When I was a kid, it seemed like I never had enough time to get my chores and homework done when I needed to. No matter how many hours were in the day, I always seemed to end up with only an hour or two to get my homework done.
That wasn’t the case when hunting season came around. I knew that my dad wouldn’t take me hunting if I didn’t have my homework done, so I mapped out a schedule to get everything done with plenty of time to spare.
Today, I’ve learned that time management is the only real way to achieve the results I want to for my business. That’s not to say that they don’t face daily challenges, but by and large the techniques I have honed help my clients achieve their goals and accomplish more than they thought possible.
I wanted to write this post today to save you time and money trying to figure out the right ‘technique’ for your time management. Below I’ve put together 5 fail-proof techniques that you can use in your personal and professional life.
Technique #1: Utilize Lists!
There is not a single time management technique on the planet that doesn’t require list making. Why? Because they work! Your schedule is far too diverse to simply carry everything in your head.
For me, I utilize four basic lists to keep everything together:
Use lists like these to get things done.
Technique #2: Use Tickler (Reminder) Files.
My simplistic filing technique goes like this:
90 Basic Files, red, white and blue all numbered 1-30
If I run into a client and say I’ll follow up with them on the 10th of next month I place that note in a file marked for the 10th of next month. When that time rolls around I’ll pull out that day’s folder and am reminded to contact the client. It’s simple and tangible. This system can be easily implemented digitally as well.
Technique #3: Reduce Meetings.
Very little is actually accomplished in meetings. I personally don’t like them. If you have to lead meetings, you should have a strategy to simplify them. If the meeting doesn't have an agenda, avoid it. If you attend meetings, you should have a strategy for escaping them whenever possible.
Technique #4: Block out your time.
Instead of only blocking out time for appointments, consider pre-allocating your time for all tasks. For example, I clump most of my necessary phone appointments during a month into just one or two days and book my Phone Days for each month well in advance. I do the same for coaching meetings, writing monthly newsletters and for working on my book. When you block out your time you prevent unnecessary demands being placed on your schedule.
Technique #5: Profit from your “down” time.
Everything we do is portable. Use your downtime to learn new skillsets and absorb new information. Knowledge is power. Making the most of your time is the key to success. Don’t use your downtime for unproductive activities. If you're not prepared, don't try to cram in returning phone calls, texts, or emails. You won’t be at your best and you’ll lack the charm to win over your clients. It is also a bad precedent to set with your clients, and it steals away your own personal time.
By disciplining your schedule, you can get the competitive edge to advance your business.
What are some ways you can implement these techniques into your schedule?