Take ample time to set goals and plan your schedule for the next day – be realistic. “Jack of one trade, master of one” should be your motto. Take only manageable tasks and never multi-task. Stay in the present. Push emails into a “done” folder when you’ve responded. Dealing with interruptions is an art you’ll have to master. Sync your menstrual cycle phases with all your plans.
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” – Plato
As an employee of a big corporation and an entrepreneur with many things to do, I want to make sure I am in control of my schedule, and not the other way around. That’s what I need to keep my stress levels in check, feel balanced and bring my projects to life.
Tips To Manage Your Day Better
The below is a non-exhaustive list of things I do to keep balanced and on purpose.
As you read through it, would you like to add something that’s been working for you? Please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I welcome your feedback!
1. Take Time To Plan Your Day
You only need 10 minutes, and you’ll feel so much more in control after you’ve done that! No more time spent on assessing again your To-do list and what needs to be done!
Additionally, it helps you to see where your time is going!
- At the end of the day reflect on your goals. What are you trying to achieve? What should you spend time on? Take 10 minutes to brainstorm what needs to be done on the next day. What do you need help with? Who can help you?
- AND: Don’t forget to include breaks, water and food in your day!
2. Forget About Multi-Tasking And “Pomodoro” Your Day
OR How to move from multi-tasking to serial mono-focus.
We often hear about multi-tasking and sometimes feel that we should be able to use this tool as well as our colleagues do. Even though it is a fascinating concept.
In fact, our modern world seems addicted to it, the long term effects of multi-tasking do not appear to be particularly worth it: increased stress and lower effectiveness. It is far much better to be focusing on one thing at a time and doing that thing well.
My tool of choice for that: the Pomodoro technique!
Using the Pomodoro technique, I decide the day before what my next day will look like, by planning my To-do’s by batches of 25 + 5 minutes.
I have found it very useful in terms of my corporate role. It allows me to feel in control of my days, by blocking my time for specific actions, and helps me keep my stress levels down.
As an entrepreneur, I have more trouble implementing this, as I always want to do too much – so I review my strategy for the week during the weekend, and decide then what I will be working on every day that I spend on my practice. Business development, studies, clients calls, research, etc.
- Technology is often a culprit in multi-tasking. This week, use only one type of technology or media at a time.
- Practice being present in the moment. For every task you perform, give it your full attention and refuse to be distracted from it.
3. Taming Emails
For anything that comes in my inbox with an output needed, I set out a 30 minutes time slot in the next few days or weeks (depending on when the deadline is), including an alert, and then move the email into a folder. To me that means that it is being taken care of, and I can clear my head and move onto the next things.
Sort your emails by subject or sender. That way, you can process related messages together and save time.
And if you are receiving too many emails, unsubscribe!
- Go to https://unroll.me/ and unsubscribe to as many newsletters as you can. Which ones are you currently not needing?
- Delete emails, schedule tasks, unsubscribe. Make sure you are in charge of your inbox, and not the other way around.
4. ACT In Response To Interruptions
- A: Allow (or accept)
- C: Cut it off at the pass (or curtail)
- T: Triage
- As you go through your day, acknowledge the many interruptions that are preventing you from getting your work done and ACT.
5. Leverage Your Cycle For Better Business Acumen
Teaching my clients how to leverage their female cycle to have a more enjoyable life, I also use what I preach for myself. So even if I have been told by coaches that I should spend every day time for my business development and connecting with people, I know that in real life, it does not match with my cycle. So I plan most of my activities depending on which phase I am in.
That makes me feel more connected, more present, more capable, and finally more in control. Try it for yourself!
“Time flies. It is up to you to be the navigator.” – Robert Orben