Using Your Time Efficiently
The old saying that time is money is literally true. What does that actually mean? Wasting time on tasks that provide very little return or are unimportant means fewer clients in the funnel – and fewer tasks that are completed.
When you are the schedule maker in your business it’s your responsibility to set priorities in terms of your work – and the priority should be those projects which have the biggest return on investment. Managing your time is the same as managing your money – it is pivotal to success. That is why every second counts.
Tips for the Schedule Maker
A Michael Scott meeting can be fun – but unfortunately, not all meetings will be like that. However, meetings are essential. Meetings with key partners (including, employees, co-workers, team members, and clients) need to be prioritized – even if they might seem mundane or boring. Take the time to make sure that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
Scheduled meetings that go according to plan – when everyone has a grasp of the schedule can be dealt with quickly and effectively. However, when one attendee does something like swap around schedules by mistake it can lead to chaos. A far better approach is to have that quick meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page – and that each person is up to date with project progress.
That meeting may take only a moment out of your day – but it avoids hours, days, and even weeks that might be required to correct any miscommunication. Being proactive and holding that short meeting can prevent numerous problems.
You can feel your heart drop when you check your inbox and are faced with hundreds of Emails, many of them requiring carefully thought out responses to clients or coworkers (of course many of them are going to be spam – but you still have to scan the contents). An Everest of Emails is soul-destroying – and may require a huge effort in order to return that inbox to a manageable size.
Be proactive and set aside some time each day to go through your mail. It’s a short-term approach that avoids a long-term problem. An email is an essential tool – and your Email must be handled correctly. Keeping up with your Email is essential. Don’t put off responding to the most important emails immediately. Develop your own system for managing Emails that may require more focus and attention.
Set aside 30 minutes or even an hour or two per day to check your Email. This can save you an immense amount of time in the long run. It’s very important that you manage your Emails correctly – email is an essential business tool and one of the most useful ways to communicate with others. Stay on top of your Emails by replying right away to the most important messages. Then create a system for managing emails that require more focus, time and attention.
Planning Tips for the Efficient Schedule Maker
There is always the urge to micro-manage your schedule to the point where every minute of every day is planned. However, free time is valuable. Not for a walk in the fresh air (although balance is important).
That free time allows you to catch up with tasks that may have slipped through the cracks. Scheduling every task to be completed in a single day or a week is, on the face of it a great idea. Sometimes it isn’t. No matter how hard we try it is near to impossible to develop the perfect schedule. Tasks sometimes run overtime – or you may need to go back to a document and perform revisions. An excellent schedule maker allows you to have some time buffers. So set aside a few hours a week to catch up – or plan ahead if that is not possible.
Routine is Important
Everyone has a daily routine. Get up, brush your teeth, make toast, and brew coffee. The sort of routine we are talking about is a little more advanced. A set routine allows for a detailed schedule to be built around it. With a proper schedule, surprises are kept to a minimum – tasks do not slip through the cracks – they’re planned for.
Even the unexpected can be catered for – just a few blank spaces will allow your schedule the flexibility it requires to increase your efficiency and productivity. This refers to the paragraph above – but it’s worthy of emphasis. Have a routine that allows you to check Email, make deliveries, visit clients and enjoy lunch – in short tasks that you know are essential. Develop a routine and stay with it.