Be a Task Master: Take Control of Your Time Without Being a Slave to Your Schedule

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Time is the great equalizer. We all get the same amount — the only difference is how we use it. Some get right down to business, managing to squeeze an amazing amount of work into a small amount of time while others fritter away hours on unimportant tasks and time wasters, never really getting past the first to-do on the list.

The challenge is staying on task while remaining flexible enough to actually have a life, how to master your tasks without over scheduling yourself to the point that you feel overwhelmed and overloaded. Easier said than done.

How to Take Control of Your Time

#1: Know Thy Self — Are you a Rise and Shiner or a Slow Starter? The answer to that question will determine if you need to jump right into your work day or schedule a bit of me-time to ease into the day. Rise and Shiners will benefit from getting right down to it first thing in the morning (sometimes even before the wake-up shower and cup of coffee) while Slow Starters do well starting off with a brisk walk or morning run to get their mojo going.

#2: Stop Overscheduling — It’s tempting to slot those meeting requests into back-to-back-to-back work blocks in your calendar with barely enough time for a pee break in between. Don’t. Not only do you jeopardize your own sanity, but by doing so, you run the risk of one extended meeting derailing your entire day, which only adds to your stress and frustration. Create a maximum number of meeting slots in your calendar template and when those are full, push new requests into the next week.

#3: Get Actual Stuff Done — Now that you aren’t filling up your entire calendar with meetings that will likely increase your workload rather than decrease it, you have time to start checking stuff off your to-do list. Figure out which tasks are your main priority and focus on getting those done before tackling anything new. It may mean that your desk stays messy a few extra days, but nothing beats getting to the end of your week and looking at a much smaller to-do list.

#4: Build in a Little Extra Slack — What else do you want to do with your time? Workout? Read a book? Enjoy a quiet tea break? Don’t forget to include time in your schedule for a little slack time. In a perfect world, your slack time would be exclusively for your personal self-care, but in a pinch, it can be an extra work block for those surprise deadlines or the time you realistically need to handle those unexpected family crises.

#5: Clock Out — Just as you need scheduled work blocks and slack time, you need schedule downtime. Consider that non-negotiable time that you reserve exclusively for your personal life. That means turning it all off until you clock back in. It’s truly the secret to not becoming a slave to your schedule and running your business instead of letting your business run you.

 

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About Author

Carla Young, momeomagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched momeomagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!

1 Comment

  1. Nice! This is a concise list of points to keep in mind for anybody who wants to get things done (especially if they tend to wander off task – and I know more than a few of those ::grin::)

    Personally, I tend to drop out the LAST one – good reminder!

    FYI, I just backlinked this to the first article in my TaskMaster Series on ADDandSoMuchMore (dot com) “TaskMaster – Getting Things DONE! ” Take a look and see what you think.

    Let me know if you post anything ELSE that would add content to my Series and I’ll add a link in the “Relateds”

    ~~~~~
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore, ADDerWorld & ethosconsultancynz – dot com)
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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