Are you busy or effective?
How to improve your time management skills
Time management skills are a necessary component so we can accomplish our massage business goals. It takes good self-management to stay focused and get our work done. Before we get started in improving our organizational skills, it's important to recognize where we need improvement.
Some of us will have difficulty in figuring out priorities, others will procrastinate, or not sure where to start on a project. How we handle our time-management is related to our personality, upbringing, etc.
Once we have it figured out exactly where our personal business management problem is, then we are well on our way to a rock solid practice. The important thing to consider is that being busy is not the same as being effective.
Here are a few steps to help organize and get focused:
De-Clutter Office Space
Clean up and organize the office space, email boxes, computer (putting info into files), etc. The more clutter around us, the less time we have to work on projects.
We may think we work well surrounded by clutter but consider this scenario: We have several stacks of paper piled around the office. We know what is in each stack and feel confident that we are organized, albeit in a messy way.
However, if we need a specific paper and we go over to the corresponding stack, we spend extra time rifling through them to find the right piece of paper. Whereas if we had everything filed, we could go right to the file and pull it out.
Those minutes can add up!
During the time set aside for working on our projects, do not answer the phone, emails, or check social media. And absolutely stay away from YouTube videos! I know because I'm guilty of all of these, I find the bigger my project, the more tempted I am to find other things to do on the computer.
The time set aside for work is specifically only for doing work.
Think of it this way- we start work on a project and the phone rings. It's a dear friend who asks to borrow our massage chair. So now time is wasted with chit-chat. When we hang up, we realize we've been on the phone for 20 minutes! Or, more commonly, replying back and forth via texting or email.
Do Not Multi-Task
Focus only on one task at a time, do not multi-task. We think we can do a great job on several things at once. However, research shows that we don't multi-task well. We get more done but in a sloppy manner. Much better to do a great job on one task than to mess up on several.
Attention to one thing at a time will also help us feel less overwhelmed and help us hone in on each business project that needs to be completed.
If A Project Seems Overwhelming
If a project seems overwhelming break it up into smaller tasks. What I like to do is create a list of things I need to do for my businesses and then divide those lists into smaller projects. Within each project, I will list the tasks needed to accomplish that one project.
This way of working can be really helpful if we find that our habit is to start big projects and then quit them before they are finished. Additionally, before we start, it's important to thoroughly consider every task needed to complete a project.
Once our business projects are separated and the tasks written down for each one, it's time to decide which ones take priority. Start with the priorities first. For example, we can really think about doing anything for a new business until we first have the necessary licensing. So getting the license process started would be a priority.
Finally, it's better to write everything down on a piece of paper. Make a checklist and then notice how good it feels to draw a line through each task as they are completed.
Your Schedule Belongs To You
Remember that you are in control, your schedule belongs to you. If the schedule seems overwhelming, it's time to step back and make changes so we aren't so busy.
We have the power to manage ourselves. Things can often take longer to finish than we might expect. We have to remember to go easy on ourselves and allow a little extra time to complete a project if needed. With practice and determination, we can overcome our busy habits and learn to work effectively.