Time Management Tips

Hello again everyone! It has been a couple of weeks (or more) that I have made any attempt at blogging. It’s not my fault. TIME is completely to blame. It either moves very, very fast – for example, my daughter has already turned 5 years old! – or it moves very, very slow – like when I’m working on my taxes. I have struggled with time management my entire life. TIME is the thorn in my side. I am very good at spending TIME researching, meeting with clients and going to networking events to promote my business. I have learned these past couple of weeks that I am not as good at scheduling TIME for actual production. Blocking out TIME to work on my website and blog has been on my to-do list everyday these last few weeks – today is the day that I get some of it done.

I find it completely reasonable – as I can’t be the only one struggling with it - to post some tips for time management. I’ve read some really great articles (here is one) and have enlisted the help of my friend Christy Tryhus – a certified life coach for some professional tips.

Here is what I TRY to do:

  1. Plan my day. Spend time at the end of each day planning the next. Some of my friends make fun of me but I still have a paper (yes, paper) calendar that I schedule my appointments in. It has the work day broken up into 15 minute increments and I use it to block out appointments either with prospects, clients or myself. I find it difficult to KEEP the appointments with myself, believe it or not, but I’m learning that those might be the most important.
  2. Prioritize what is IMPORTANT vs. what is URGENT. It is usually the important items that you need to be concentrating on (production, developing your own business plan or finding time for continuing education about your field etc.) rather than urgent items such as responding immediately to e-mails and phone calls. Obviously if you are involved in a business that requires an immediate response you need to be available 24/7 otherwise it is okay to wait a few hours to respond to an inquiry.
  3. Work on your least favorite activity FIRST. It is usually the last item on your actual to-do list and is easy to postpone. Getting it done and out of the way first will clear your mind of that nagging “ugh, I still need to do that” feeling and have you looking forward to working on other items.
  4. We have all heard about the ‘Power of Positive Thinking’ and need to make note of all of the items we DID accomplish in our day, instead of all the negative thoughts on what DIDN’T get done. I got this advice many times when I became a new mom and again when I started my business – I guess Brand Yourself IS my baby right now. Looking back on the last couple of weeks, I did do a lot for my business. I gave an hour-long presentation on Facebook for Business at the Northfield Enterprise Center – we had a great turn out with 25 attendees! I have signed on 2 new clients and prepared, delivered and scheduled their Social Media Content Calendars – as well as prepared 2 for existing clients. I have educated countless business owners about my business and have handed out more than 500 business cards (I only know this because I ran out and had to order more). So, I do feel somewhat accomplished with all that I WAS capable of doing these past few weeks.
  5. Learn how to say NO. Make sure that what you are spending your time on is consistent with what will produce profit for you and your business. I have a REALLY hard time with this one!
  6. Make an effort to take small but consistent steps forward. Work on a little each day and you WILL see results. I think it feels really good to cross out items on my to-do list. Sometimes I will write something down just so I can cross it off!
  7. A last piece of advice coming from the Social Media Strategist - Stay off Facebook unless you need it for business. I can spend HOURS/day on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms and even though I’m on there for business purposes, I will admit that I get distracted with personal items while I’m online! This can definitely take away from my productivity.

With all of this being said, I now need to WORK on some other IMPORTANT items on my to-do list and I’m already late to another appointment with myself.

If you find that you don’t have enough TIME to dedicate to your Social Media Marketing Plan – Brand Yourself Consulting can provide you with a successful strategy. Please feel free to contact me at (507) 351-9000 for more information.