You're The Boss of Your Time: 4 Time Management Tips for Launchers

Busy? Probably. 

Too busy to pursue your passionate idea? Not necessarily. 

But, need some help refining your approach? In that case, give these four tips some consideration as you work to seize control of your time.  

Related: Master Your Schedule: A Conversation with Carey Nieuwhof

1. Something's got to give 

To say "yes" to this new opportunity, something else probably has to give way. What do you need to say "no" to in order to create some capacity? Audit your calendar and evaluate current activities relative to your new pursuit. Make a list of everything that could go, and make your decision on what is getting cut. If you have no bandwidth in your week and absolutely cannot cut anything from your schedule, it might not be the right time. 

2. Lock in your laser-focus 

Multi-tasking seems like the new normal for most folks who can't even sit through a traffic light without checking their phones.

To make the most of your time, swear off multi-tasking during periods of time where you practice extreme focus.  To do this right, you will need to anticipate potential distractions and head them off at the pass.  Find the right work space;  clear away all other projects; turn off your phone (seriously!); bring your headphones.

3. Chunk it down 

Assuming the idea you are pursuing is an ambitious one, making it happen will be a process.  Spend time planning out this process before you dive into the work.   

·       What are the key outcomes you need to achieve? 

·       What intermediate goals (perhaps weekly or monthly) do you need to set? 

·       Is there a critical sequence to the work? 

·       Is there a key outside resource that you need to arrange or schedule? 

I remember the first time I ran a marathon.  The concept of running 26 miles was a bit over-whelming.  Since an endurance feat is often a test of mental toughness, I had to forget about the whole 26 miles and just focus on hitting the next milestone (e.g., the first 10k, the half-way point, get to the 20 mile mark).  Ultimately, you reach a place where you really can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that becomes energizing at a time when you likely need the boost.  

4. Time-block your way to success 

A time block is an appointment you book with yourself to work on a specific project.  This has been one of the most liberating practices I have adopted.  To time-block, designate a pre-determined amount of time to work on your idea.  It may only be 30 minutes, but at least you know that you are going to make as much progress as you can in that 30 minutes.  You don't have to fret over that fact that you didn't finish everything.  The two keys to time-blocks are having enough of them to realistically achieve your overall objective and maintaining extreme focus during your time-blocks. 

Yes, you're busy. But you might not be too busy. Audit your schedule for things that can go, give yourself some reasonable goals and then laser-focus on your tasks. You'll be launching in no time.