Take Back Your Day

Take Back Your Day

5 Steps to Do More of What Matters

how to manage time

In This Post – How to Manage Time, To Get More of What Matters Most Done

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  • Can you relate to these scenarios related to how to manage time?
  • What does it mean to take back your day?
  • Why bother?
  • 5 Steps to take back your day
  • How to make it the new norm
  • COMPLIMENTARY 5-Day Take Back Your Day Playbook and Accountability Support (see download at the bottom of the post)

Do These Scenarios Sound Familiar?

Can you relate to these scenarios related to how to manage time?

You set up a plan for the day and then your amazing plan is derailed by:

  • Unscheduled meetings
  • More meetings
  • Kid’s illness
  • Last minute school assignment or homework that the kid forgot to mention
  • Unexpected business trip
  • Boss needing some kind of last minute critical deliverable
  • Husband needing some kind of important paperwork that is due immediately
  • More meetings

Are you

  • Constantly making lists, creating plans, and trying to find ways to get everything done, yet you never seem to accomplish everything that needs to happen for your work, your family, and much less for yourself
  • Feeling like it’s impossible to check off even the bare minimum, let alone the strategic
  • Feeling so conflicted, thinking about work when you’re with your family and wishing you could be  enjoying your family when you’re at work
  • Feeling like your brain is completely full and might just explode….

Or, maybe you just stopped planning your day altogether since it never seems to happen as you plan it anyway?

What Does Take Back Your Day Mean?

“Take back your day” is my way of saying, make your strongest attempt to plan out your day and your week to align with your priorities. It’s a philosophy for how to manage time.

And, also to do everything you can to eliminate and limit the fire-drills, interruptions, urgent requests, and constant barrage of other people trying to derail your time with their own priorities.

It is so common, especially for moms, to let other people hijack our day with their own agendas, priorities, lack of planning, and just plain disregard.

Now, of course, legitimate stuff comes up that is unavoidable. 

And, we can’t completely reprogram our boss or our husband to be more organized and to plan ahead.

But, we can switch the ratio so that chaos isn’t the norm. We can put in our own processes, systems, and expectations so that we are only dealing with fire-drills 20% of the time instead of 80% of the time.

Given All This Typical Chaos, Why Bother Trying To Take Back Your Day?

Chaos can be the exception, not the rule. You can shift your schedule so that you

  • Get more done in less time
  • Increase your productivity
  • Stop feeling like you have no time
  • Reduce your overwhelm
  • Fill more of your day with what matters to you, and to your family
  • Increase your control over your priorities and
  • Stop sabotaging yourself

Using the 5 steps below for how to manage time, you can accomplish all of this!

1. Understand Your As-Is State

The first step in taking back your day is to understand what we can in the software world, “the as-is” state.

What are you doing now?

You can answer this question by tracking your time (I mean how you actually spend it), through a time audit. I recommend completing this for 3-7 days. 

You can use an old-school piece of paper (request the download at the bottom of this post for a template) or a time-tracking app like Harvest.

After you have all your time accounted for (or most of it), categorize it. For example, you might have the following for a 72 hour period:

  • 18 hours = sleeping (25%)
  • 15 hours = meetings (20%)
  • 10 hours = driving (14%)
  • 6 hours = cooking (8%)
  • 5 hours = errands  (7%)
  • 4.5 hours = emails (6%)
  • 3.5 hours = social media/internet (5%)
  • 3 hours = waiting at kid’s sporting events (not multi-tasking) (4%)
  • 2.5 hours = creating work deliverables (3%)
  • 1.5 hours = helping kids with homework (2%)
  • 1.25 hours = exercising (this is an imaginary example, can you tell?) (2%)
  • 1 hour = managing team (1%)
  • .25 hours = talking to husband (1%)
  • .25 hours = showering, bathroom (1%)
  • .25 hours = hanging with kids, uninterrupted (1%)
Pro Tip: the benefit of using a 7-day time audit is to have a mix of weekday and weekend time. If you can stick to a longer audit, that will give you a more complete picture.

2. Define To-Be State

Next, figure out how you WANT TO SPEND YOUR TIME.

Somehow, I am guessing it’s not 20% in meetings and < 2% family time.

What are the categories you want to spend time on, and how would you allocate it percentage-wise?

Write this out on a sheet or use the complimentary Playbook I included at the bottom of this post.

3. Identify All The Changes/Adjustments/Shifts You Need to Make 

Next, figure out what tasks and activities from the “as-is” list you can 

  • Keep
  • Simplify
  • Delete
  • Delegate
  • Defer

List out all the tasks and activities you did during the audit. You can also include other common tasks and activities that you commonly do but might not have occurred during the audit period.

Then, look at each one and write out if you want to keep it or not.

  • If you don’t want to keep it, mark it as ‘delete’.  Write some notes about how you stop immediately or will phase it out.
  • If you do want to keep it, then look at the task/activity and brainstorm
    • Ways to simplify what you’re doing now
    • Ideas for delegating some of it
    • Possibilities for pushing it out until a future time
    • Ways to optimize what you’re doing like ideas for making more use of your time in the car and waiting at sports activities

Make sure you address each task/activity you listed in your audit.

Then, list out all the activities that you SHOULD have been doing but didn’t.

4. Create Your Plan

Summarize all of the actions that you identified in the last step.

List out everything you identified to simplify, delete, delegate, defer and add.

List them all out. 

Put dates on each one as to when you commit to yourself to implement them.

5. Execute The Plan

Finally, follow the schedule you set in the “create your plan’ step.

I know that sounds simple. 

But, how often do you make a plan and then not follow it, when you really could have if you wanted to? 

Maybe you weren’t in the mood, let circumstances take over, just felt like checking out, etc….  I know I’ve been there tons of times.

There are legitimate disruptions to our day. But, it’s also important when we’re thinking about how to take back our day and how to manage time, that we’re honest with ourselves about what’s a real/necessary/unavoidable disruption and what’s just procrastination/avoiding.

Make This Your New Norm

Now that you have a plan in place, this is where the rubber hits the road. It will take some intentionality and focus to put these new strategies and habits in place.

It might also require some difficult conversations with the people who are used to the way you’ve been doing things.

In order to shift from your old, auto-pilot way to the new priorities and approaches you’ve designed, you will need a few tools.

Here’s what I recommend, as a starting point for change:

  • Be consistent with your scheduling process, including incorporating all the changes you identified above.
  • Stick to a consistent journaling process to get clear before you start your day
  • Take my complimentary 5 step ‘Take Back Your Day Challenge“, which includes a playbook and 7 accountability emails. I give you the detailed playbook that covers all of these tips in this blog and more, plus I send you a series of emails that walk you through the steps and make sure you get results.

Recap

We discussed these concepts in this week’s post:

  • Can you relate to these scenarios for how to take back your day, how to manage time?
  • What does it mean to take back your day?
  • Why bother?
  • 5 Steps to take back your day
  • How to make it the new norm

 

5 Steps to Take Back Your Day!

5 step guide to take back your day   convertkit %282%29

Enter your email to receive the free Ultimate Playbook and accountability series.

I'll also add to you to my weekly Mother Crusher Guide, which has tips for busy moms like you. I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Did You Know?

I’m a success coach for working moms. I work with other moms to create and execute the mindset, strategies and routines that are required get out of survival mode and achieve your goals, both personally and professionally.

Think of it as a re-set for ambitious moms who want to maximize what they do, who they are, and all they impact, to make the most out of life.

The first step is to meet for half an hour to talk about your goals, obstacles and mini action plan. If you want to create your own mini action plan, here’s the link to schedule the free session on my calendar

I’ll coach you through building the plan and identifying your next steps. Then, we’ll talk for a few minutes at the end about what I do and if we might be good working together. I’m not a salesperson so don’t expect a sales call. I only accept clients who are a good fit.

This is time focused on you and your goals, and how to get to the next level. 

Related Links

5 Steps to Accomplish More of What Matters in Less Time

Get More Done in Less Time with Time Batching

Ultimate Goals Planner and Achievement Framework

For Pinterest

how to manage time

5 Steps to Take Back Your Day!

5 step guide to take back your day   convertkit %282%29

Enter your email to receive the free Ultimate Playbook and accountability series.

I'll also add to you to my weekly Mother Crusher Guide, which has tips for busy moms like you. I won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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