By managing your time better, you can ensure that you have more time to spend adding value to current and prospective clients.
Here are 10 tips from Nikki Heald, managing director of Corptraining, which may assist you to increase efficiency and manage your day better:
1. Take time to plan your day either first thing in the morning or in the afternoon before you leave work. Create a to-do list or a system that you can refer to. Invest planning time to save working time.
2. Diarise and allocate specific times to attend to certain tasks. Be sure to set time limits and stick to it. Utilise your most productive time.
3. Consider the 4 D’s to time management:
Do it - only if it takes less than 2 minutes to complete
Delegate it - many low pay-off tasks can be delegated. Ensure the person you delegate to has the required competency or skills
Dump it - trivial or meaningless information/emails that are not required
Diarise - non-urgent tasks can be diarised to do in the future
4. Keep track of time spent on low pay-off and high pay-off activities. Try to keep a schedule for a week. Read about low pay-off and high pay-off activities here.
5. Batch or ‘chunk’ similar work such as processing or filing. This ensures you are in the headspace of doing repetitive work and promotes efficiency.
6. Avoid the urge to multi-task. Research has demonstrated that multi-tasking slows you down and increases the likelihood of error.
7. Allocate contingency or buffer time in between tasks. This will allow for unexpected interruptions and distractions.
8. Plan for periods of relaxation and try not to be a workaholic. Ensure you take your lunch break – resting improves focus and attention.
9. Don’t always be a ‘yes’ person. Saying ‘yes’ to others will certainly increase your popularity, however, it will impact negatively on your personal productivity. Learn to say ‘no’ nicely.
10. Finally, resist the urge to check your in-box constantly - some things can wait and don’t require your immediate attention.
Remember, good time management is about managing yourself. We all have the same amount of time, but what we do with it and how we use it will determine whether or not we are successful. Happy planning!