How to be More Effective with Time Management and Schedules
Have you ever set out to make up a schedule and use your time more effectively then to find yourself stuck in the same old rut after a week or a month? If so, you’re not alone. In my business as a virtual assistant, this is one of the most common complaints from my clients; they can’t seem to manage their time and schedules so as to gain the most benefit from their businesses. Here are some tips and suggestions you can try to help you be more effective with your time management and schedules.
When I say be specific, I mean be specific. Be specific on your calendar for example. When you’re creating your plan for the following month, you may block out 3 hours on your calendar every weekday afternoon for client work, but don’t just leave it like that. As soon as some client work comes in, be sure to actually fill in the blocked out time with the actual project. This will help you determine where you can fit in other client projects.
Be specific with your time away from work as well. You know the times you have to drop the kids off at school or pick them up. You know your husband likes to come home to a nice warm dinner, so put these things on your calendar. Schedule them in just as you do your client work and be specific so you know exactly what you’re doing and when.
As with budgeting or dieting to be successful, time management also requires discipline. You can’t expect to be successful with time management if you follow every little whim that comes up. And believe me! There will be whims. For instance, say you’ve scheduled in 3 hours to work on a client’s project that isn’t due until the following week. Your best friend calls and wants you to go shopping with her but you still have another hour blocked off to work on the project. Do you:
A. Decide you can work on the client project later, after all your best friend needs you to help her pick out a new dress.
B. Politely tell her you can go shopping in one hour after your work is done
C. Ignore your friend’s phone call until after your allotted time for working on your client’s project?
While I hope most of you answered B, sometimes you may have to resort to C. Now I’m not suggesting that you NEVER make exceptions, but sometimes it’s necessary to buckle down and discipline yourself. If you were working out in the corporate world or for someone else, you wouldn’t be able to get up and run at every shopping opportunity that comes along. When you’re working from home, you need to practice, at least somewhat, the same disciplines so that you are running your business, and your time, most effectively.
Being the most effective at time management and schedules isn’t always easy. It takes determination and effort, so don’t give up. Keep trying until you figure out a system that works for you.
Tishia Lee is a single work at home mom. She’s been running her Virtual Assistant business, Tishia Saves Time, since January 2006. Tishia’s mission is to help small business owners save time and make more money by taking energy draining and time consuming tasks like email management, article submission, etc off their plates. You can find out more about Tishia by visiting http://tishiasavestime.com
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