Time management tends to be one of those areas where there’s room for improvement or mastery for pretty much all of us. Not only do we all have countless (and ever-changing) demands on our time, but when we also need time to work directly with clients, there is an added layer of complexity when we need to switch gears energetically for different business tasks.
I have found that many people don’t know how to evaluate how well their system is working for them. One way to know if your time management system is working is if you’re working the hours you’d like to work and producing your desired results within your desired time frame.
Another question to ask yourself, are you getting quality time outside the office to help you feel rejuvenated when you get back to work? If the answer is no, I would recommend looking at your current time management system and seeing what needs to shift to support healthy balance.
One strategy for time management that I highly recommend to support balance is time blocking. Time blocking is about clarifying which tasks need to be handled and how to most efficiently schedule time to complete those tasks. For example, you might want 3 of your 5 days to be used to solely focus on client meetings and client-related tasks. You may want to use 1 of the 5 days for business-related tasks such as networking with professional referral sources or having a small client event focused around a VIP client introducing you to their colleagues.
Time management and time blocking isn’t just about working more efficiently in your business, but also cultivating balance with your personal life. Everything is related, from taking care of yourself, your business, honoring commitments, being able to handle everything coming in, and delegating appropriately. When we’re blocking time effectively, we are able to get out of the office and enjoy friends, family, and hobbies.
My top tips for time management:
- Time blocking certain days for specific activities.
- Working with clients is often quite a departure from working on your other tasks or projects related to your business at large. It can be hard to switch gears for each task you need to handle, so organizing similar commitments together can be helpful. Rather than treating every day as the same and scheduling whatever comes up, it can be more efficient to have certain days that are just for clients, and block other entire days for other areas like business development, marketing, following up with professional referral sources, etc.
- Train your team to honor your time blocking method.
- It’s critical that your team be trained to honor your time blocking method and can make or break the success of your time management system. For example, if you only work with clients on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, it is important that your team does not schedule appointments on, say, Monday or Friday. In doing so, that would initiate the breakdown in your system. Plus, your clients begin to have expectations that they can manage your schedule.
- Always allow for extra time.
- Have you ever had a day where you were booked back to back, and then one meeting went late, and your entire day headed toward chaos? Building cushion into your time blocking system is important because as I’m sure you have experienced, it isn’t unusual for things to come up or take longer than we expect.
No matter what state your current time management system is in, I can help you improve it. One client in particular went from working 7 days a week to taking weekends off, vacation time, and even found time to date! Time blocking can be a huge help for balance, not just for your business but also for your personal life. If you would like help improving your time management system and business overall, I would love to speak with you.