I am experiencing one of my strongest business growth trends this year and as a result I have become a master of time management in order to be productive.
Here are my top tips to get more out of your day:
1. Turn off email notifications. These are those messages that float across the bottom of your screen if you are using Outlook telling you that you have email. While you are working resist the urge to check your email. Stay on task and check when your task is done.
2. Control your phone calls. I use Google Voice and I update my voice mail message regularly. I do not answer my phone when I am really in production. I simply let my calls go to voice mail. It is better to finish up a task faster than to be constantly interrupted.
3. Control your email. When I am really tied up, I will post an auto responder on my email alerting clients when I will touch base back with them. Then mid morning and mid afternoon I will send a quick email response letting a client know I got their message and that I will respond either by the end of the day or the next morning. Then I make sure I do just that.
4. Use a call scheduling app for clients that need to chat with you. Instead of my trying to corral a client and exchange multiple emails to find a time to chat about a project, I put the client in control and use Calendly for my phone call scheduling. I have set the parameters of when I will take calls and the client chooses a time that is good for them. The call appears automatically in my schedule. The client can even self-manage and cancel or reschedule a call. I just make sure that I have time available and code in my Google Calendar when I am free and not available.
5. Control your task list, each night I plan my next day. I move things on my calendar and decide what I will do when. I group similar tasks together like perform all my AdWords work in the morning and all my webmaster work in the afternoon. I even schedule time for lunch, my workout, and planning time. I have found that if I schedule these things I assure that I do have some downtime and flexibility in my schedule if I have to drop in a project or take a call.
6. Move all your email, calendar, and file exchange to the cloud. By moving to the cloud, I have been able to increase my productivity as my smartphone has become my mobile desktop. I can move files to my staff, check on staff projects, and keep abreast of projects even while I am walking on the treadmill.
By being productive and very schedule oriented, I am generating more time for existing clients and more time for taking on new clients.