Sharing time-saving ⏱ tips with you is one of the highlights of my week. I just love helping wherever I can.
You may not know that I shared a #toptiptuesday post on my socials every week. These can range from tips to save you time, tips to help you become more productive, recommendations on apps and software, how-tos and the likes.
This week, however, my tip post was popular and I wanted to share it with the world!
I first learnt about this productivity hack from a LinkedIn Learning video. I’m a big learning fan and this tip came from the Time Management tips series.
I’m sometimes a bit nervous when it comes to trying out new things, especially within my business, so I actually tried out this time-saving and productivity hack on my housework 🧹. It was a great, low-pressure environment to try something new. It made doing my household chores a little more bearable, knowing that I was potentially teaching myself something new that I could apply in my business.
So, Lizzi, get a move on, what’s the tip?
It’s called ‘scheduling your to-do list’. No, I don’t mean schedule in when you’re going to get things done. What I mean is decide how long each task is going to take you and schedule your list.
The schedule your to-do list works on the idea that a simple list of tasks just won’t suffice any more. I don’t know about you but how often do you write a to-do list and then get lost within it?
It’s time to think about how long each task will take, how long you WANT to allocate to it, and where it sits on your list of priorities. So, write your list and then work through it allocating each task a time.
This time schedule will help you allocate time in your calendar/day to complete tasks and will also be useful if you find yourself with a few spare minutes – use that time wisely!
So, when testing this list out, as I said, I used housework. It was in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The hubby was at work and had left me a massive list of things to get done. This, on top of my own list which he had no idea about!
This is what my list looked like by the time I had finished my breakfast:
Unstack dishwasher 🍴 – 10 minutes
Hang up clean washing 👕👖 - 10 minutes
Weed side flower bed 🌷🌻 – 20 minutes
Put together Christmas LEGO – 5 minutes
Vacuum – 15 minutes
Mop – 15 minutes
Write a blog post – 60 minutes
As you can see, allocating time to each task on the list enabled me to know how busy I was going to be during the course of the morning/day.
It’s exciting, isn’t it? Or is that just the organisational freak in me 🤷🏼♀️?
I have a few little extra tips for you to think about before you jump offline to give this new idea a go.
Remember, it’s not just about how long you think the task is going to take. It’s also about how long you’re willing to dedicate to it.
There are some things I just will not spend a lot of time on. If you think I’m going to spend my entire day putting clean washing away, you’re mistaken! I’ll only put aside the amount of time that I’m prepared to spend on that task.
When you’re first starting out, you need to overestimate on how long you think things will take. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. For example, I used to allocate 30 minutes for each social post I was planning to write. As I’ve settled into a style of writing I’ve actually been able to lower that time allocation and now schedule 10-20 minutes (depending on content).
Schedule similar tasks together. Batching. By batching similar tasks together, or one after the other, you’ll keep focus. So when cleaning … dust, vacuum and then mop.
Overrunning on time is expected in some cases. It’s OK if you run over. What you need to be prepared to do is stop when you hit your allocated time. If you’re not finished, that’s OK, reschedule it with a new time allotment and MOVE ON! It’s important to keep moving and not get stuck on one thing.
Although I keep a digital to-do list, I do also have a written list, especially for things to do around the house. If you need a hand getting this under control the first few times see below. I’ve created a simple template that you can use for your to-do list, whether it’s housework or office work.
Just pop your email in the form below and I’ll send a copy, right to your inbox.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to do this yourself (sometimes it’s all just too hard!), that’s OK too! You know that I’m an organisational freak who just loves getting others organised. I can provide you with a 1-hour consultation to go through the regular items on your to-do list and help you allocate time and get things under control, just pop me an email and we’ll get started.