Time Management

Lack of time is something we all suffer from and managing my time effectively is certainly something I have been very focussed on over these past few weeks as I have been organising the move to new venues / dates for Coffee and Connect at the same time as getting my Christmas editions of the magazine to print. So I thought I would share a few of my tips for bringing some order to that awful feeling of “too much to do and not enough time to do it all”.

1.    You need a system – it doesn’t matter what it is so much as you have a system that works for you and that you use it … all the time. 

2.    My system revolves around a hard backed A4 book. My first job of the week is to plan my week on one double page spread.

3.    As you will not be surprised to hear I use lists – but they have to be manageable. 

4.    I work with a list of actions that have to be completed that week and then also have a list for each day that only includes those tasks / meetings that have to be completed / attended that day. Each item should only go on one list i.e. daily or weekly.

5.   When writing your list spend a few moments thinking through your actions to make sure you record everything you need to do in relation to each task. This detail is important. If you plan properly at the beginning of the week then when you are busy you can just power through all the tasks, knowing that you have everything covered.

6.   Major projects. The most useful tip I can give you is that major projects should never go on your “to do” list! I am sure you know the sort of thing I mean… You start off with a sensible list of e.g. call customer x, networking meeting 10am, go to bank ….and end up with “write all copy for new website, revise my pricing structure, develop new product etc”. Totally undoable and extremely demotivating.

7.    Time to work on major projects should be planned into your calendar when you are building your marketing plan (see previous blog!) and for these type of projects you should block out half / full day sessions in your calendar well in advance.

8.    I have a separate box on my weekly plan where I note the major projects I have ongoing – this just helps to remind me to keep thinking about them in the background. I then have a separate section at the back of my book where I record my ideas / thoughts on these projects as they occur to me. Then when I have my allocated day working on a specific project I have lots of material to start with.

9.    Routine tasks – I have found that it is best not to fill up my to do list with routine tasks that have to be done regularly / repetitively. You need another way of reminding yourself about these. I use my CRM package and simply set reminders so, for example, I get an e-mail sent to my in-box when I need to write this e-mail. When I have completed the action I simply delete the reminder e-mail.

10.  Finally, no matter how busy you are with “urgent” stuff remember to allocate time to keep on top of the basics – filing (paper or electronic i.e. sorting out your in box), if you use a CRM package you will need to enter new contact     details, keep your accounts up to date etc. Everything runs so much more efficiently when you have the basics of your business under control.

This entry was posted in Networking Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.