5 Tips From the Deadline Diva
Do you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day? I think we all do sometimes, especially those of us who are filling multiple roles; working parents, small business owners, start-up employees, etc. It’s totally normal to feel like this on occasion, but we don’t need to live there!
You deserve better than that! And you almost certainly have the time to fit everything you need to do into your schedule if you think about it with a healthy perspective on effective time management.
So, how can you become a scheduling and productivity ninja? I asked Laura-Lee, our Deadline Diva, and she gave me her Top 5 Tips to share with you!
Here are few tips to help with time management for your work day:
- Look at your calendar at the end of each day to know what you are doing and/or where you have to be the next day. I will often get the papers printed, put a client’s folder together, pack my notebook and laptop or whatever is needed to be ready for the first meeting/task in the morning.
- Always put travel time in your calendar. If you have a meeting at 10am and another one at 11 am and those meetings are not in the same location, you need to be prepared to spend only 45 min at the first meeting. Advise the person you are meeting that you have a hard stop up front and leave on time so as not to put the next meeting and people behind in their day. As a best practice, try not to book meetings this close together so that you can allow for the unexpected.
- Leave 15-30 minutes after each meeting to prepare follow up notes, add tasks to your project management system and send a “thank you for meeting with me” email. When you do this right after the meeting you are less likely to forget the details and you can clear your mind to move onto the next task at hand.
- Understand the goal and/or the priorities related to the task. Take 5 minutes before you go into a meeting to identify your desired outcome - reaching that outcome will become the goal of your meeting. Keep the meeting moving towards that goal and don’t let anyone go off talking about the neighbours cat for 10 minutes. Often one task is reliant on the next, so understand the priorities and keep it moving.
- Allow yourself to walk away from something and schedule it for another day. Sometimes a meeting and or task is important but if you don’t have the capacity to hold the details, be open to the conversation, or support the person ask yourself if this can be moved to another day. For example I had been working on a document that was due in 2 days and I was struggling to think through it. I don’t like to be doing things last minute, but in this situation the task was taking too much time - way more than it should have. I had to stop, walk away and reschedule it for another time. Now, in no way I am suggesting procrastination or missing deadlines, but if a task that should take 30 minutes has already taken you two hours, you need to leave that mess for another day.
Let us know if you implement any of these strategies and how they work for you!