A question I get often is about time management for business owners, especially nurse business owners. They see me doing a million things and wonder how I do it. It seems like I always have a million things to do and never enough time. Good thing I know how to manage my time. If you want to get back your day, all you need is some discipline and to follow these steps.
Step #1: Track Your Day
Figure out where you spend your time. You probably spend too much time on time-wasting activities. You know how you it goes. You go on Facebook to check your feed, only to find yourself trolling some drama-infested post with a Kermit the frog sipping tea gif in the comment section. There goes 45 minutes of your life you're never going to get back. This is why you need to write down everything you do every 15 minutes of your day for one week. Yes, it's tedious and annoying, but you will get the true story of where you're wasting your time.
Step #2: Pick Your Top Three Goals
For the next three months, list your top three goals you want to focus on and achieve. Grow your Facebook account, make an income goal, grow your email list, finish your website... whatever those goals are you need to write them down so you can visualize them and work towards them.
STEP #3: Plan Your Month
Block out your days for the next month. What days do you meet with clients? Which days have you set aside to blog? Which days will you schedule out your social media posts? Which days will you send out your newsletter?
STEP #4: Sunday Planning
Prioritize your tasks that you want to get done for the week on Sunday. Set aside no more than 30 minutes to list the tasks you need to accomplish that week.
Then go through and prioritize them, labeling them with number 1, 2, or 3. 1 is a must get done, 2 is for the items to get done only after the #1's are complete and 3 for the cherry on top tasks you don't necessarily need to accomplish this week, but would be bonus to do so.
STEP #5: Manage Your Email
Your inbox is not where emergencies land. When someone emails you, its not the time for you to stop and drop everything you're doing just to answer them. You might be in the habit of checking your emails first thing in the morning. Don't. By checking your email first thing in the morning and responding to the "important" ones, you're letting someone else's agenda overshadow your own. By now, you should know what you need to be working on in your business and working on someone else's to do list will keep you from achieving your goals.
Set a time limit on reading and responding to your emails. Only check your email account twice per day. Decide which ones need a response now, which ones can wait, and take care of them accordingly.
Another aspect of email is the organizing part. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that clog up your email box and you end up deleting. Create folders so emails are filed automatically as soon as they come in. If you can, hire a VA to respond to emails about your business basics. If that doesn't work for you, create a FAQ's page for the most common questions asked.
STEP #6: Cluster Your Tasks
Clustering care is something that all nurses do at some point and time in their nursing career. It should be no different when in business. Clustering business activities is wonderful, it is grouping similar tasks together and finishing them all at one time.
Here are some tasks you can cluster
Blogging: Write 5 posts for the month
Email Marketing: Write and schedule your newsletters
Social media marketing: Write and schedule your social media posts
Admin: Organize your inbox, bookkeeping, website management
With a little discipline and organization, you can manage a thriving nursing business. Use these tips to track where your time is going and what you need to do to be more productive.