In this week's solo episode, I share 3 Tips To Maximise Your Time As An HSP.
These tips have served me very well over the years as well as many clients I have worked with both one-on-one and within The HSP Business School.
Along with these three tips, I also share how I approach my annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily planning. Plus I go even more granular and share my daily sacred choices ritual.
💝 Key Takeaways
📚 Resources Mentioned
Excerpt shared from the book Eat That Frog:
See yourself as a work in progress Dedicate yourself to developing the habits of high productivity by practicing them repeatedly until they become automatic and easy.One of the most powerful phrases you can learn and apply is, "Just for today!" Don't worry about charging yourself for your whole life. If it sounds like a good idea, do it "just for today."Say to yourself, "Just for today, I will plan, prepare, and start on my most difficult task before I do anything else." You'll be amazed at the difference this makes in your life.
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Ep#25 - 3 Tips To Maximise Your Time An HSP
Rose: Hi, it's Rose and welcome to a solo episode on the Sensitive CEO Show. And today, I'm going to talk all about how to maximise your time, along with some tips about how I do my annual planning. And the reason I'm recording this episode is that I know from experience that many of us highly sensitive entrepreneurs can get caught up in time-sucking activities as well as perfectionism.
So I want to share some of the things that have served me very well over the past several years, and I've shared many of these with my clients over the years, and it's really helped them as well. And I was going to share some tips around time management, but I'm recording this on the 1st of February. Although I usually do my annual planning in late December or early Jan at the latest this year, I've been struggling to do this.
And I only finalised my annual planning a couple of weeks ago, and I know it's not just me that's been. Like this, there's something to do with the energies, the moon, whatever. But if you are like me, this might be a good time for you. You might be ready to do your planning now.
So let's get into it. So, tip number one for maximising your time is turning off all notifications on your mobile devices and desktops. And that might sound a bit drastic, but please bear with me; constant notifications can make our brains jump into to-do mode whenever they hear the notification or see a banner or even see that red dot on their phone or iPad.
And once we get distracted, we're expending unnecessary energy to get back to the task that we're doing rather than keeping that energy within us and focused. So, turning off notifications is the first step to keep your energy contained, and if you can't or won't turn them off permanently, then at least assign blocks of time throughout the day that you do and give yourself the gift of the focused attention on you and not jumping to everyone else's needs.
You know, I'm sure you've experienced a time or more than once, that you are in the middle of something and a Facebook or an Instagram notification pops up, and you go there down the rabbit hole, and before you know it, an hour has gone by, and that takes more energy and brain power to switch. Or you just give up, which is so easy to do; you get back to the task and forget where you left off.
So you end up giving up, never actually completing it, or you put it on your list for the following day. So that's tip number one is to turn off your notifications.
Now, tip number two is to only to check your email on social media two or three times a day, and not before you've done your most important thing first.
And this could take some training, especially if you are used to constantly having email open or Facebook or Instagram open all the time. But I challenge you to try this for at least one day so you can see the impact that it makes as to how much more you can get done. And if you’ve got no notifications, you won't need to check, right?
So this is a bit like training a muscle, though, and you will get used to it over time. So now I want to share a quote. I've got a very dog-eared book by Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog, which, if you are into time management, you've probably read it, and not, I recommend it.
But I just wanted to read a little passage here. Eat that frog. See yourself as a work in progress. Dedicate yourself to developing habits of high productivity by practising them repeatedly until they become automatic and easy. What are the most powerful phrases you can learn and apply is “just for today”?
Don't worry about changing yourself for your whole life. If it sounds like a good idea, do it just for today. Say to yourself just for today, I will plan, prepare, and start on my most challenging task before I do anything else. You'll be amazed at the difference this makes in your life.
Okay, so tip number three is to take regular breaks.
And an analogy that I love to share for this one is if you are driving a car and you get low on petrol, you have to fill it up before it can keep going. You can't keep putting your foot on the accelerator, expecting it to keep driving. So, in the same way, you must fill up your tank. This comes from taking regular breaks throughout each day, each week, each month, and each year.
And daily breaks could be, you know, as short as five or 10 minutes just stepping away from your desk, doing some deep breathing, maybe some yoga stretches, if you can get outside in nature, sitting in the sun if it's sunny where you live—or standing barefoot on the grass, just getting away and getting out of your office or wherever you do much of your work.
Now maximising your time covers so much more aside from these three tips. So I wanted to briefly share with you a great system I've used for many years, and I've found this to be super helpful to keep me on track of things that I want to achieve, both in my personal and business life. And this is all about the annual planning.
So it all starts with my long-term vision and inner purpose in each area of my life. So this is my starting point before I do the annual planning. And I go into great depth about how to get super clear on your vision and purpose within the HSP Business School, and I've got some beautiful exercises to help with the clarity around this.
And I'm sure many of you who are listening already have a vision, but if you still need to, I recommend a good starting point: Cameron Herald's book Vivid Vision. Or, if you want to dive deeper, check out a Lifebook program. And this is put on by Mindvalley. So if you go to mindvalley.com, you can also find it at lifebook.com, but I'll pop those resources in the links below in the show notes.
And. I've taken part in both of these, and I've put them into the module in the HSP Business School called the Foresight Formula, and I've developed this system within this module that I share with my clients.
So using this vision that you have created, or if you still need to, I encourage you to use either of those resources.
Using this vision, what I do is I look at the year ahead, and you know, it doesn't matter when you start. As I mentioned, I usually do this at the end of December or early January because it's always quite nice to start the new year fresh. But as you know, I needed to catch up on getting started this year.
But also, if you are listening to this episode in the middle of the year, Whenever you start it is fine. You plan 12 months ahead, no matter where you are in the year. So with this vision in mind, I ask myself, what will I accomplish in the next 12 months? What is going to move me closer towards my vision?
So I write down five to six goals using the SMART goal framework. So I'll run through that if you need to become more familiar with that. So, S is for specific, M is for measurable, A is for achievable, R is for realistic, and T is for time-bound. So you want to have time on it.
So then, with these goals, I look at the year, and as I shared in tip three, I've hopefully already added in all of my holidays for the year. And this includes if I'm having a month off if I've got long weekends planned, other significant events, or even birthdays. So if I want to be working on something other than a, you know, a particular day, then I make sure all of these are blocked out in the calendar.
And the calendar is set to busy, so I don't get an unexpected appointment booked in. So with these five to six annual goals, I then break these down into quarterly goals, and then each quarter, I look at the annual goals and ask, what are the highest leverage points for the next 90 days?
What five to six things will I commit to accomplishing in the next three months? And then, I take it even further. Each month I look at the quarterly goals, and I ask the same thing, what five to six things will I commit to accomplishing over the next 30 or 31 days? And then each week, you guessed it, I break it down even further each week, and I like to plan my week on a Sunday.
And I do this by looking at my monthly goals and what I will commit to. And I usually choose five to six goals for that week. And. As you can see, these all come from the main vision and the annual goals, so you're breaking it down even further. So, for example, one of your goals might be a big, big stretch goal, which you are not necessarily going to accomplish in 12 months, so you need to break that down into bite-size pieces so that you know that you can achieve them in either a quarter or a month or a week.
And then, each day, I plan the night before by looking at the weekly goals, and then I get my top three priorities or tasks that I will focus on that day.
And this, that, that's the system. It's just a way of keeping everything at the forefront of the mind. So you’ve got all your goals, you know where you're going and where you're headed, and the system also includes regular reviews.
So I'll do an annual review, and I'll also update my vision every year. But then, each quarter, I'll do a quarterly review and then a monthly review, and I'll also do a weekly review. The reviews are really important because some things on your goals list might be irrelevant and need to be updated.
So it's important that you're not working on things that you don't need to be working on. And I get even granular, even more, OK with the top daily or weekly goals. I have this other little framework called Sacred Choices, a daily habit tracker system. And I got this from the Lifebook program, Lifebook Mastery.
And I have a list of daily things I tick off daily. And again, this is a framework that, you know, has worked for me for years and years. I'm not; I’m not saying that I'm a hundred per cent always ticking everything off. Not. If I can tick off 80 to 90% of the daily sacred choices, then it's much better than ticking off 10% or not even having anything.
So it's a great way to clarify where you're going.
So as a recap, Tip number one is to turn off all notifications. Tip number two was only to check your email on social media two or three times a day and not before you've done your most important thing first. And then tip number three is to take regular breaks.
And then the annual planning is something that I wanted to share. It might not sit with you at all. It may be too much for you, which is fine. I wanted to share it because it's been helpful for many clients I've worked with. Now, I have a final tip. I was thinking about this just earlier.
I have, it's a personal thing, but it's also. It can be taken into the business. It's something called kitchen sadhana it's S A D H A N A. And this is from some Ayurveda teachings I did quite a while ago. And basically what, what this is every, I'll explain how I do it. So it's preparing your meals in advance.
So on a Sunday, I set aside, which usually takes about two hours. I make a large pot of Dahl and a big batch of rice, brown rice, and the rice cooker. And on a Sunday, my husband goes to the farmer's markets and picks up our fresh fruit and vegetables for the week. And so while the Dahl is cooking, I prepare all the vegetables.
I have everything ready for the week. I plan my meals each week. I know exactly what meals we're having, so this is a personal thing. It's something I do in my personal life, but I liken it to business because it's how I do my tasks. So, a very excellent book that I love and recommend is called Free Time by Jenny Blake, and she shares this little—saying called baking in batches.
And this has got the kitchen theme as well. And this is, is by grouping similar tasks so you can make more progress in any given work session. So how do I make it work on a Monday? For example, I do all of my social media post writing on a Monday, and that's all focused in the morning, so I set aside that time.
I have yet to receive an email. I still need to check my email. I have nothing open and no social media available. So this is purely writing the content and sourcing images, but it may be writing the content, and then I have another day that I only record podcasts, so I only record podcasts on one day and not every day of the week.
I just, yeah. I’m sharing this because I have specific days for specific tasks and bake in batches, as Jenny Blake would like to say.
So that's it for this episode. I hope that you picked up some valuable tips here. There was quite a bit. I feel like I've brain-dumped everything onto you about how I do my time management. Still, as I said, I hope you found it helpful, and if you want to share any methods you use or if you've got any questions about the techniques I use, please feel free to send me a DM in the socials or send me a message through my website. All the links will be in the show notes, and thank you for tuning into another episode. Bye for now.