Where does the time go? We ask ourselves that question not only as the year nears its end, but regularly in our busy lives. When it seems like we all have more tasks on our to-do list than time on our schedules, time management can save the day—and our sanity. We at the NAA rely on time management strategies to complete our regular operations and run our own personal businesses. And at the end of the day we find time management skills to be key for work/life balance. Today we share some of our favorite time management practices, with the hope that they’ll help you achieve balance and success in your spa, coaching practice, or personal life. And we share some of our time management goals for the new year—since this topic is always an ongoing challenge.

NAA best tips for time management

  • Delegate. There’s only one of you, and your time is your most valuable commodity. If there are tasks that you find yourself avoiding because you either really don’t enjoy them or they take you much longer than they should because they don’t utilize your natural talents, then you shouldn’t be doing them. This is a wonderful time to have a business, because technology has allowed for automation of so many different aspects of business from scheduling to bookkeeping to social media, and more. Also, you can now grow your team beyond the boundaries of your local community by contracting specific tasks and projects to virtual assistants and online business managers–these are often people who love doing the tasks you avoid, and can get them done in a fraction of the time it would take you.
  • Use time management tools judiciously. Take an honest look at your time management tools and unapologetically toss those which aren’t serving you well. Apps, planners, journals, online applications—or pieces of scrap paper; there are so many styles of tracking your tasks out there. Find the tools that are most functional to you and supportive of your end goals.
  • Allow for overflow time. Let’s face it–there’s rarely a day where everything on the to-do list actually gets done! Knowing that this will happen, schedule “overflow” or “wild card” time into your schedule to help yourself stress less and feel less rushed.
  • Try micromovements. A micromovement is a specific very small action step- an activity which is between 5 seconds and 5 minutes- that is scheduled for a specific time and date and that nudges you a little closer to project completion without overwhelm. FOr example: 12:15 Tuesday – “Close all social media applications and open google drive document labeled Blog.” This technique, outlined by the author SARK can be very effective in helping with big to-do items that turn into stubborn ‘don’ts.’
  • Maximize your focused time. There are times to work IN your business—times that warrant uninterrupted focus in a certain place, like meeting with partners, teaching a class, or working with a client. Other tasks require you to work ON your business–writing newsletters, creating graphics, communicating behind the scenes with your team for example—that are not necessarily deadline or location-dependent. These are tasks to that are possible to do remotely and even while another activity is going on. Make sure you use your uninterrupted, highly focused time on the right tasks and you’ll get more from your time.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no.  Enough said. Repeat. No apology needed.

Our 2017 time management goals

Rachael’s main time management goal for 2017: My main time management goal for 2017 is to grow my team even more so I can delegate even more tasks that can be done by someone other than me, to free up my time to work on tasks and projects that can ONLY be done by me.

Tisha’s main time management goal for 2017: I intend to let go of could-of-should-of-have-to schedule guilt so I can get more restorative sleep. There is only 24 hours in day and, as the saying goes, “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.” I will not indulge in any self-recriminating guilt; my To Do List does not get to weigh in on my self-worth. Nightly, I will cross off items completed, transfer uncompleted items to a new time slot a neutral ease which prepares me for a restorative sleep.

Jolene’s main time management goal for 2017: My goal is to build in more free-thinking, creative time so that I feel recharged and ready to create during my working hours. I think the addition of more planning and creating time will help inspire both my writing and longterm projects when I have time to work on them.

We want to hear from you:

What are your favorite time management strategies?

What time management goals do you have for yourself in the new year?