Ever feel like you're spinning your wheels, working hard but not getting anywhere? Let me, Tonya D. Harrison, guide you to reclaim your time and elevate your productivity to new heights in the latest episode of Operational Toolbox. We're diving deep into the art of self-management, shedding light on and identifying your time wasters.
Lean in as we explore three key ingredients to mastering self-management and how to get more of the right tasks done and push towards your goals.
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During our last episode, I shared five key principles of operational excellence. One of the key principles mentioned was performance management. Now, under performance management, there are three sections that make up this key principle. One of them is self-management, the other is team management and the last is business management. Today, we're going to dive deep into self-management, because that's where it starts. Once we get better at managing ourselves, then it's easier for us to manage others and to manage our business. Welcome everyone to another episode of the operational toolbox. I'm your Tonya, D. Harrison, and it is time to give you more tools to make your business more productive and profitable. Now, when it comes to performance management, you may be wondering where do I begin? Well, like I said earlier, the journey starts with self-management. After all, how can you lead a team or guide a business without mastering the art of managing self? Our first step in the self-management journey is awareness. We need to be more aware of what it is that we're doing on a regular basis, and what better way to gain insight into your daily routine than to do a time audit? Now, this is one of the first things I have my clients do when we start working together, because it's simple but yet is so powerful. It involves you tracking your day every minute. What are you doing throughout the day? And you wanna do it for a week, if at all possible. What you're going to identify is is that there are probably going to be pockets of time that you are spending on tasks that are not driving you towards your goals, or you're gonna find that there are times of the day that you are more productive, and this is where you want to pack some of those high impact tasks. This time, audit is going to unveil the answer to so many different things, and I know it may sound a bit tedious, but, trust me, the results are going to be eye opening. You are going to find some shockers. That's just it In our minds. We may think, oh, I only spend 10 minutes on social media. When you start tracking your time, you may find that you spend an hour and a half on social media. Now, just the mere fact of you telling yourself that you're going to do the audit or preparing to do the audit when you actually start performing the audit, you are going to perform better than you were already performing, because now you already have an awareness like I'm tracking myself. This is why you want to do it for a week, because then we fall back into those habits pretty easily. So we want to be able to track what those things are and if there is room to make adjustments when you get ready to perform this time audit. I don't want you to make it this convoluted process right. If you are the person that gravitates towards pen and paper, then that's what we want you to use to perform the audit. If you are like me and you use a project management app, then you can go in and you can track your tasks in the app. The main thing is to have documented what it is that you're working on and how long it is taking you to perform all of these things that you do throughout the day. I use ClickUp, so ClickUp has in there where, when I go into the task, I can click start and it automatically starts tracking my time. When I complete that task, I can hit stop and now I know how long it took me to perform that task. If you're not a pen and paper, you don't have a project management software. They have other platforms or software that you could use. I used to use something called rescue time, where you could use that to track your time as well. So I want you to do whatever is comfortable for you. The goal is to perform the task as best as possible and to bring about an awareness that is going to help you get more of the right things done. So that's the first thing. The first thing is awareness. We want to know where our time is going, and that is the beginning, point blank, that's it. The next step now we have an awareness, I know where I'm spending my time. I know where those time eating monsters lie, so I can start to do something about it. I'm going to create a to-do list, and when I create my to-do list, I want you to think of it not just as this long list of things that you have to do, because some of us have to-do lists that are longer than our arms. So I want you to really focus on thinking about it more as a strategic roadmap. When you are putting tasks on your list, I want you to really think about each task. Are these tasks aligned with your goals? Think about that. Are they going to have the greatest impact? You want to make sure that we are working smarter and not just harder, because now that we have like, okay, I'm more productive in the morning. I'm doing some things like that are time-wasting, so I'm taking those off the list. But even the things that you put on there, I want you to question every single task and not just put it on there, because this is something that you've always done. So I want you to consider this when you are putting a task on there. If you have a team, is this something that someone on your team can handle? Because if that is the case, you want to delegate it after you determine that it actually needs to be done and it aligns with where it is that you are going. So if you have a team, you want to get really great at delegating. This is powerful. This is a powerful tool for a leader, and we'll dive into delegation on another episode. But I want you to think about does this task require my skillset or me personally to do it? And if the answer is no and I have a team, then I want to delegate it. So now, this is going to lighten your load and is going to empower your team members so that they start to develop and excel within their roles. If you don't have a team, I want you to consider this Is this a project that I could delegate to someone else, or are there portions of it that I could delegate? Before I had my executive assistant, I would hire a project on a project-based level, so I would pile up a couple of tasks and then hire somebody you know, you know by five hours of time and hire somebody to perform these tasks. So is it something that I can do in that manner? So you have to think about all of these different ways that you can free up your time so that you're focusing on the things that you need to be focusing on. Maybe it's not a project, maybe it is. You don't have a team. Think about this Is it something that can be automated? In today's fast paced world, we have tools and technology at our fingertips to help us streamline or automate processes. So think about is it something that I can automate where it's not going to take me as long? So yes, I have to do it. So maybe the answer is yes, I have to do it. I do not have a team to do it. It's not a project, or I don't have money for a project. Can it be automated? And if the answer is yes, then you want to go ahead and do that Once I have all of the tasks that I need to get done right. So this is this is truly my to do list. Can't be delegated, can be automated. Whatever the case may be, this is my to do list. One of the things that I find to be extremely effective is when I batch like tasks together. This helps me not only save time, but it helps me to save energy If I am safe. For instance, I am working on social media content and I have to go into Canva to do some graphics or update some graphics. I try to do all of my stuff at one time, in one sitting. So go in and update all of my graphics and set up everything for social media in my scheduler, so it just goes out when it needs to go out. I batch all of those tasks together. Or maybe I want to do marketing emails. I'll sit down and then I'll just write as many marketing emails as I can, you know. So batching those tasks together are really helpful and, like I said, it's going to save you energy. So you're not flipping back and forth doing things, and be sure to schedule these blocks of time on your calendar. I may do content maybe for two hours, so from nine to 11, maybe I have a content block. That that's all I'm doing for those two hours. Make sure to put it on your calendar as an appointment. This is something that has to get done and for me, I like to work in 90 minutes to 120 minute blocks. So an hour and a half or two to two hours. That is the max, and then after that I give myself a break and then I'll go back into another rotation. Find what works for you Pomodora does 20 minutes and then take a break. I like to work in more focus blocks because it takes me about 20 minutes to really get up and going. So do what works for you again. But those are just some additional tips to help you. Now that you have your to-do list, your real to-do list, the one that you truly need to be working on how do you get through it as efficiently as possible? The last thing you want to do is, once you do your time audit, you bring this awareness and you find out what's really going on, and then you create that real to-do list. The next thing you want to do is measure your results. You want to know am I doing better? A lot of times we find that I found that I was able to save time. How many hours a week am I able to save time? Maybe I'm able to not just get more done, but cut back on the number of hours that I'm working. This is the ultimate goal for a lot of solopreneurs. They end up working 50, 60 hours a week, not spending as much time with their family as they would like to. Well, implementing some of these measures is going to help you get more done and also be able to step away where you're not working as many hours. So you want to make sure that you are seeing tangible results. Am I getting more done? Am I saving time in specific areas? What exactly is going on? It's a crucial checkpoint in the self-management process, because you want to make sure that you are progressing. So perhaps you have identified areas for improvement, and that's perfectly okay. That's what you want to do. So self-management is an ongoing journey. It's not a destination. You are going to consistently make iterations and adapt new processes or techniques, measure again. This is a part of operational excellence, because that's exactly what operational excellence is. It's continuously improving. Those are the three things that fall under self-management. The first one is awareness, and that's where you're going to do your time audit. The second one is your to-do list, where you're going to master and manage your to-do list, and then the third one is measuring results making sure that you are seeing some tangible results from this, and then that is it. So that's a wrap for today's episode on the power of time management. I want you to remember that operational excellence begins with mastering yourself, and once we go and we master ourselves, then we are able to master all of the other things in our business that we need to master. So stay tuned for our next episode. This is Tonya D. Harrison signing off from the operational toolbox. Thanks for joining me and remember that if you like this, to go ahead and give us a five-star and leave us a review, and if you have ideas on the type of content that you want to hear about, be sure to shoot us some information and let us know. All right, I'll talk to you soon and in the interim, you keep optimizing and stay operational. Talk to you soon.