According to Lou Gerstner, a former CEO of the tech giant IBM, nobody should ever own your schedule. What he meant by that was you should make your own rules and not let other people decide where you are at any given time.
When you first start out running a small business, you’ll spend a lot of time faffing about, running around like a headless chicken from one appointment to the next. After a while, you’ll learn how to organize your time better and plan your week. After all, you are the boss. Here is some advice that you might find useful.
Block Off Time For Email
When you work for yourself, email is a constant headache. There’s always something demanding your attention. This is why so many people block off the time to look at their emails. Responding to emails in dribs and drabs means that you’re constantly switching between tasks to respond to people. But blocking off time for email means that you can fully concentrate on what you’re doing, whatever that happens to be.
Use Appointment Slots
One of the first things that cloud-enabled businesses should do is automate appointment slot booking. But many professionals still aren’t taking advantage of field management software that makes it possible. Most are still using old-fashioned diaries. The good news is that none of this has to happen anymore, even if you’re a service that goes out to people’s homes to do your work.
Experiment With Different Meeting Lengths
In business, it seems to be an unwritten rule that a meeting has to last 45 minutes. But is there any reason for this? Most meetings can be whittled down to 30 minutes if you skip the chat and just focus on business. And most calls, especially calls to new clients, can be condensed into as little as ten minutes.
If people know you have these rules - that meeting must last no more than 30 minutes and that calls must last no more than 10 - then people will skip the small talk and get straight to the point. Although it might take a bit of getting used to, you’ll be surprised just how much more to-the-point your staff is once you start implementing these new measures.
Finally, always make sure you block off meetings according to your schedule so that they can’t run over. A 30-minute weekly staff meeting will suffice for practically every business.
Create A Routine
Have you ever wondered how the most productive people in the world managed to become so productive? Usually, it was because they came up with a routine that enabled them to fit all their obligations into their schedule with time left over for the things that matter in life, like exercise and socializing.
You can easily create a routine for yourself that does exactly this. Because your business will evolve over time, think carefully about how you need to spend your time today and how that might change in the future.
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