Do you ever have those days where you feel like you were working all day, but got nothing done? We all
have days that get derailed or, for one reason or another, don’t go as planned, but as a small business
owner, too many of those days can mean we aren’t doing the things we need to do to drive our business
forward. So what can you do to put a stop to (or at least minimize) those days?
Introducing ... Time Blocking!
Time blocking is a system in which you divide your day into blocks of time and assign a task to each
block. For example, if you have a project you need to work on and you know it’s going to take you two
hours to complete, then block off two hours somewhere in your schedule where all you do is work on
that project. If you can’t work on one thing for that long, break it up into smaller chunks. Spend an hour
working on it one day and an hour the next day – or an hour in the morning and an hour in the
afternoon. The key is to plan ahead so you make the time to complete the project before it’s due.
Part of what derails our schedules is interruptions. Now that we’re all working from home, there’s only
so much we can do about distractions that come in the form of our spouses, children, roommates, pets,
etc. interrupting us. But there are interruptions that we can control.
Email can be a big distraction. How many times have you settled in to work on a project, only to see a
new email show up in your inbox, at which point you leave your project to answer the email? Then
maybe you see other emails that have come in, or old ones you forgot to respond to or follow up on.
Maybe a client emails you with a question or a request for a proposal, so you spend all the time you
were going to spend on your project tending to something for your client, even if it could have waited
until the next day.
Commit to not checking your email for a certain amount of time. This might mean logging out of your email account, or just not clicking on that tab (if you have the willpower to follow through on that resolution).
To make unplugging easier, you should include email and phone calls in your schedule. Set aside certain
times of the day when you’ll check your email and make phone calls. You can even set up an auto-
responder in your email that tells people the hours when you’ll be checking your email – and therefore
when they can expect to hear back from you.
The borders between work and our personal lives were fuzzy, at best, even before we were all made to
shelter in place, and of course the quarantine life has completely destroyed those borders, but that just
makes it even more important for us to set our own boundaries. If your clients think they can reach you
any time, day or night, that’s when they’ll reach you. But if you let them know you’re only available at
certain times, they’ll learn not to try to reach you at those times – or to leave you an email or voicemail
and wait until you are available.
Whether you need help with setting boundaries for your clients, or figuring out how to make time for
what really matters in your business, talking to a coach can help. Schedule a call now so we can get you
on the path to success!
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