Where do you start when it comes to time management? You may just feel as if you’re being pulled in so many different directions on any given day. Sometimes I don’t know about you but it can feel difficult trying to identify ways in which you can remedy the situation.
Certainly, if you arrive at the end of a work week feeling frazzled and as if you’ve been put through the ringer then you have to know deep down inside that you have not been as productive as you possibly could have been. What needs to change……..
Experts who devote their time to the study of time management advise several courses of action.
Conduct a Time / Motion Study
Firstly, in the short term try to make the matter worse by carrying around a schedule, so that you can record everything that goes on in a given day. Yes of course this will make things seem even more challenging as you now have to devote a little bit of time to writing all this down. However, it will be time well spent and an investment in your future. Record all of the activities exactly as they take place including whatever thoughts are running through your mind. You will be able to identify patterns and to help yourself understand exactly what does get done and what precious time is being dribbled way.
Bonus Tip: This can be a useful exercise in helping you to determine things to outsource to someone else.
Secondly, if you can manage to do this for the course of the week then it may well be an even better investment to devote your Sunday to sorting it all out. Analyse everything and allocate a score based on a scale from 10 to 1 and based on the importance or otherwise of the task or disruption. Be ruthless here and even though there’s a temptation to think that we are all naturally productive, if the schedule shows that you have not been then you should call it as it is.
Remember however to treat any time that has been spent engaged in potentially lucrative, business building activities as a priority. Time spent engaged in activities, conversations or thoughts that can potentially produce the best results must be higher on the scale when it comes to your analysis.
There will always be interruptions. It’s very difficult to eliminate this entirely from your work as none of us live entirely in a bubble, no matter what we try to do. It’s best to build in a certain amount of this “interruption time” to your schedule for the future, so that you don’t get disillusioned or experience frustration when you find those interruptions creeping into your new business life.
For many business owners and in particular virtual assistants, it is indeed eye-opening to see just how often they drop everything to turn to a phone that’s ringing or an e-mail that just pops up in front of them on the screen. You should get used to not answering the phone each and every time it rings and should get used to turning your e-mail programme off, so that you can control the time of day when you check for messages and not be constantly jumping here and there.
Amanda (the Director of Your Executive Secretary) admits to being guilty of being a slave to the ring and a slave to the ping. So recently she took her own advice and now uses the services the call handling service we offer to ensure she remains productive for her clients. If you would like to know more about our pay as you go, affordable call handling service, then drop Amanda an email on [email protected]