Think about this for a moment; how many hats do you wear on a typical day during your work as a coach? You probably do your own accounts if you are just starting out, you schedule coaching calls with clients, market your coaching business, update your website, do the actual coaching calls, and so on and so forth. Before you know it, you will be wishing that the day gets some additional hours to the existing 24 that make up each day, and if you don’t do anything to get back some of your time, something will give, and that will be you. You will suffer burnout, your productivity will suffer and you could end up very ill! Before you lose your sanity to an incredibly packed day, here are some tips that you can start using to free up some time and bring your schedule under control.
1. Detach from the Chaos and Think
Take a moment and step back from your chaotic lifestyle and just observe what is going on. What are you spending your time on? For example, you may notice that you are spending so much time noting down how much traffic your website is attracting.
Or, you may be spending a lot of time following up with your coaching clients. The most important thing is to become aware of how you are spending your time on a typical day.
Thereafter, decide why you think that you would like to reclaim some of your time. Have you been neglecting your family and friends, and you would now like to free up time to be with them?
Know what has been taking up a lot of your time and identify what needs more of your time so that you are empowered to make the decisions that need to be made, and then stick with the program to change.
2. Drop or Delegate Tasks
Once you know how you have been spending your time and the priorities that you would like to give more time from your busy schedule, it is now time to decide what you should stop doing by either dropping it altogether, delegating it or outsourcing it.
For example, do you really need to do your laundry yourself or having someone do it can suffice and free valuable time? Also, isn’t it better to use technology to automate the process of setting up coaching appointments with your clients rather than spending endless hours in back and forth email series working appointment times out?
Another way to free up some time is by creating a team around you and delegating the tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you. For example, an assistant can send follow-up emails on your behalf so that you are free to focus more on your priorities.
In this way, the time you save from the different activities you outsource, delegate or get rid of will quickly add up.
PRODUCTIVITY HACK: GRAB YOUR TO DO VS. NOT TO DO WORKSHEET BELOW
3. Batch Related Tasks
Another deceptively simple way that you can use to free up time is by lumping together different activities so that you waltz through them at a go.
For example, rather than check your email every 30 minutes, why not allocate a 20-minute window once or twice each day to check and respond to email messages? Similarly, you could also batch together all the follow-up emails with your coaching clients so that you attend to this aspect of your work all at once rather than staggering it throughout the day or week.
As you get better at batching related activities or tasks, you will soon realize that you were spending a lot of time by not using this hack. By the way, this technique also works for shopping for groceries or running other errands!
4. Set Boundaries
One big thief of time is saying yes to a lot more than you can realistically take on. Without boundaries, you will easily be drawn away from your true priorities and onto things that don’t do anything to grow your business as a coach, or help you to attain your other objectives as a person.
It may initially be hard to get around to saying no to requests made to you, but learn that each time you say no to something that doesn’t fit into your goals, you are saying yes to moving your life, your business and your wellbeing forward. Learn to say no to more things so that you can have time to do what is really important to you.
Areas to consider include; do you really need to belong to all those social or networking groups that you joined? Can you scale back the hours that you spend volunteering as you do? Are all those magazines and other publications you subscribe to really worth the time you spend reading those materials?
5. Switch from Wish Lists to To-Do Lists
As already mentioned, the demands made upon our time keep increasing day by day and the best way to stay in control is by drawing a list of your priorities. This will ultimately lead to writing a to-do list having 3-5 major things that you would like to accomplish each day, and either delegate the others, postpone them or ignore them altogether.
Think about this in the same way that Warren Buffett, the renowned investor does it. He recommends writing down a list of 25 goals that you would like to attain, and then whittling them down to just five.
Thereafter, devote your undivided attention to just those five priorities and totally ignore the remaining twenty priorities or tasks or goals on that initial list of twenty-five.
This method will free up some time unlike the wish list that keeps sucking you into doing more and more each day. Remember, life is a marathon and not a race, so you have to decide what you can realistically accomplish each day without burning out in a few days.
6. Optimize Your Schedule
It is also possible to free up time by optimizing how you do everything that you do. A key concept to remember at this point is that tasks will always expand to occupy the time allotted to them.
For example, a meeting will hardly ever last 30 minutes if you allocated 2 hours to it. To optimize your day, try cutting back on the time devoted to different activities. The meetings referred to earlier can be given half an hour instead of a full hour, for instance.
As you “rescue” time in this way, you will be amazed as to the number of hours that you can redeem on a weekly or monthly basis.
Freeing up your time is an ongoing activity that requires you to keep re-evaluating how you are spending your time and adjusting accordingly. As Zig Ziglar puts it, motivating yourself is a necessary task you need to perform each day, just as you need to take a shower daily. Freeing up time fits snuggly right in there among the important things you have to do as a matter of routine. So, get started today, and see how the chaos melts away!
To Your Success,
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