This is a guest blog post from one of my LinkedIn friends, Marcus Cage. I thought it was full of great information that we all can learn from--especially considering time management is an issue we all deal with!
In the past few weeks, I have been dialoging with and observing several of my closest clients, colleagues and family and I have come to this conclusion. We ALL have TME MANAGEMENT issues!!! Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, CEO or stay at-home mom, time management is an obstacle and a stumbling block for many. In order for us to reach our goals, we must indentify and accept our shortcomings, so I have taken the liberty upon myself to address some issues that we ALL can relate to in some form or fashion.
1.Email- This is probably one of the most common and most unidentified circumstances for many. How much time do we spend responding, reading and sorting through emails? Too much!!! Mishandled, email can be a distraction and an interruption. One remedy to resolve this dilemma is to create three folders in which you can place your messages into. Personally, I have an Action Folder, which is designated for those emails that require an instant reply. I also have a Read/Review Folder, which is designated for messages that are more involved. Industry publications, contracts, and other research material are distributed to this folder. Lastly, I have my Pending folder, which is used for replies that I have sent to other parties or replies from other parties that I must response to. EVERYTHING ELSE GETS ERASED!!!! Check your emails two to three times a day, anything else can be classified as “Overkill.”
2.Phone calls – Also a distraction and interruption when mishandled. Our lives are dependent on communication and phone calls play a pivotal role. However, phone calls must be “Controlled.” My advice is to “Block” out specific times of the day to make and receive phone calls. The times may vary depending on the size of the project and time constraints, but demonstrating this strategy gives you “ Structure.” Emergency phones that have to be taken are at your discretion.
3.Grouping similar task s- This may sound simplistic, but how many of us are exercising this technique. The goal is to do everything ONCE. When you “Bundle” similar tasks together, you free up hours which results in increased productivity. Try taking all your items that need to be faxed in one trip or returning phone calls in one “Block” of time. Also, set aside SPECIFIC days for SPECIFIC business activities. For me, Thursdays is usually when I read research and study new concepts and topics. Hopefully, these tools can be of some help to the biggest executive or aspiring business owner. I am free and available to take any questions or entertain any opportunities or comments that you may have.