Make Time Your Friend in 4 Simple Steps
Lucy Watty, Virtual PA, mumpreneur, and productivity queen shares her top tips on how to get the most from your time, so you can live your best life, on your terms!
60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week but how many do you actually use productively? When you are running a business, running around after your children, running around keeping a household going and everything else life throws at us, it’s no wonder we often feel completely run off our feet, with not enough hours in the day! I know exactly the feeling as a mum myself. Building a business, the feeling of overwhelm can be a regular visitor.
I realised I needed to apply some simple steps to my days to make them more productive, and allow me to give my all to my family, my business, and MYSELF (we mustn’t forget about us!). I want us all to be able to be our best selves, so I thought I’d share 4 steps with you, that you can implement to start living your most productive days!!
Step 1: Have a Morning Routine
I will admit, I become a bit lost when I don’t do my morning routine, which is why it is one of my daily non-negotiables. It’s why it is at the top of my recommendations. Your whole day can change, and I’m not afraid to say but your whole outlook on life can change too. Now before you think, I can’t do that, and skip this section, keep reading! I know the thought of getting up earlier can make you feel tired already (especially if you have little ones) but think of that hot cuppa in the blissfulness of peace and quiet before your day gets crazy!!
Giving yourself even half an hour extra to start your day the right way can get you loving mornings, and smashing out each day. I love starting my day with a miracle morning (check out Hal Elrod’s book), though it’s often more like Jay Shetty’s version TIME. This includes 4 steps:
- Thankfulness – what are you thankful for? Be specific and personalised.
- Inspiration – YouTube is full of amazing short videos.
- Meditation – you can do this by yourself, or again a quick search on YouTube will come up with lots of different types and lengths of meditations.
- Exercise – this doesn’t always need to be a full on workout, try a little bit of yoga, 50 squats, or even just pop on some music and have a dance.
You can do this in as little as 15 minutes. I always find that 30 minutes is a great amount of time that allows you to create a habit without feeling overwhelmed. Whatever works for you is the key!
Step 2: Plan Your Intentions
The night before, set your intentions for the following day. Setting your intentions will allow you to wake up focused and knowing what you want to achieve from the day. Grab yourself a journal or use your diary to jot down your daily goal. Think, what small step would push you forward towards your bigger vision? What can you do today (or in this case tomorrow!) so you will end the day feeling accomplished? Breaking your larger goals down to monthly, weekly and daily goals will make them feel more achievable rather than allowing you to start to feel pressured and overwhelmed.
Step 3: Schedule EVERYTHING
Create an effective investment of your time, and schedule everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!! Schedule your sleep, cooking dinner, your morning routine, family time, work... everything. Am I getting the point across? Ha. Grab your diary (if you prefer everything electronic then add it to your phone calendar), and get it all in there.
On a Sunday evening I start to prep for the upcoming week, I jot in all of my appointments, my miracle morning, my sleep (it helps me stay accountable to get enough sleep each day which again supports me to be more productive), and anything else that is set in place. I can then see where I can schedule in everything else.
Each evening I spend a little time prepping for the following day. Where I have ‘spare time’ that is not yet scheduled, I can plan what client work I can complete (I even schedule time slots to each task/client), what business admin I need to do, more family time or even a bit of self care! Remember we need to fill our own cups up too (see Renata’s blog on this!). Then the fun bit; colour coding :D. Create yourself a little colour table for the different areas of life eg. Personal, clients, business, personal development, your children, whatever works for you. Quick tip – I find crayons work better than felt pens (I steal my daughters :p don’t worry I always put them back). It allows you to see a visual split of how you spread your time and can be a great way to evaluate if you are spending it with a healthy balance. Added bonus, it makes your diary look so pretty, see mine below.
Step 3: Set Yourself Goals
I mentioned this earlier but now I want to elaborate on that. Setting SMART goals will help guide you, align your focus, and give you motivation to keep going each day. What is a smart goal? SMART stands for:
- Specific – keep it clear and well defined
- Measurable – make sure it has a value
- Attainable – keep it realistic and achievable
- Relevant – keep it aligned with your personal life and bigger vision
- Time bound – give it a deadline
These types of goals can be used in any part of your life, personal, financial, business. Creating goals that meet this criteria will give you an anchor to base your motivation, your focus, and all of your decision making.
If you are unsure where to start, what to set your goals around, start with your vision for life. Break it down into what you want to achieve this year, then break that down into quarterly goals. Each goal propelling you towards your bigger vision! This is exactly what I did this year, I wrote it all down in my notebook, broke it down into each month, and what I needed to do to reach those quarterly goals…. except I then realized I would probably rarely check in with it to make sure I was on track and hold myself accountable. If you are like me, you need a visual representation to be seeing on a regular basis and marking off when I completed things. I couldn’t find a planner that fitted my needs, so I created one for myself :D. You can grab yours here. Keep yourself accountable and on track to make 2021 your biggest year yet!!
Are you ready to make time your friend? Take control of the overwhelm, stop trying to do it all, and become a productivity queen. Carve out time for you, set your intentions, set your goals and schedule, schedule, schedule. After all of that if you still don’t feel you have enough control of your time; delegate! Outsource what you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do (in personal or business), and give yourself the gift of time!
Lucy Watty is a Virtual PA helping empower as many mums in business as possible to take back control of their time and reconnect with their passions, allowing them to live life on your terms. To connect with Lucy see her her details below: