With a new year comes new goals, so I tweeted on Twitter tonight a tip to write down your top 6 important to-dos for the next day then do them! As a real estate virtual assistant with multiple clients I have to be organized, but when things get crazy I cannot be as organized as I want, but I always get things under control be the end of each and then sit down and plan my next day.
So, this evening I saw that someone replied to my tweet – very cool – I like it when people chat with me. This twitter’s profile name is twitter.com/trontastic – Levi Wardell. He tweeted back that he also wrote an article about staying organized so after I read his article I was so excited to share with my clients and anyone that read my blog. You do read my blog, right?
Anyway, Levi gave me his blessing to re-blog the article so here it is.
f you’re like me and have 100 different tasks that need to be done on a daily basis, it is critical to manage your time carefully in order to get it all done. Personally, I’ve always struggled with this so like I usually do, I took the bull by the horns and made conquering this obstacle a pet project.
In doing so I found a few ways to manage my time that I thought I’d share with you. Is this going to be an eye opening, never before revealed super secret blog post? Not unless you have been asleep most of your life, no. None the less, these are steps that have helped me in a huge way and might warrant reviewing from time to time. So, here we go…
Review the processes you go through to complete your regular tasks in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to get them done. For instance, if it takes you 30 minutes to filter through your email every morning, look at why it takes that much time. Perhaps creating filters for your email will help you get to the important emails faster or delete trash emails without having to do it manually. Remember, we’re only talking about 3 minutes being saved from this one task. Add those up for every task you do on a regular basis and you’ll probably end up with a significant amount of free time.
When I did this, I evaluated the time I spend every morning looking at my analytics, going through my email, and planning out my day (ironic, huh?). I recommend you don’t try and tackle all of them at once. I took a few days to approach each task and get my processes down before moving to the next. When all was said and done, I added about 15 minutes to the clock. Not too shabby for only three tasks, right?
Email Is The Devil! Keep it at Bay And You Will Win – The Second Trick
Okay, its not the Devil, but it can suck the ever living life out of your day if you let it get out of control. The best way to keep control of your inbox is to keep it clean. Here is what I do to keep my inbox clean:
- Answer emails right away that only take a minute or two.
- If answering an email takes longer than that, I’ll let them know I will be getting back to them by day’s end. IF it is urgent, just do it.
- Delete what can be deleted as soon as it can be deleted. Don’t let junk pile up!
- Create folders to put ‘keepers’ in rather than keeping them all in your inbox.
Sounds easy right? That’s because it is. The problem most face is the lack of time to organize it. Well, that’s on you, but I recommend you find the initial time it takes to clear out the inbox, set up your folders, and get rid of the junk. You’ll feel more organized and won’t run the risk of letting things get buried.
Manage Your Time With a Calendar
Get a desktop calendar, use Outlook, Use Google’s calendar, hell, get a Dallas Cheerleader/fireman (what ever your preference) calendar to put on the wall… I don’t care. Just use a calendar that works for you.
Obviously you’ll want to stay flexible but it is important to schedule out the time you have. Not only that, but try and plan your day out by the times that you know work best for some of your campaigns. Let me esssplain Lucy…
You know the best time to submit an article to Digg is between 9am and 10am so make sure you plan to write your article the afternoon before and have the time in the AM to publish it.
You have noticed that you get the best response from your email campaigns if you send out Thursday afternoon. Mark your calendar to send at 3pm and work backwards, scheduling all the items you need to accomplish before you can send it out. This accomplishes a couple different things: A) You have planned out everything you need to do in order for the email to go out so you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything and B) Allows you to hit your target without it consuming all of your time at once.
Build a Squeeze List
Along with your list of “to-do’s” for the day (I’ll get to the to-do list in a second), create what I call a ‘squeeze list’ of items that only take a few minutes to accomplish and can be done between larger high priority projects. Keep this list with you so when you’re waiting on that article from your copywriter you can knock a couple of them out or while your boss pontificates during a marathon conference call you can use the list to keep you awake.
Build A To-Do List Before Leaving For The Day
Before you leave for the day, review and scratch out what you accomplished and build a new list for the next day. It is important to do it before you leave because you may not remember everything the next day. Also, this way you will come in the next morning with a list already created. Usually you will have a couple things to add once you go through your emails but at least 90% of the work is already done in tasking out your day.
Like I said, none of these are revolutionary, but they are effective; and that is what it’s all about. I’d love to hear ways that you have managed to put hours on the clock, manage your to-do list, or conquer the ever growing pile of requests on your desk so shoot me an email or drop a comment!
I want to say thanks to Levi for being so generous with his article and I invite you to visit his blog for some additional tips, etc.