Don’t be held hostage by time – you need to be in control.
Consultants are people who are paid to impart their knowledge, expertise and experiences to help organizations and individuals achieve their growth objectives. Numerous organizations hire consultants in addition to their full-time employees, mainly to gain a new perspective of the situation. As with other service based industries, consultants have to make the most effective use of their time in order to maintain profitability while still managing a balanced personal life. As a consultant or coach, here are 5 tips for time management you can use:
Filter Your Inbox
For consultants, it is natural to receive scores of emails every day. Almost everybody wants an instantaneous reply to their messages. Every morning, when you first open your email, delete the obvious junk messages that are utterly unimportant. Additionally, prioritize your emails by tagging which ones are important and which ones are not. This will help you save time when you are answering emails.
Allot Time Accordingly
First things first, allot a certain time of the day when you do not reply to emails and respond to work calls. This will prevent you from wasting work hours in answering unconstructive calls and emails. Allot an important task you need to complete every day, such as finishing an article or drafting contracts. Additionally, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when you absolutely do not want to be disturbed.
Use Innovative Tools
There are dozens of free tools and plug-ins available on the internet, such as Evernote, Trello or OneNote, to improve note-taking and share important files and folders respectively. These tools will aid you in connecting and communicating with your clients while getting more work done efficiently.
Block Out Distractions
Social media is a great way to stay up to date with friends, family and business connections. But, there is nothing worse than wasting your time browsing through your Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds. Believe me… it can become an addictive trap. Block out all these distractions unless you use these platforms to generate business. Treat your social media engagement as you would a meeting… schedule it. This way you can make the most of your time being productive with social media for business instead of just aimlessly surfing.
Before starting work for a new day, plan ahead all your tasks in advance. Proper time management is not possible without lists. You cannot list down all these tasks inside your head, so it’s best that you list them down. For me, the best approach in productivity is to “Bookend” my days. On Sunday after church and family brunch, I review the upcoming week’s schedule. I arrange my entire week based on what are the most important items that I need to focus on to move my company closer to my goals,. Then I outline client projects, important meetings & tasks. During my morning time ritual, I review my calendar for the day so I have a fresh focus on what is important and the 1 thing that is critical to get accomplished. At the end of each day, I review what I have accomplished, adjust my calendar and task list based on updated information and set up my next day. This process keeps you focused on moving your business forward effectively and efficiently.
Hopefully, the abovementioned tips will save and help you utilize your time more constructively.