Those of us in a creative business must learn to manage our time effectively to be successful. We often feel that responding to emails or answering client questions bog us down. We always seem to have a never-ending list of tasks to get done. I have found that time blocking is necessary for me to fit everything into my life. Here are some guidelines to help you time block and see your productivity soar.
- Set aside time for your emails. It can be easy to spend hours answering inquiries. Instead, time block thirty minutes to an hour to answer emails when you first get to work. At lunch and just before ending your day, check again briefly to make sure there are no immediate responses needed in your inbox.
- Give your days a theme. There are so many things to accomplish in a day. When you give your day a theme, you tend to organize your work better and switch from left brain to right brain less frequently. Some of the themes I use are finances, prospecting, marketing, and others. On my finances day, I will send out invoices and check on my bank accounts, as an example. Having an entire day set aside for a particular task helps me to focus in and get a lot more done.
- Make a “bite size” task list. When you set aside a period of time for a task, make sure it is something you can finish. Don’t give yourself an hour to hire a new staff member, for instance. Instead, make a list more along the lines of “post job listing online” or “put job in newspaper.” These now become tasks you can check off your list and move on from.
Once you learn to time block, you will be able to better eliminate the distractions that come up throughout the day. It can be a hard habit to get into, but try time blocking in your business and see how much easier your work days can get.