Time management: Do you manage it or is it managing you?
In today’s fast paced, social media world, staying on top of projects and timelines and time management can be a challenge. A HUGE time management challenge. Clients today expect more, in less time. So how do we manage our time, in this fast paced world, without feeling like we are constantly behind and playing catch up?
At 3H, we understand this all to well. We are a boutique agency, with a small, eclectic team. This allows us to be nimble, and turn projects around quickly. On the flip side, we can get swamped quickly…unless we manage ourselves, our clients and our time very carefully. So how do we do this, and continue to turn out first class product?
Make a list – and check it twice! Yes, it can take time to do this. But the time spent on this saves us in the long run. Whether it’s a a critical path or a social media calendar, it’s always vital to take the time and plan it out. Share it with all of your team, so everyone knows what is happening. When we need to juggle projects, having these deadlines and plans at our finger tips is a lifesaver!
Organize! Monday morning, lay out the plan for your week. List weekly tasks, than daily tasks. Each morning review the list and make a note of the 3 priorities for the day.
Communicate! Talk with your clients AND your team. A good leader knows they are only as good as their team and supports their team to do the best job. Their job is to support them to get the work done. Talk with them regularly about how they are doing and feeling, what is going on. At 3H, we have daily, YES daily, production meetings. Sometimes they are 10 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes. The whole team knows what is happening with each project. Problems are discussed and solutions found, together.
Clear the inbox! Your inbox can fill up quickly. A few regular habits will help keep it manageable. When an email arrives, take care of it right away – reply, forward or file it. Take the action and clear it out of your inbox. If you are waiting for an answer on something, leave it in the inbox as a reminder that it needs to be completed. At the end of everyday, take the last 5 to 10 minutes to open and sort all email: what’s completed, what’s done, what needs to be done. This is the start of the next day’s to list.
Delegate. Sometimes it’s impossible to complete all your tasks on your own. Ask for help. This simple action can keep you from feeling bogged down and keep you on track and organized. Plus, it will build the confidence of your team, and help them to take ownership for projects.
Start a task. Finish a finish. I know this sounds simple, but in the multi-tasking era, how often do we start something, only to haven another emergency come up – and then we take a phone call. While multi-tasking is the norm today, it can lead to unfinished task and projects. It’s important to set time aside everyday to work on tasks and projects.
Finally, and most importantly, be flexible. On the drop of a dime, things can change. It’s important to go with the flow, ask for help, get all the facts and keep moving forward.
When I follow these tips, and stay on top of things, that allows me to be fluid and go with the flow.
How do you manage your time? Do you have any tips to share?
Author: Lisa Wedmann
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