A large proportion of business management revolves around a diary. Whether that be electronic or paper, it’s what holds the possibility of meetings, telephone calls, reminders, appointments….
But are you missing a trick by only using your diary for the actual things that you do which are outward facing. By that I mean, physically meeting someone, being on the telephone call or a Skype with a client or potential client, attending an appointment. What about the things that are just as important a ‘thing to do’ that you say you never have time for? Do they make it into your diary as a ‘must do’?
It’s all too easy to see blank time slots in a diary and fill them with with what you perceive as important. They may well be. And then in the next minute look at your to-do list, or remember the ideas you want to bring to life for your own business and feel frustrated when you look back at your diary and wonder how you’re ever going to get it all done.
If that’s you, then it’s time you started thinking about your diary differently. And treating everything you want to do with the importance you would give a client meeting.
We’ve all planned to do something that we’ve never quite made it to doing. Either something more important has come up (either legitimately or that we have convinced ourselves is!) and everything begins to slip. Time seems to go. This is where it helps to set the boundaries and put in your diary your non-negotiables. That could be doing some exercise, to blogging, to meeting a friend for coffee. Whatever is important to you, is what you class as your non-negotiables. Stick to it.
Using blocks of time to manage what you need to do is a great way to actually make sure you get things done. Want to write every Wednesday afternoon? Then block that time out in your diary as writing time. Work for clients at specific times each week, put that in too. And why not make that a recurring appointment so it’s automatically there when you’ve planned it. Reminding you that the time is taken.
There will be times when you’re busy with client work and that has taken priority, and I am not here to say that shouldn’t. Of course that’s vital. But try and weave in balance where you can, you’ll be surprised what you can do if you just think about the way you use your time a little differently.
Don’t feel guilty!
So, you’ve blocked time, you’ve put all the things you want to do, for your business and for you, in your diary. You’ve scanned over the next couple of weeks and you’re now worried that you haven’t got time to do anything. Before you start deleting things and compromising – STOP! All the things that are now taking up the time slots in your diary are the things you thought only last week you would never get chance to do and were feeling fed-up about.
It sounds like a simple thing, too simple perhaps for it to be worth the bother to put these other things in your diary. Try it. It works. I put pretty much everything in my diary. Whether it’s client related or not and since I have started to do this my productivity has definitely increased. I also feel a bigger sense of satisfaction, I’m not only meeting my client’s needs, but also the demands of my own business and what I need and want to do for that too.
So, give it a try and let me know how you get on. And if you’ve already got a sure-fire way to manage your time then share it with us by leaving a comment.