Life coaches and clients alike need to manage their time effectively. But as a life coach, it’s up to you to master and then teach these time management techniques to your clients to provide maximum value. If you don’t know where to start, read on. We’ll break down this topic in detail, including three distinct time management techniques you can use for your coaching clients.
Identifying Time Management Challenges
Before you get started learning time management strategies and techniques, you need to identify areas of improvement that relate to time management in your life. Specifically, you need to:
- Recognize any personal time-wasting habits you maintain
- Know how to assess your current time allocation (i.e., how you spend your time) and how you prioritize different tasks or focuses
Of course, this is important for your clients as well. That said, you’ll want to take into account that different cultures and individuals may have different time management preferences or strategies. As an example, a client from one culture may prioritize punctuality and very strict time management techniques. Another client may want a little time management help, but nothing so punctual that they feel like their personal life has suddenly become chained to a clock.
If your client is struggling with time management, have them outline areas where they can save time or use their time more wisely. Write down those elements so your client can return to them when they practice your time management techniques.
Setting Priorities and Goals
When it comes to time management strategies, it’s all about setting the right priorities and goals. As you work with your clients and teach them time management strategies, you should have them break down both short-term and long-term objectives.
For instance, a short-term objective might be, “Get to work on time every day for the next week.” A long-term objective might be, “Never be late to work for the next year.” Having goals of different time frames will keep your time management strategy valuable throughout the next series of sessions.
Next, it’s time to align those goals with values and available resources. As a life coach, you should know the time that your clients have to spare when they meet with you. Work with your clients to figure out what they can do to free up some extra time in their schedules, or use the information they provide you to come up with a time management practice plan that works within their limitations.
Time Management Techniques
There are three big time management techniques you can teach your clients to provide them with maximum value. You might also want to use these time management strategies for your own benefit!
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy that breaks your time into manageable chunks. In a nutshell, you work for 25 minutes at a time, then take five-minute breaks. After every three repetitions of that pattern, you take a longer 15 to 30-minute break.
This is a great time management strategy if you need to get a lot of work done or focus for an extended amount of time without burning out. Provide it to your clients who need help managing time in the workplace.
Time Blocking and Batching
Time blocking and batching means scheduling work into distinct periods or time frames where you do all the work of a specific type during a specific section of time during the week. For instance, if your clients are having trouble managing or juggling different work responsibilities, consider drawing up a time batching schedule that looks like this:
- Monday is for emails and administrator of work
- Tuesday is for team meetings
- Wednesday is for project management
- Thursday is for free-form work
- Friday is for wrapping up
- And so on
The Eisenhower Matrix
Or you can use the Eisenhower matrix. Also called the urgent-important matrix, it helps your clients prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. In this way, you can provide your clients with an actionable, drawable tool that enables them to successfully prioritize different work and get important things done quickly.
This can be a very useful time management strategy for clients who struggle with balancing many different tasks or who always forget what work needs to be done first. You can also use it to prioritize your clients or different work responsibilities, as well!
Balancing Work and Personal Life
While the above three techniques are highly valuable, it’s also important to teach your clients how to set boundaries and manage expectations. Simply put, your clients can’t expect to become time management masters right off the bat.
Instead, they should expect to spend a decent amount of time practicing these strategies before they see major results. It’s important not to throw oneself into a new time management regimen with abandon.
To that end, consider offering your clients self-care strategies and techniques, as well. For instance, you might teach your clients to manage their time by setting aside a little time each day for themselves to relax, practice their hobbies, etc. This is also a legitimate way to manage your time for a better overall life!
Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Strategies
As you seek to improve time management in yourself or in your clients, remember to continually monitor progress and adjust your strategies as necessary. Tracking your time usage is vital – after all, it’s the only way you’ll know if your time management strategies are working.
Work with your clients by reporting their time saved or adherence to the time management plan you put together for them. Then offer encouragement when they see positive results.
All in all, effective time management can have an outsized impact on your coaching success. More importantly, time management is one of the most important values and strategies you can teach to your clients, directly impacting the value of your business.