Today's guest post is written by Pat Romain. Pat Romain manages other people's times and runs a business where she manages a team of people, while caring for her children (and probably everyone in her life too!). I was eager to hear how she keeps it all straight and if she is able to apply the same principles of productivity to her own life. Read on and you tell me if she knows a thing or two about getting things done!
It’s no secret that most of us are always pressed for time. Sometimes there is too much going on and at the end of the day you wonder how you only crossed off 1 or 2 things! You start wondering what you did with your day.
As the owner of an outsourcing firm, the mother to 2 little girls, a wife, a friend, a sister; juggling and balancing a million things to do is the norm.
I have realized that the more you juggle, the more stuff can get left behind or even worse you can start to forget what the important things to do are.
Today I want to share 4 secrets that help me to get organized and also help me manage and make the maximum use of the 24hours I have.
1. Getting Help
Yes, the V.A. has a V.A. and even a whole team of people that support me and help me get things done in my business. I even applied this little trick to my life. Before I would try to be in two places at the same time and lug my laptop around wherever I went.
Now I ask for friends or family members to help me when it comes to getting things organized–picking kids up when I need to be somewhere else for work or just to take some time off for myself.
I can’t stress enough how giving control to other people helps me run my life and my business. It has also helped me be a better mother and business owner while also creating more space in my life for myself.
2. Being Present
When trying to get something done, concentrate on only the task at hand. I used to be the biggest advocate for multi-tasking and I still have to slap myself on the hand when I try to juggle doing two things at once. Concentrating on just one task and then moving to the next when that is completed is the best way to get things done and keep moving. My mind is not wandering around. This little trick also helps me to my time to its maximum. What used to take me 1 hour to get done when I was trying to do something else at the same time, now only takes me 15 to 30 minutes!
3. Batching The Work
I call it “ batching work” because this is something that I learned while running my business. This helps me be effective and efficient. In my business life “batching” means doing work for one client and that client only for a period of time. I then take care of everything that pertains to that client for 3 to 4 hours knocking anything that needs to be done from their to do list.
I have transplanted this concept to my family life too. When taking care of house chores, that is all I do. If I am cooking and planning meals, I may take some time during my weekend, but I cook for 3 or 4 meals and then store them.
4. Use Technology + Automate
I am a huge calendar girl. I put everything in my Google calendar and sync it up with my phone so that I don’t miss a thing.
Scheduling items and projects into my calendar with specific times and dates that these items need to be completed, turns them into a reality.
I also use the same project management system that I use for my business and with my clients to plan out projects for my family and home–so it’s all in one place.
Using the same systems that I use for my business for my life has helped me keep everything organized and make time to have more fun. Now, I’m not running around trying to keep up or wondering what I’m suppose to be doing right now.
Technology also helps with automating the everyday life maintenance, like paying bills or buying groceries online. I use alice.com and you can even automate it to order the things that you purchase all the time right around the time you need them.
Being organized and asking for help when I need it are the answers to having more time and managing that time effectively which ultimately leave me space to take care of myself, breath and relax.
Leave me a comment below and I'll give you some quick ideas on how to create your own unique system of managing your time and life!
Pat Romain owns an outsourcing firm Vizionva Business Services where she helps entrepreneurs achieve more with their time by delegating. She also helps her clients by implementing the day to day tasks in their businesses. Pat lives in Montreal but you can easily find her online here patromain.com , she loves twitter (@patromainva), blogging and is a yoga fanatic.
Lisa Consiglio Ryan says
Great ideas, Pat! I am going to totally steal your “batching” the work idea. I tend to have many projects going on all at once and the focus is a bit scattered when I do this. I love that idea of just working on one project at a time. Just dedicating full attention so that the task is done efficiently and effectively. I am going to try alice.com too. What a great idea! Thanks Pat and Anne for a super post!
Stephenie Zamora says
Awesome post Pat. I need to batch. This is such a brilliant concept and yet so simple! I LOVE the idea of cooking meals on Sunday or something and freezing for the week. So smart. xo
Liz Longacre says
Great tips Pat! I am definitely going to look into Alice.com as I could definitely use that. Being present is something I struggle with, I always seem to have multiple things going on at once. In that regard, technology can be such a blessing and such a curse. I need to get better at just doing a task without checking email, etc., every 2 seconds! Thanks for the tips Pat!
Hannah Marcotti says
That made me feel calmer. I am making cookies, now actually while I am working and they are of course in batches. And I put one batch in and have completely forgotten about them until just now. A little slap on my wrist!
Love your wisdom so much!
Actually Heather gave me this piece of advice during my first call with her, so I guess I am “batching” my cooking too 🙂
THanks for the support girly,being the scatter brain that I am without all of this focus and planned time management I would probably forget to shower.. and believe this has happened LOL
Yeah, I understand what you mean.. try turning off your blackberry/iphone when you are working on an important project, you can also close all tabs on your computer and keep only the tab with the project you are working on.. little things but it makes it extra harder to do other things at the same time
Gini Martinez says
Great tips, Pat!
I’ve started closing up Mail when I write. That damn red circle is enough to distract me.
Hi Pat & Anne! 🙂
Wow, these are awesome tips, Pat – thank you so much for sharing them! I’m checking out Alice.com right now. It sounds like a great service!
Oh Gini, you have got to try this tool I use to totally focus on writing: OmmWriter. They have a mac and a PC version – it was Mac only for awhile. It’s a fun way to focus on the task and close off all other programs. The red circle does the same to me!
Great post Pat.
Batching is a great tip. I’ve been batching my emails so that I write all my emails in two sessions. One in the morning AFTER I’ve complted my primary task for the day. And then other after lunch to get me back in the swing of things for the afternoon.