Oh, how can I possibly get it ALL done? How can I be efficient and productive with my time? I hate dropping the ball, how can I ensure that nothing gets lost in the hubbub of the busy work day? Coaching busy professionals on how to maximize all of their time, skills and ability to be the best that they can possibly be is truly a delight. I love helping people maximize themselves!
My clients have found that developing systems, routines and habits help stay on track. Systems help them ensure that all of their priorities get the attention that they deserve. It’s daunting to look at a list of tasks for an entire week, let alone a list of tasks for a month and feel motivated by it. A couple of systems that clients have implemented include;
Monthly Schedule –
A client who has 8 direct reports schedules one-on-one meetings with each of her direct reports on a monthly basis. She conducts the meetings on Tuesdays scheduling two one-on-one meetings each Tuesday. Her goal is to ensure she gives undivided attention to each direct report at least monthly without fail. Using Outlook she has booked the standing appointments on her subordinates’ calendars. Naturally she’s available in between the monthly meetings, however, the goal setting and career development discussions are reserved those for their monthly meeting.
Note; this monthly schedule can apply to planning out your marketing calendar to managing people. The effectiveness comes when you stick to a monthly schedule no matter the discipline or focus.
Clean Sweep –
How many people do you know that are on top of their email inbox? You know the one’s who are managing it regularly and not letting things fall through the cracks? A client recently shared with me their astonishment after submitting a request to a business and not hearing from them for a week. I said, “People are busy I’m sure they will get back to you.” It made me realize though that response time is important for your reputation. Some clients, employees, and colleagues will give you slack and others will not. Perhaps develop a system to manage your inbox. One way to manage this is to do a “Clean Sweep” of your inbox regularly. Respond to all emails that require a response, file others in folders and set a goal for how many emails you are comfortable having active in your inbox. For me my goal is to clean sweep daily and have a maximum of 50 emails in my inbox. What about you?
Response to Pro Bono Work –
As professionals, we love helping other people. Sometimes helping others can be beneficial for our business in terms of networking and referrals. In other cases helping others is simply goodwill and will not provide a ROI. How do you manage free requests for your time? Can you meet me for an informational interview? Will you take a look at my resume? Can you tell me how you got started in your career? Will you meet me for coffee to tell me ________ (fill in the blank)? You know the kinds of requests I’m talking about. 99% of the time you want to help people and if you helped everyone who requested your time you would not be the successful business professional that you are. You simply can’t accommodate all of these requests. What to do? Each of us, based on the businesses that we are in, will develop a unique system for how to handle these requests. The important thing here is to take some time to develop a system so that each new request doesn’t require that you reinvent the wheel.
What systems have worked for you?