Time Management Strategies to Reclaim Your Day
If you feel like you’re constantly running but never getting anything done, you may have a problem with time management. Take some time now to figure out where your time is being wasted and where it’s being well-spent. If you find a lot of time being ill-spent, try out some of the time management strategies outlined below.
Assess Your Time Management Needs
You worked all day and still didn’t get what you need to do done. Why not? There are several things that could be preventing you from finishing your to-do list. Here are a few ways to figure out where your time is going and make sure you’re on track to get the most important things done.
How long are you really spending on social media, getting ready to make cold calls, checking emails, or doing any of the dozens of tasks you set yourself each day? Instead of guessing, pull out a stopwatch and track where your time is really going for a week or two. This will help you identify areas for time-management improvement so you can get the most from your work hours each day.
You know what you need to do. Take 10-15 minutes either at the end of the day or first thing in the morning to make a plan of action for your day.
What is the most important thing you have to get done? Make that your priority. If you need new business in your pipeline, your priority may be calling past clients to drum up some referrals and repeat business. If you have several new clients, your priority may be setting expectations with them or finding out what their must-haves and like-to-haves are in a home. Tackle these most important tasks first and follow-up on them throughout the day. Less important tasks can be done later in the day or as they fit around your prioritized tasks.
Make Time for All Your Tasks
What works for one person won’t always work for another, so take some time and experiment with a variety of time management strategies to find the strategy or combination of strategies that works best for you.
Time blocking is when you designate certain periods of time for specific tasks. Effective time blocking is easier after you’ve prioritized your tasks so you know what tasks warrant a time block. Start by adding any pre-set obligations or regular commitments to your calendar so you know when not to schedule your time block. Remember that you don’t have to block off your entire day; many people find it makes most sense to put their primary time block(s) earlier in the day and leave their afternoons open to deal with clients or issues that arise over the course of the day. It may initially be tough getting yourself, your clients, and the people you work with to adhere to your time blocks, but as they get accustomed to you being unavailable during these hours, you’ll minimize distractions and be able to accomplish much more.
Don’t waste time trying to figure out what you should be doing. Keep a running list of everything you need to get done and bask in the feeling of accomplishment that comes from crossing that item off an actual list. If you need or want different lists for projects with different priority levels, go for it! How you do your to-do lists is up to you. If you don’t know where to start, print off a blank weekly or monthly calendar and add all your current due dates and project deadlines. Then, back-track and add to-do milestones leading up to the final due dates to keep you on track.
Do you have a partner or team member who can take on some of your load? How about a family member who can help out with some non-work related items on your to-do list when your calendar gets particularly busy? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t currently have someone who can help lighten your load, consider hiring an assistant.
Looking for more ways to get on top of your to-do list? Homes.com’s team of lead concierges can answer incoming leads for you so that you can stay focused and on task. Learn how Homes.com Lead Concierge works here.