Over the years, whenever I didn’t follow this advice, I was stressed and unproductive. Gradually I learned that planning and following a routine makes a huge difference in how I feel and what I get done. Here are some of the things that help me manage my schedule that you may find helpful:
- Create a routine
No matter what you are working on, create a routine. Block times for specific activities, and stick with the plan. Turn your calendar into a bunch of blocks and put activities into those blocks.
Whatever is not planned, you don’t do. If you want free time, plan it.
Your routine may change through the year, but at any given time it’s better to have a plan. For example, if you are working on a new client and need to do get them cleaned up, then prioritize and block specific times to work on that client. Block out time to do your routine tasks for all your clients. The same applies to everything you need to do for your Virtual Bookkeeping Business. Treating your business like one of your clients and you will be able to keep up with your own books too.
- Group calls into blocks
For example, block two and a half days a week for those calls and only schedule meetings only during those times. This way you are not only creating a chunk of time for calls, you are also creating other blocks of time that you will be able to important work.
- Optimize time for different meeting types
Personally, I am a big fan 10-minute non-client calls and 30 – 60-minute client calls. I think 10-minute non-client calls are a great way to initially connect with someone or give someone quick advice.
You can it via video chat if you prefer to see the person instead of just hearing them. The reason 10-minute calls work is because people skip BS and get to the point. Try it. Ten minutes is actually a lot of time, if you focus.
- Block time for email
This is the most important tip in the whole post. Email will own you unless you own it. To own your email you must avoid doing it all the time. To do that you need to schedule the time to do your email. It is absolutely a must.
- Plan your exercise and family time
Unless you put it on the calendar, it won’t get done. Well, that applies to your exercise and time with your family. Whether you go in the morning, afternoon or evening, do it three times a week or every day, put exercise time on the calendar.
The same applies to planning time with your family and significant others. If you are a workaholic like me, you will end up stealing time from your family unless you book it in advance and train yourself to promptly unplug.
- Actually manage your time
Think about your time a lot. Think about where it goes. Think about where you can get more of it, and how to optimize it.
Think about what you are doing, who you are meeting with and why a lot more.
I meet with a lot of people every week. My schedule can get full two – three weeks in advance. Yet, because I manage my calendar, follow a routine, plan calls and client work in blocks, I find myself less overwhelmed and less stressed.
Taking ownership of my calendar and planning my days and weeks made me a happier and more productive human. I hope this helps you get there too.