Using your time well is hugely important when you run a business. Today, I’m gonna share with you some tricks I use to plan my day for maximum time efficiency.
At the minute, I’ve got a lot of projects which are ongoing. We’re working on getting our documentary programme The Evolution of Success developed. We’ve also got a movie in Bankhouse Pictures which is in post-production at the minute, so I’m still managing that from afar. And there are other upcoming projects that pull me in different directions on a daily basis. So, I have to use my time well to make sure I stay on top of everything.
Structuring Your Day
I have every minute of every day planned out, that’s key for me. Whether this time is spent working on business or my personal life, I plan it all out.
For me, writing it down really helps. In fact, I think that’s the only way to get anything done. I make a plan each day and I literally list out everything I have to do whether that be people I have to email, people I have to follow up with or preparing filming schedules. Writing it down makes it real for me – and it’s easy to keep on track and see how you’re doing.
I structure my day out in advance as best as I possibly can. Usually, I look after social media in the morning, the afternoon is for checking in on web development and from three to five o’clock, I follow up on emails and any calls coming through. As long as I know that’s the rough structure the day’s gonna take, if extra things come up then I know how it’s going to affect my day in advance and I can work around it to ensure I maintain optimum time efficiency.
When I really need to concentrate on development work, like with The Evolution of Success, at the moment, I put my phone on aeroplane mode so that I can’t be reached. I just go somewhere quiet and so I can really concentrate on the task at hand.
I travel quite a bit with my job and I love that. I love my work so much that I never feel like I need a holiday. So many people say that you shouldn’t mix work and pleasure, but I don’t live by those rules. On a recent business trip to London, I was able to schedule my days for maximum time efficiency. I stayed with my best mate, Shane. We planned in activities for the weekend including a barbeque and touristy stuff, but I also scheduled plenty of meetings and got some filming done too.
If I had listened to traditional ‘wisdom’ I wouldn’t have done that. I would’ve had to make two trips to London, one for business and one for pleasure. It would’ve taken double the time and I would’ve had to pay for extra flights. You can combine the two, that’s what I do and it works brilliantly.
Another trick I use to maximise my time efficiency is to really utilise the time that’s often seen as dead time while you’re travelling.
I love getting to the airport because once you’ve done the security thing, you know that the time is yours. No one can hound me at the airport, I can just find a quiet table and use the time available to me before my flight to get some quality work done without any interruptions.
Another way of using my time while travelling is getting some sleep if it’s early morning or late at night. That’s not dead time. Getting enough rest is so important for making sure that you fit everything in during the day. When you’re sleep deprived you can’t be at your best, so if I’m travelling and I’m exhausted, I use that time to catch up on some sleep while I can.
Making Healthy Choices
Another healthy choice I made was giving up alcohol. I don’t have a pint anymore when I go to the airport. You feel so much better for it. You lose so much time to tiredness when you drink regularly. Cutting drink out of my life has given me back so much time. You can do so much with your weekend mornings when you’re not hungover, you can use them to meet up with friends or whatever else you wanna do. Little things like that, that might seem unrelated can make a big difference to good time management.
I mentioned earlier that I like to plan my time by writing everything down. I also love journaling, it’s massive for me. Using a journal every evening gives you a way to process what’s happened during the day. You can assess how much progress you actually made and, importantly, plan for the future.
I like to set goals regularly. I set yearly and five yearly goals and writing them in a journal makes me accountable to myself. I highly recommend journaling. I actually find that when I’m travelling away from Dublin, I get a boost of creativity. There’s something about being in fresh, new surroundings and I get tons of ideas, so having a place to capture those ideas which may turn into viable projects in the future is vital. If I didn’t write them down, they’d be gone before I ever get to action them.
So, that’s how I use my days for maximum time efficiency. I group tasks together so that I can achieve loads in a short space of time, I shut myself off when I really need to concentrate, I make healthy choices and, above all, I write everything down.
How do you stay on top of your game?
Let me know in the comments.