Now that you’ve got it all down on paper, it’s time to analyze your data. When you look over how you’re spending your time, you will want to ask yourself a few questions to ensure you’re making good use of your time. Let’s look at some of the questions you want to answer with the data.
It’s important to ensure that you aren’t overscheduled or under scheduled. You want to get enough work done each day to earn the kind of money you need to earn, but you don’t want to feel so busy that you think you have no life outside of your workday. You also want to avoid being super rigid while still being serious about the plan you have made so that it becomes a routine and helps build good habits.
A good workday schedule will help you feel accomplished, be accomplished, and make you feel empowered – giving your life focus, meaning, and direction. This is a balancing act for most people but if you work toward creating a schedule that keeps in mind your purpose, answers your goals, and works with your life, you will be successful. But, first, you need to analyze the data and find out how what you’re doing now can be improved.
Where Do You See Conflicts?
If you’re getting any interruptions in your schedule, that’s where you have conflicts. Instead of trying to stop the interruptions, fix the schedule and adjust your routine. Anytime you have regular problems sticking to your schedule it’s best not to try to keep the schedule. Best to throw out the schedule and change how you are doing things.
What’s Most Important to You?
If your schedule has a bunch of things in it that are more important to other people than to you, it’s time to fix your routine. You want to front-load your workday with what’s important to you if you can fit it in during the time you want to do it. For example, if you must get your kids ready for school from 7 to 8 am, it doesn’t make sense to schedule anything else then.
Are You Doing Enough Paid Work?
When you look at your schedule, are you doing enough work to earn the amount of money that you have set as a goal? If you don’t have enough time set aside in your calendar to meet your income goals, then you’ll need to create a new routine that frontloads important paid work.
Where are Other People’s Priorities in Your Schedule?
Everyone works with or has people that they must do things for daily. But, if you’re putting other people’s priorities ahead of yours, that is a problem. Frontload your own priorities and then fit theirs around yours.
What’s Being Left Undone?
What parts of your schedule have not worked out at all? What things have you put on your schedule that are regularly not getting done? If you notice certain things are always put off for something else – why? Can you fix this? Do you need to fix it? Are the things you’re putting off important and do they need to get done? Maybe they’re not important and maybe you don’t need to do them at all.
Is Your Time Protected?
The time that you’re doing your most important tasks, the critical, money-making tasks, as well as the tasks that don’t earn money, but are important to your family such as family dinner, and being with your kids and your spouse, should be protected. If you see a lot of chaos and interruptions happening, then you may need to reevaluate.
What Can be Automated?
When you look at your schedule and the things you’re spending time on, can you pinpoint anything that can be automated so that you don’t have to do it physically? For example, if you spend time booking expenses, is there a way to automate this? GoDaddy Bookkeeping connects with your credit card accounts, including PayPal and your bank account. It will automatically book your income and expenses. This can save a lot of time each week, month, and year.
What Can be Outsourced?
When you look at your schedule, is there something on there that you hate doing and it doesn’t matter if you do it or if someone else does it? You may be worried about spending money outsourcing, but most of the time when you start outsourcing things that can be done by others, you will increase your earnings.
How Can You Better Chunk Tasks?
When you look at the schedule you already have, how do you have the things you need to do separated? If you chunk things up by the task and type of task, it will make you much more productive. Trying to cut down on signing in and out of platforms and going back and forth between tasks is going to add time to your day. A few minutes here and a few minutes there makes a difference.
The truth is if you can figure out what is important to you and schedule that first, everything else will fall into place better. But, you do have to first really get down to business by looking at the schedule very carefully and finding the things that are blocking you from achieving your main goals and purpose for doing what it is that you do.
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The Big Benefits of Limiting Your Work Hours
One problem inherent in the lives of small business owners is that they tend to let work seep into the rest of their lives to the point where they’re working twenty-four-seven – or feel like they are – and this is not a productive way to live life. Honestly, you are more productive, and your mind stays fresher when you’re not working 24/7. For this reason, it’s important to limit your work hours.
First, let’s look at the reasons working too many hours is bad for you and your business:
- Working too Often is Bad for Your Health – If you aren’t getting enough sleep, eating right, or taking care of all your needs emotionally, spiritually, and physically, this can affect your health in bad ways.
- Working too Long Decreases Efficiency – You may think that you’re getting a lot of work done, but when you allow yourself to work at all hours you tend to not work in a very organized way. That means something that normally should take three hours is now stretching out to an entire day of work that you feel as if you’ll never finish.
- Working Long Hours Leads to Errors – The other problem with working too long is that you are more apt to make mistakes in the work. Even when you’re not getting enough done, you’re going to make more mistakes if you don’t take a break.
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of limiting your work hours and how that’s going to make you more productive, effective, healthy, and all-around better.
- Work-Life Balance – If you want to be profitable and have a healthy home life, then working out a work-life balance that works for you will help you become a happier person overall. Being happy is just as important as earning money. When you realize that, you will truly become a happier person.
- Better Clarity Regarding Deadlines – Having shorter work hours, or more defined work hours doesn’t mean you won’t still have deadlines. It also doesn’t mean that everything will always work out perfectly. But, if you create shorter workdays, with a defined ending to that workday, you’ll be a lot more likely to get done with your work within those deadlines.
- Fewer Errors – When you have very short but defined work times, you’re going to make fewer errors. You won’t be as tired, and you’ll be able to get it right because you’ll have fewer interruptions, less stress on your mind, and you’ll be able to stay on task.
- More Energy While Performing Work – You won’t be as tired, so you will have more energy as you’re doing the work. This will help you enjoy the work more. When you enjoy your work, you’re less likely to get distracted or get bored. This means you’ll be that much more efficient.
- Better Priority on Your Focus – When you aren’t exhausted, you can place a better priority on what you’re focusing on right now. You will be able to devote that time to your work because you’re not being interrupted or having to split your focus.
This is a case where limiting your work hours is really freeing you up and not restrictive at all. It’s really a way to get your focus back, make fewer errors, feel better while doing the work, and get laser-focused so you can do a great job.