Hi all. Rob Cairns here. I am the CEO and Chief Creator of Amazing Ideas at StunningDigitalMarketing.com . Today I want to talk about time management. I am anal about it and a time management junkie.
Before I get into the System I use I want to talk about a great book which I suggest you read and re-read again and again. That is Getting Things Done by David Allen. GTD is the best book I have ever read on the subject of time management.
The first thing I want to start with is that most of my current system is electronic-based. I have worked this way since the Palm Pilot 3 came out – remember that one. PDA’s were out long before we had a smartphone. They were used to manage my schedule and contacts.
Today I use my SmartPhone and tablets. Yes, I have two tablets. They are my life and it works for me. Now you might say I want to use paper to manage my business or life. Go ahead. Do not let not wanting using technology to impact your ability to use time management strategies. The original GTD book is based on a paper system.
The first thing I do is the night before a business day I look at my schedule. I adjust it and fill it some of the nonscheduled time. To management my schedule I use Google Calendar as it is tied to my email account. My corporate email is managed and hosted using Google’s Gsuite.
The reason I do this the night before a day is to get my mindset on the next business day. I also allow clients and prospective clients to book directly into my calendar using Appointlet. This is an appointment booking system that syncs directly with my google calendar. This is a time saver as there is no going back and forth to book time. It also means clients are less likely to miss an appointment that they booked themselves. There is a link to the booking system on my website as well as in my email signature.
Now let us talk about how I organize my day. The biggest problem is I have things to do in the following systems:
- My CRM (Hubspot) – I have reminders to followup with clients.
- Clickup – This the project management system my agency users to manage all outstanding tasks. I even create a private project for personal tasks
- My Google Calendar – This has all the scheduled events that I have including meetings, webinars to attend and more.
I work on what is called a calendar-based system. This means that everything I have to do on a given day must be scheduled on my calendar. If it is not in the calendar it will not get done. It is really that simple.
The other key to this system is to only have one calendar for business and personal uses. This way you do not overlap events and you do not miss personal events and vice versa for business events.
The third key to this system is I require 24 hours notice for any clients or prospective clients to book into my calendar. Emergencies can always be handled with a direct phone call.
The night before a day I take the remaining time free in my calendar and I schedule out why I have to do. I even include time in my day for breaks, lunch and taking my puppies out. If I have something personal to do, I even schedule this in my calendar. I have become very good at figuring out how much time tasks take and scheduling them. This comes from experience.
I would also suggest you remember to book travel time for an appointment and some slack time between appointments.
Now I also colour code all my tasks. Things that are booked directly into my calendar I keep in red and webinars I have to watch go in yellow and personal events go in blue and so on. This helps at a glance tell me what type of appointments I have booked in a day.
I very often print my schedule and put in on my desk for the day. This often helps keep me on track.
Now the question becomes if you are in an appointment that is running long. I usually will remind people with 15 minutes left that time is coming to an end and that we need to start to wrap up. If they need more time we can book a second appointment.
Now if I have a cancellation I will fill that time and schedule it in.
Now how do you figure out what tasks or groups of tasks take certain amounts of time when you are scheduling your day out. First off this only comes with experience. This will take time to figure out. The second is to use an app to track your time.
The app I like to figure out time is Clockify. It allows you to track time for tasks and groups of tasks. You can even export reports to help manage your time and figure out where you are spending it. Clockify even has a Google Chrome Extension to make it easier to time your events.
The other things I strongly suggest you do are the following:
- Schedule high energy tasks first thing in the morning.
- Make sure you book your breaks into your schedule.
- Make sure you build travel time and slack time into your schedule.
- Optimize your schedule as you go.
- Track the time that you spend on certain tasks and review this time on a regular basis.
Try these things and your time management will get much better. You will be glad you did.
Have an amazing day all and love you all.
Thank you for listening to the SDM Business, Marketing and WordPress Podcast. This show is hosted by Robert Cairns, the CEO and Chief Creator of Amazing Ideas at StunningDigitalMarketing.com
This podcast comes out every week. It is available on all podcast platforms.
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This podcast is dedicated to Robert’s late father, Bruce Cairns.
Have an amazing week. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Make your business succeed.