If you asked 100 Professional People to name the top three challenges, time management would be in the three every time. Calls, emails, texts, and social media demand immediate attention. Even the most focused people can be distracted!
The absolute KEY to managing your time is organizing your calendar and STICKING TO IT. This will really keep you on the path and help you complete your tasks every day. Here is how I do it and I am told that I am one of the most organized Professionals in the industry.
The Night BEFORE
I always start my day the night before. I use a task program that is free and so easy to do. I add everything that I want to accomplish-phone calls, mailing, items to get done and yes even picking up dry cleaning. If I see that I have more to do in one day than I know I can get done-I prioritize them. With my task program if I do not complete an item, I can add notes (if I have started the task) and change the date.
As I go down the list, if I find that something is time sensitive, I add it to my google calendar to be sure not to miss the time. I also am sure to set the reminder appropriately. For example, if I need to drive for 20 minutes I put the reminder at 30 minutes so I leave my office and arrive on time.
First Thing when you start your day
Whenever your day starts (mine is usually 4 AM) resist the urge to jump on email or social media. Put your cell on DO NOT DISTURB. Now get to work on your To-Do List. Take time to complete items that can be done without email and phone-usually marketing, blogging etc.
The exception to NOT checking email is if you are expecting a contract as contracts always take precedence. Do not open every email but take a quick scan to make sure that highly important items are taken care of.
Your concentration, will power and discipline are always best in the morning. I usually make sure if I am doing a financial analysis on properties that I do this in the morning. This is always the best time to knock off the to-do list.
Late Morning-Noon time
Usually when I need to come up for a bit of air, maybe a snack or cup of coffee; I get up from my desk and take a minute. Now, it is a good time to evaluate or even reprioritize the rest of my day. Have I completed the high priorities?
If I have the day under control, this is the time that I look at market items or industry news. Keeping the day organized will let you have the time and energy to take on the unexpected items that suddenly become urgent.
I always put tasks in the afternoon that do not take as much energy or perhaps not as much concentration. It’s a great time to answer all phone calls, emails and texts. Social media takes this time as well.
If the To-Do list has been knocked out or completed as much as possible and you are looking for ways to make your day more productive make calls to your data base or polish your marketing. Prepare for appointments, etc. In the professional world, the successful Professionals do not use the task list completion as the end of the day.
Have a quitting time! You may still take phone calls or check emails. Before you wind down and compete your day-take a minute to go over your tasks one more time to make sure that you have completed all that you wanted to or needed to.
Remember to add your personal time or family time as actual appointments on your calendar! You are not effective unless you have true and enjoyable down time. Someone said to me recently, who will be at your funeral? Prospects or family? This is not to end this on a negative note but to help you stay focused on the items that are important to you!