Secrets of Time Management & An Invitation

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This week's IFB post came from a reader Q about how I manage my time. A fabulous ask! One I chat about often with friends. In my IFB column I try to give practical, but not too personal, advice. So checkout that post first for my three "secrets", then read on below for some more honest insights.

First, a confession: I beat myself up for time management All.The.Time. A few years ago I started observing Lent {the tradition of giving something up for the 40 days before Easter} with friends. After the third year I realized that all I ever felt the need to give up were things that impede my productivity: Facebook & the snooze button. Yup. Serious productivity guilt going on over here!

And  there are two truths. Either: I look really productive to other people but deep inside I'm a slothful laze-about who's just pulling the wool over on everyone. Or: I'm massively productive & a mad Shakespearean woman who thinks 100% isn't good enough. Either way, I feel crazy! And I'm still not sure which the answer is! How do you know if you have more of a craving for chocolate or issue with jealousy that the next person? We can't see internal things to rank ourselves. But I do know this: Every single entrepreneur & blogger I've met feels they're not doing enough.

So at least I'm not alone, eh?

Back to those 3 "secrets" I've uncovered for myself:

1. When I said to say "no", what that looks like for me a lot of the time is saying "no" to perfectionism. I am becoming awesome at accepting a solid 80% from myself. Which sounds like I'm slacking. But in reality my 80% is most people's 95%. And that last 5%? No one but me knows the difference. They don't know I had one more post, present or partnership planned. I'm the only one who knows that I had to let that go. And the hour it takes to get to that last meticulous 5%? That hour gets me to 60% on the next task. So much more productive.

2. "Accountability" scares me. I was on a "Dean Street Retreat" this week for my birthday plotting out what my vision is for 2013. I easily came up with a weekly blogging schedule. But I'm afraid to put it out there. What if I get too busy & can't keep up with it? Then more people than just I will know that I've failed. But those deadlines I mentioned really have been instrumental in helping me stay on track the last few months. So I think the key is having just enough commitments/signpost/accountabilities, but not too many. After all, when I got the chance to take a trip to France & Italy last week, I wasn't going to let a few blog posts stand in my way.

3. I sat in a tea room & wrote pages & pages of all the various aspects that make up Dean Street Society & I am serious about "delegating" & inviting more people to this business party. I won't elaborate on all elements of the team here {10 people is my dream team!} but if you could be interested in interning {I pay in blog ads, social media love, business advice & cute things from Paper Source!} I would love to hear from you at Hilary@DeanStreetSociety.com. Tell me what your skills are & why you'd be excited to be introduced to the Dean Street Society audience & learn how to build a business.

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P.S. What are your secrets to time management? What helps you to be more productive & feel less guilty? Would saying no, accountability and/or delegating help you?

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