of that in a moment!). We looked at checklists last time and I have a weekly checklist to drive this which I suggest is good practice.
But what of your other habits and behaviours?
Some good questions to ask yourself are:
- What is one habit I should stop or reduce?
- What is one habit I should introduce to make a real difference?
Keep applying these questions to your life and work.
I imagine email may well be one area you have bad habits around, as I have been there in the past. My strict rule now is that my in and out box needs to be down to 10 by the end of the week. I would encourage you to have something similar in place. I also typically only check email first thing, lunch time and at the end of the day. Again we can lose so much time and focus by continually checking email. Let clients or people know that critical urgent matters are not to be handled by email too.
But email is only one example of where your habits may not be helpful. Look at how you behave and your habits and look to change them. Let your planning (from part 1) be your driver, build a more systemised approach to ensure things are done consistently and are not missed (from part 2) and most importantly, establish good habits and behaviours around both of these areas and around how you conduct your business. “We all have the same time, it is how we use it that is key”.
As promised, you can get two really useful tools to support your organisation. The first is a 90 day planning tool in Excel which featured in part 1. The second is a day planner which you can use to structure your meetings and tasks for the day. There is also a place to keep a permanent reminder of your Purpose, Vision, Values and 90 day goals. And a place to record you 5 positive things for the day and keep working on optimising your filtering!