A professional woman looking surprised while holding a large analog clock, illustrating the concept of being mindful of passing time for better time management

Swamped? You’re in the right spot. Every tired and overwhelmed coach knows the drill. Sessions to run, content to create, and a personal life that doesn’t manage itself. 

If you’re nodding along, feeling the weight of endless to-dos, breathe. 

You’ve found a friend in the chaos.

After years of my own productivity pitfalls, I’ve been able to come up with techniques and some secrets to efficient time management that don’t compromise your impact or your personal well-being.  

This isn’t about working harder. 

It’s about working smarter. 

In a world where 24 hours never seem enough and the line between work and life blurs (quite easily), mastering time management isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. 

This article unpacks proven strategies that are often overlooked, aiming to add not just hours to your day but quality to your coaching and personal time.

Are you ready to discover how to streamline your workflow, enhance productivity, and achieve the balance you’ve been craving? 

What unique tips can transform your day-to-day life, allowing you to focus on what truly matters?

How can we transform your overwhelmed schedule into an organized, fulfilling life?

Let’s dive in.

Prioritize Tasks

Importance of Setting Priorities

Not everything on your to-do list needs your immediate attention, despite what it feels like! 

Recognizing which tasks are urgent and important versus those that can wait is crucial.  This prioritization can help you focus your energy on where it’s most needed, keeping you on the productivity path.

Implementing a Prioritization System

One strategy to help with this is the Eisenhower Box, a simple yet effective system to classify your to-dos.

There are 4 quadrants in this system:

Urgent and Important: These are tasks that should be your priority and that you should do right away.
Important but not urgent: These are tasks that you can make a decision as to when they need to be done and then schedule them.
Urgent but not important:  These are tasks that can be delegated to your VA or OBM.
Neither urgent nor important: Consider dropping these from your list.  They are eating up too much of your precious time.

A good rule of thumb, and one that I use regularly, is to choose your top three priorities for the day. I like to look at my to-do list and ask myself, ” If I could only do three things today, what would I want them to be?”

The Eisenhower Box can help you make that decision. MindTools has a great article that provides a more detailed description of how the box works.

This doesn’t mean that I will only get 3 things done, I have just listed the tasks that really need to be on the top of my to-do list.

Batch Similar Tasks

Benefits of Task Batching

Jumping from task to task without a clear focus can leave you feeling drained and unaccomplished at the end of the day. 

Enter task batching.

This approach groups similar tasks together so you are doing like tasks at the same time.

Task batching is like meal prepping for your workweek. 

By grouping similar tasks together, you minimize the mental load of switching between different types of work, leading to increased efficiency and, ultimately, freeing up more of your valuable time. 

How to Batch Tasks

Identify Similar Tasks: Start by listing all your recurring tasks and categorize them by similarity. This could be content creation, client calls, email management, or administrative tasks.
Allocate Specific Times: Once categorized, assign specific blocks of time to each category. For instance, Monday mornings for content creation, and Wednesday afternoons for client calls. Stick to these times as closely as possible.
Prepare Your Workspace: Before each batch work session, ensure you have all the necessary tools and information at hand to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
Limit Interruptions: Inform your team, clients, and family of your focused work times to minimize disruptions. Consider using tools or apps that limit notifications during these periods.
Review and Adjust: At the end of each week, review what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust your batching schedule as needed to find what best suits your workflow.

When you batch similar tasks together, you’ll end up working with more intention.  More of your work gets done with fewer shifts in focus, leaving you with a sense of accomplishment – and maybe even some extra time for yourself!

Embrace Technology Tools

Leveraging Apps and Tools

The right tools can make a world of difference in managing your hectic schedule.

Navigating your tasks each day can become overwhelming, making it hard to stay focused and productive.

That’s where technology comes in.  Using apps and tools that are specifically designed for time management can significantly streamline your daily routine.

Some tools I have used include Asana for project management, Dubsado for client management and scheduling, Evernote or Google Docs for taking notes, and Toggl for doing a time audit when I want to see where I am spending my time.

Integrating Tools into Daily Routine

You do need a bit of a strategic approach when incorporating these tools into your daily routine.  You don’t want to end up with shiny object syndrome.
Start Small: Choose one tool to start with. Implementing too many tools at once can be overwhelming.
Set Aside Time to Learn: Allocate specific time slots to familiarize yourself with the tool. Understanding its full capabilities can unlock more benefits.
Gradually Integrate: Begin by integrating the tool into less critical tasks. As you become more comfortable, use it for more significant parts of your work.
Be Consistent: Use the tool consistently to form a habit. Consistent use will help you see its effectiveness and encourage you to keep integrating it into your routine.  I start every day by opening my project management tool.
Evaluate and Adjust: After a few weeks, evaluate how the tool has impacted your productivity. Don’t hesitate to tweak your approach or try a different tool if necessary.

Incorporating these tools into your day can help you simplify your process of managing your tasks.  It will give you the opportunity to optimize your time to increase productivity and efficiency.

Explore a list of top task management tools recommended by Forbes to find one that suits your needs.

Create a Schedule

Notebook with handwritten 'Daily plan:' including a clock doodle and bullet point numbers, accompanied by colorful pens and monthly calendars, emphasizing planning and time management.

The Power of a Structured Day

One of the best ways to turn chaos into order is through a structured schedule.

It’s like your secret weapon for effective time management.  Not only does it turn your endless to-do list into a manageable plan, but it will also help you reduce stress as you can clearly see when and how tasks will be tackled.

A structured day will ensure you dedicate time to what’s truly important, both in your work day and your personal life. 

I like to sit down on Sunday evenings and plan out my week, and then every morning, I create a plan for the day (including prioritizing my top 3 tasks for the day).

Tips for Effective Scheduling

Start with Your Non-Negotiables: Block out time for your must-do tasks and appointments first. These are the pillars of your schedule around which everything else will be built.
Be Realistic: It’s tempting to pack the day with tasks but underestimate how long things take. Leave buffer times between tasks for breaks and unexpected delays.
Use Themes for Days: Assign specific days for specific types of work (e.g., content creation on Mondays, client meetings on Wednesdays). This helps focus your energy on one type of task at a time. (You can review your batching list in order to accomplish this).
Plan the Night Before: Spend a few minutes each evening reviewing and adjusting the next day’s schedule. This sets you up for a productive start each morning.
Review Weekly: At the end of each week, review what was accomplished and adjust the next week’s schedule accordingly. This helps you continuously refine your scheduling strategy to better suit your working style and priorities.

It is possible to create and maintain a schedule that supports your goals, allows for downtime, AND keeps you on track toward achieving the balance you desire.

Delegate Effectively

Identifying Delegable Tasks

Not every task demands your personal touch, yet it can be challenging to decide which ones to hand off.  

Being able to delegate tasks is essential for lightening your load without compromising the quality of your work or your business standards.

Ask yourself:

Does this task require MY specific expertise, if not, then it could be a task you could delegate.

If the task is a poor use of your time, like tasks that are necessary but don’t directly contribute to your coaching goals or personal growth, you could hand it to someone else. This could include tasks like inbox management or updating your client records for you.

Perfect is usually the enemy of progress, so ask yourself if someone else could do this at least 80% as well as you could.  If someone else can achieve that outcome – delegate it!

Delegation Strategies

Here are some tips for delegating tasks efficiently while maintaining control over the quality of work.

Choose the Right Person: Match the task with someone’s skills and interests. This ensures they’re capable and motivated to do it well.
Provide Clear Instructions: Offer detailed guidelines and your expectations to avoid confusion and ensure the task is done correctly. Having SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) will help with this.
Set Deadlines: Make sure deadlines are understood and agreed upon. This helps manage your schedule and keeps tasks on track.
Use Tools for Collaboration: Apps like Asana or Trello can help you track progress on delegated tasks without needing constant check-ins.
Offer Feedback: Provide constructive feedback to improve efficiency and effectiveness for future tasks.

If you are comfortable with it or you have a team in place, you might consider fostering autonomy on your team. 

Encourage decision-making with defined boundaries. This will empower your team, improve efficiency, and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.  

The individual(s) you are working with are likely experts in what they do and you never know when they might have a suggestion that will work better than what you had originally planned.

Remember that the person you have hired wants you to succeed, and identifying and applying these strategies can enhance your productivity and help you focus on the aspects of your coaching business that truly require your attention.

Learn to Say No

The Importance of Boundaries

Say no is a powerful tool for managing your time and energy.

I know this might be a tough one for you as you are likely naturally inclined to help and support others, but setting clear boundaries is essential for SUSTAINABLE time management.

It allows you to protect your time, focus on your priorities, and maintain your well-being.  

By defining what you can and cannot take on, you prevent overcommitment and burnout. This will help you redirect that energy to your most impactful work.

Practical Ways to Say No

Be Direct but Polite: “Thank you for thinking of me, but I won’t be able to commit to this right now.”
Offer an Alternative: “I can’t take this on, but I know someone who might be the perfect fit for what you need.”
Use a Softener: “I’d love to help, but I’m currently focusing on other priorities that need my full attention.”
Set Expectations Early: If you often receive similar requests, preemptively communicate your availability and focus areas to your network.
Practice the Pause: Before automatically saying yes, take a moment to consider if the request aligns with your priorities and capacity.

This will help you not only stay focused on your goals but also models healthy boundaries for your clients.

Use Time Blocking

A person holding a tablet displaying a colorful calendar with time blocks, representing the concept of time blocking for efficient task management.

Understanding Time Blocking

Time blocking involves dividing your day into blocks of time, each dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or group of tasks. 

This method not only helps prioritize work but also reduces the urge to multitask, leading to greater focus and productivity. 

By allocating specific times for certain activities, you’re able to give undivided attention to each task, making significant progress without the constant context switching that can drain your energy.

Some of the above strategies, such as task batching, scheduling, and prioritizing, can help you when you are time-blocking your calendar.

Discover more time-blocking techniques at Todoist’s blog on time blocking.

Implementing Time Blocking

Outline Your Tasks: Start by listing all the tasks you need to complete, both personal and professional.
Prioritize: Identify which tasks are most important and time-sensitive. These should be scheduled in your day or week when your energy is typically higher. For some, that is first thing in the morning (not me!) for others, that will be later in the day.
Estimate Time: For each task, estimate how much time you’ll need to complete it. Be realistic to avoid overpacking your schedule. You can also do a time audit using a tool like Toggl to see where it is that you spend your time.
Create Time Blocks: Using a calendar, allocate specific blocks of time to each task. Include blocks for deep work (tasks that require more focus and creativity) and shallow work (routine, less intensive tasks).
Schedule Breaks: Remember to include short breaks between tasks to rest and recharge. This can enhance your productivity and focus on subsequent tasks.
Review and Adjust: At the end of each day or week, review what you accomplished and adjust your time-blocking strategy as needed. Learning what works best for you is a process of trial and refinement.

Time blocking is a great strategy for improving task management and overall productivity. By dedicating specific times to specific tasks, you reduce overwhelm.

Optimize Your Workspace

Creating an Efficient Workspace

A clutter-free, organized workspace can promote productivity, mental clarity, and efficiency.  

When you have all the tools you need at hand, you are ready, with reduced distractions, to focus on the task at hand. 

Because we spend a lot of time at our desks, make sure that your chair, desk, and computer setup are comfortable and ergonomic.  Physical well-being directly impacts productivity.

Don’t forget to add personal touches that inspire you, like motivational quotes, plants, photos or artwork (but avoid overcrowding your space).

Tools and Organizers

Desk Organizers: Use trays, holders, and shelves to keep your desk tidy and your essentials easily accessible.
Digital Tools: Apps like Evernote for note-taking or Trello for task management can help you organize your projects and ideas.
Cable Management Solutions: To reduce clutter and minimize distractions, keep cables and wires neatly managed with clips, ties, or tubing.
Wall Boards: A whiteboard or corkboard can be great for jotting down ideas, tracking tasks, or planning your week visually.

An extra tip for organizing your desktop – I like to create a desktop wallpaper in Canva that has a calendar and a section for files and documents so that you can see things at a glance.

Regularly Review Your Processes

The Need for Regular Reviews

Consistently reviewing and refining your workflows is crucial because it allows you to identify what’s working and what’s not.

This ongoing process helps you to adapt to changes, whether that be more clients because you are growing, new team members (congratulations), or personal commitments. 

It also ensures that your processes remain aligned with your goal and that you are remaining productive and efficient.

Conducting Effective Reviews

Set a Regular Schedule: Decide on a frequency that works for you, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Stick to it.
Gather Data: Look at completed tasks, time spent on different activities, and outcomes. Tools like time-tracking apps can be helpful here.
Evaluate Performance: Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your actions. Did you meet your goals? Where did you excel, and where could you improve?
Identify Patterns: Look for trends in your productivity. Are there times of day when you’re more focused? Are there tasks that consistently take longer than planned?
Plan for Improvement: Based on your review, outline steps to refine your process. This might involve delegating more tasks, adjusting your schedule, or implementing new tools.
Implement Changes: Put your plan into action. Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection.
Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on how these changes impact your workflow and be ready to adjust as necessary.

I have a task in my project management system to do this on a monthly basis.  I have a sub-task list that I go through that help me understand where I need to improve and adjust or where I can continue doing what I am doing.

Practice Self-Care

A woman in a cozy sweater holding a cup of coffee, seated beside a book, symbolizing the role of self-care in enhancing productivity and managing time.

The Role of Self-Care in Productivity

In the busy and hustle of entrepreneurship, self-care often takes a backseat.  However, self-care plays a huge role in productivity.

In fact, self-care and productivity are deeply interconnected. 

Regular self-care practices help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and recharge your mental and physical batteries, enabling you to tackle your tasks with greater focus and energy. 

Integrating self-care into a busy schedule is about making it a priority and being mindful of the small ways you can nurture your well-being.

Here are some ways that Forbes suggests that you can Master Self Care.

Self-Care Strategies

Scheduled Breaks: Set reminders to take short breaks throughout your day to stretch, breathe, or step outside. These moments can drastically improve your concentration and mood.
Mindful Movement: Incorporate physical activity into your routine, whether it’s a morning yoga session, a midday walk, or an evening dance class. Exercise is a proven stress reliever and creativity booster.
Nutrition and Hydration: Keep healthy snacks and a water bottle at your workspace. Nourishing your body properly can keep your energy levels stable throughout the day.
Quality Sleep: Prioritize getting enough sleep. A well-rested mind is more creative, focused, and productive.
Digital Detox: Regularly disconnect from electronic devices, especially before bed, to give your mind a rest from constant stimulation.
Mindfulness Practices: Integrate mindfulness or meditation into your daily routine to reduce stress and improve cognitive function.
Hobbies and Interests: Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation outside of work. Engaging in hobbies can be a great way to decompress and find inspiration.

When you decide to make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine, you are setting yourself up for success!  

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored the power of prioritizing tasks, the efficiency of batching similar activities, and the transformative role of technology tools. 

We’ve also discussed creating a structured schedule, the art of effective delegation, and the importance of saying no to maintain boundaries. 

In addition, we discussed using time blocking to focus your efforts, optimizing your workspace for maximum efficiency, the necessity of regular process reviews, and, most importantly, the role of self-care in sustaining productivity.

Each strategy is a pathway to a more organized and fulfilling professional life, but the true magic lies in customization. 

I encourage you to experiment with these tips, adapting and combining them in ways that resonate with your unique coaching style and personal preferences.

Have you discovered a time management strategy that works wonders for you? 


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