As a business owner, it can feel like every new project, new meeting, or even new client is a major kitchen renovation. It's more time, more energy and sometimes more money.
On Monday, you want to come out of the day knowing you did your absolute best - giving your 100% in everything. Then, the week speeds by and the to-do list is no smaller; it’s bigger.
I have found a tool that has helped me compartmentalize my days - it’s known as Timeboxing, originally named by Elon Musk.
“In time management, timeboxing allocates a fixed time period, called a timebox, within which planned activity takes place. It is used by several project management approaches and for personal time management.” - Wikipedia
It doesn't always work, but if I have a forecast of my week, it helps me know what I have room for and can say yes to, and when I really must say no.
In some lines of work -- in communications or project management -- it might BE your job to talk to people all day; you'll want to schedule these interactions into your day. And remember: these "meetings" will create more items on your "to-do list"; you'll want to schedule things in as well.
Timeboxing is very effective to do weekly and daily. Things are bound to shift. It's essential to be disciplined but also to allow for a bit of movement.
Timeboxing helps you stay in control when you feel out of control, and you have the power to shift timeboxes around. Many people find that consistency with this process increases their productivity AND frees up more time for leisure.
Now you have your base - your "best-case scenario." This exercise will give you complete control over your schedule, and life will be blissful in a perfect world.
The benefits of Timeboxing are that you know:
Do your best to stay in the box you are in at the time you are in it. For example, turn off messaging apps and notifications on your phone. Take away your distractions.
Try this for a couple of weeks, and let us know if your productivity and leisure time increase. Timeboxing also forces you to look at everything you do every week. When you see it all on paper, you may begin to find tasks that you can delegate to other teams members or a Virtual Assistant.