How to Prioritize Your Time

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One of the many questions or challenges I hear from clients and the women in my Facebook Group is that there is an endless list of things to do. The problem is – it’s hard to decide which things are mission critical and which things aren’t, especially when it feels like EVERYTHING is important.

The first exercise I have my clients do is write down ALL of the things they feel like they need to do. From content creation, to videos, to website updates, to email, to landing pages, to social media and beyond. Literally write down every single thing that needs to be done.

One, you should feel better just having it all out on paper. My coach tells me that the reason I get overwhelmed when I have a lot to do is because my brain is trying to remember what all needs to be done, which creates this crazy “OMG, how am I going to get it all done?” loop in my brain. Sound familiar?

First things first

After you have it all on paper – tackle the things that will take 5 minutes or less. My guess is you have sat down, set a timer for 30 mins, and focused on those tasks – you’d easily knock out 5-7 things. While none of these things have been prioritized they are now DONE and there is nothing more satisfying than checking stuff off of the list.

Now, with your new found sense of accomplishment – you get to start prioritizing.

If you’re in a position to hire a Virtual Assistant, even if it’s just for a few hours each week, you should start there. What 5-7 items on your to-do list do NOT need you or your expertise to get done? Outsource those thing. Not only will it save you time, that person will likely be able to get stuff done in half the time you can.

Now, my guess is there are somewhere between 8-12 things left on your list for you to do. While that’s better than 20+ – it can still feel like A LOT to get done. Especially if you’re juggling a full time job while launching your business.

What do I do first?

This is where the rubber hits the road, my burned out and overwhelmed entrepreneur. You have to start by prioritizing the money making activities.

Tweaking your website for the 4 million-th time – not making you any money.

Editing your email sequence – not making you any money.

Making pretty images in Canva – NOT making you any money.

Taking 3 hours to write your blog – NOT making your any money.

So what IS making you money?

This is likely to be different for everyone, in some capacity. But, at its core, money making activities are:

  • Connecting with your audience
  • Growing your audience
  • Selling to your audience
  • Nurturing your audience
  • Live streams
  • Training webinars
  • Consult Calls
  • Challenges
  • Prospecting
  • Inviting people to your FB group or email list.

When you look at the remaining items on your list – do they match up with the above?! If the above items AREN’T on your list – we likely have an even bigger problem.

Before you freak out…

This is a GOOD thing. We’ve now identified that you are spending an abundance of time on activities that aren’t making you any money. Which means we can now actually start prioritizing your time and planning your days.

Calendar Blocking

Whether you use an electronic or a paper calendar – blocking off time on your calendar to get things done is MISSION CRITICAL. If you need to spend 30 minutes responding to posts in your Facebook group each day – that needs to be on your calendar.

If you want to make sure you’re inviting 15 new people to your email list each day – that time should be on your calendar.

If you need to plan your social media for the week – that needs to be on your calendar.

I wish I could remember who told me “what doesn’t get put on your calendar, doesn’t get done” – but it is 100% true. If you do not have time earmarked for certain MONEY MAKING activities you will find yourself chasing the bottom of you to-do list and totally broke.

Sad, but true.

Tips and Ideas

What I do – might not work for you, but it’s the best experience I can speak from.

I have tried to create a system for myself as it relates to weekly and daily activities in my business. On the weekends, I focus on content generation. Blog content. Social content. Outlines for lives throughout the week. Landing page edits, email sequence edits, etc.

The more I can get done Friday – Sunday – the more time I have to connect with and nurture my audience throughout the week. I know a lot of entrepreneurs earmark Mondays for content. Doesn’t matter when you do it – just make sure it gets scheduled and done.

I have a daily to-do list. It’s a list of activity I do every single day in my business. It includes activities from posting new stories to connecting with new people on LinkedIn, to welcoming people to my Facebook group. Every. Single. Day.

Because I juggle my full time job with my business, I don’t do these things at the exact same time every day, I fit them into lunch breaks, after hours, etc. If I had a choice though – these activities would be the FIRST thing I get done each day (with the exception of Insta stories).

Primarily because there are often the “less fun” activities than things like live training inside my group or answering questions inside other Facebook groups.

Also, once it’s done – it’s done. My prospecting activities for the day are DONE – which is important, because those are the things that usually get “skipped” most often.

Block off Time for Client Work

This one I almost forgot to do, and it’s caught up with me a few times. If you wear ALL the the hate (sales, marketing, content generation, etc.) – it’s often hard to balance ALL of the things we should be doing with client work. Make sure you factor this into your day and your week.

The good news is – client work should be your zone of genius – and be the easiest thing to  get done. But, nonetheless, if it’s not on your calendar, you’re likely to find yourself scrambling to get things done (speaking from experience).

Guidelines

I just gave you a lot of advice on how to manage your calendar. That likely feels overwhelming and very limiting – like I’ve asked you to plan every minute of every day. That is NOT what I am asking you to do.

It’s likely you become an entrepreneur because you were looking for time freedom and a calendar with every single minute planned is NOT freedom. I know that.

However, without boundaries and without a plan, we’re likely to spend an ENTIRE day writing a blog post instead of the 20 minutes it should take. Also, the bigger your business gets – the more you will get to out source, which will give you the time freedom you’re looking for.

The whole point of this entire blog wasn’t to make you feel restricted but rather to give you some insight into planning out your time and making sure that the MONEY MAKING ACTIVITIES get calendar-ed and get done FIRST. Then, you squeeze in the rest.

Take these tips as a guideline and find the system that works best for you. As long as your money making activities make it on your calendar first – you’re doing it right!

 

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