5 Time Management Tips For Busy Bees
We all have off weeks, as do I. The best things we can do when we feel “off” – especially at work – is evaluate how we spend our time. I’m a big fan of constantly evaluating myself as a professional and asking questions such as “How can I manage my time better?” or “What about my schedule made my week tough?” and “How can I re-organize my time so that I can be more productive and feel more accomplished?”. This week was one of those weeks. In true “Lauren/InternQueen” fashion – I’ve evaluated and now it’s time to re-brand and re-build. Here are a few changes I’m going to try. I’m sure several of you deal with lack of motivation in the workplace. Here are some tips that might be helpful!
1. Minimize the Time Away From Your Desk. If you wanted to, you could literally spend all of your time on phone calls, at meetings, and generally out-of-the-office. Personally, it’s hard to be productive, check things off my to-do list, put together contracts, and make things happen if I’m gone all day. I’ve decided that moving forward, I’m only going to do a maximum of two lunch meetings per week unless they are crucial. Additionally, if I have out-of-the-office meetings I must attend, I’m going to try to set them as close to my home office as possible and limit meetings to two days per week – Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11-3 (need to watch traffic, as well).
2. Dividing Up “Light” Calls and “Hard” Calls. Moving forward, I’m going to group calls into “Hard” Calls and “Light” Calls. A “Hard” call is a call with the end goal of making a transaction – that transaction could be an interview, advertisement campaign, endorsement deal, or listings sale – something that brings either financial gain or PR gain to the business. A “Light” call is a potential partner, mentee, recruitment interview. I’m hoping that limiting “Hard” calls to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 12pm – 3pm will be beneficial.
3. Always Creating Schedules The Night Before. I find that when I write out an hour-by-hour time schedule for the next business day, I’m able to start the morning more focused and get the things that need to be done – done. This is especially helpful on mornings that I feel tired or have a slow start. If I don’t have time to think and just look down at my list, it guides my day. If I don’t make this schedule and I wake up late or groggy – it really throws me off track.
4. Utilizing Email Drafts. Unfortunately, somedays, I cannot get started on my pitching and out-going business until later in the day. Since I’m based in Los Angeles, I lose New York by 2PM PST (They are gone for the day). To make sure I still utilize my time in the afternoons, I occasionally write follow up emails and save them in my draft folder. The next morning, I start my day ultra-productively by shooting out all of those emails.
5. Specifying Content Days. Like many other editors or experts, I’m a content machine these days. At any given time, I have several projects going on and articles and blogs due. My current strategy (that hasn’t been working) is to allow an hour everyday for blogging and writing. This is tricky as sometimes you are too caught up in other business and cannot just stop and let the creative juices flow. Moving forward, I’m going to assign two days per week as writing days: Mondays and Fridays. I tend to actually be the most “motivated” on Mondays and can usually get the ideas out. Fridays are always more relaxed and aren’t the best days for new business. I will replace the time I would spend doing new business and become a lean, mean, writing machine!