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Time Management

Moms let’s get real for a second.  I’m not the best time manager.  Time management has been a struggle for me.  Plus, I’m a serial procrastinator.  Juggling the kids, the house, the husband, and two businesses is not an easy feat.

Oh and I forgot the PTA (and a side note on that…no matter what position you sign up for and how little time they say it will take…they are lying…it always takes more time than you think.  

Don’t get me wrong PTA is important but chose your position or volunteer level wisely). Ok, enough on that rant.   

I’m betting you’ve felt this way before.  Letting stuff pile up until you just can’t take it anymore, seeing a deadline rapidly approaching or just trying to get everything in while your kiddo is napping, before they come from school, or while you have a few minutes of time.  

Trust me, I feel you…Time management is something I’ve been trying to master for years. And everyone is a little different when it comes to what works.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve for actually getting stuff done.  When I need to put my head down and get it done, I employ a couple of “Nichole hacks” that have been tested and proven to get me going. I wanna share them with you because who knows maybe you’re like me too.

The first thing I do is to go into do not disturb mode and set a timer.  

I use the Pomodoro Method and it works really good for me in everything really.  So what is the Pomodoro method?  

It’s essentially setting a timer (the name comes from the little tomato timer from the 80s🍅) for 25 minutes of undistracted work time.  When the timer goes off you take a quick 5-minute break to drink water, go to the bathroom, stretch or whatever you need to do in that 5-minute timeframe.  Then you repeat as many times as you want.

You can always set the timer for different time frames up to 40 minutes but no longer without a break.  Our brains work best with periods of work and periods of rest.  

I’m listening to the book Peak Performance right now and the science behind this is pretty astounding.  

Plus I’ve talked about context switching before and how unproductive it is (which is switching thing to thing,  multitasking or not clumping like tasks together).

By the way, I use this timer method for cleaning the house too and it works so well for me because I’m trying to beat the clock and it keeps me from getting distracted.  

You know what I mean by distracted, say you’re cleaning the family room and you go to put a shoe away in the closet and you see the mess in the closet and you start hanging up jackets instead of finishing the family room which is what your original goal was in the first place.

So after I set the timer, I do a brain dump.

Get all the little thoughts out of my head and onto paper or into a note on my phone or computer.  Most of the time, I like to write it on paper.  There’s just something about physically writing it down that clicks for me.  

Once you get it all out of your head you can sort it and have white space to prioritize.  Which is what I do next.

I look at my list of everything that needs to be done and I try to find the one thing that will make everything else on that list easier or unnecessary.  

This process came from the book The One Thing and it really does make a huge difference when you are setting your priority for the day/week/month/year.  

When I’ve identified that one thing.  

I SCRUM it

…maybe you’re like, wait you do what?   I talked about SCRUM in episode 03.  

This is a rugby term that is used in the IT industry and I learned it from Amy Porterfield at her B-School bonus Mastermind weekend 2 ½ years ago and I can’t imagine my life without it now.

So here’s the lowdown.  You take that one thing that you identified would make everything else easier or unnecessary and you break up into every single little task that has to be done to complete that one thing.  

I use a free tool called Asana to organize all of these little tasks and to see my progress on them.  Also if you have a team you can delegate these tasks to them, set deadlines and check on progress and hangups.  

On a side note…I have a free behind the scenes training on how I use Asana at mommyshomeoffice.com and it’s on the homepage.  So check that out.  

After I have mapped out my project or my day/week.

I can get to work AND it doesn’t feel so ridiculously overwhelming.

Plus, if now I have a plan and I don’t need to take any more time to figure out what I need to do first.  I’ve already done that.

So now, anytime I have a 10-minute, 20-minute or 40-minute chunk of time that I can work, I set my timer and know exactly where I’m at and what I need to do.

And most importantly, I know that I’m moving forward and not just spinning my wheels doing things that won’t move the needle in my business or whatever I’m using this process for.

Well, that was jam-packed…I hope you find it useful.  If you have any tips or methods that work for you, I would love to hear about them.

Mentions:

Beautycounter – Safer. Cleaner. Beauty products.

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with The New Science of Success

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

My Asana Training

Episode 03 – I Already Have a Business BUT I Need It To Be Easier

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