Time management, we here that phrase from so many in all walks of life. I’ve heard it uttered more of late so I thought it might fun to review some tips on the subject; better yet from one of blog assistants.
Let me introduce you to one of my best friends and she also happens to be one of my blog assistants. I have known Elizabeth Scott for over ten years. She was my executive assistant when I was a VP of Sales and has continued to be an invaluable resource for me in the blogosphere. When I asked if she would like to do a guest post, she was delighted.
Time management is a constant concern for we bloggers. Not because we don’t know how to manage it. It’s because it’s not the only thing we have in our life and finding the time to squeeze all that is required to run a successful blog is very challenging indeed. Elizabeth has helped me find that extra time with her services. So take it away Elizabeth.
Keeping Your Plate From Running Over.
When Susan asked me to write a guest post I was honored. I was introduced to Susan when she became the Vice President of Inside Sales at PennySaverUSA.com. Shortly after, two offices were consolidated into one; Susan started interviewing for an executive assistant. I threw my name into the hat and was thrilled when I was hired for the position. Being the assistant to Susan and five additional Regional Sales Managers helped me find my passion for administrative services.
I immediately jumped into my new position with both feet. There was so much I needed to learn, but I found the most important thing was time management. Assisting the VP of Inside Sales, five Regional Sales Managers, and up to 70 employees was no easy task, and my plate was always full. There was always a project or impending urgent task that needed to be done. To complete all the daily tasks, I needed to perfect my time management skills.
Time management by definition means to analysis how working hours are spent and the prioritization of each task to maximize personal efficiency at work. What does that mean? Here is what I consider being a good plan for time management.
The first rule of time management is to write down the tasks at hand. This can happen in different ways. Some people prefer lists to track their daily tasks, a desk calendar, or some use agendas or daily planners to schedule their day. I would use a Franklin Covey planner to help plan my days and schedule future projects. I would meet with each manager before completing my list of daily tasks to ensure all needs were covered.
The second rule is to prioritize each task. I would use “buckets” to figure out which tasks went where. Bucket one were tasks that required immediate attention. Returning urgent customer emails or phone calls, human resource needs, assisting internal customer needs, etc. Bucket two would be tasks that were important but not requiring immediate attention. This could be anything from preparing agendas for upcoming meetings, running daily reports, daily accounting items, etc. The next bucket was for the end of day tasks. These could be ordering supplies for the office, updating reports, data entry, etc. Things that needed to be done but could wait until more pressing tasks were completed. The final bucket was the scheduling bucket. These were projects that needed to be completed within the next week. I would schedule these projects out to ensure that nothing was forgotten.
The third rule I follow was to update all the buckets. When a task was completed, I’d mark it off, so I knew at a glance what tasks were remaining. I consider this critical, so I wasn’t re-reading the complete list every time I glance at it. I knew by sight the tasks were completed because I have crossed them out. Additionally, some tasks would lead to additional items. I would remember to put those other tasks into my different buckets.
The fourth rule I followed regarding time management was to report my progress. This was a quick email stating what was completed, asking if there was anything else I could assist with and any follow-up with questions I may have regarding any tasks.
The final rule that I considered important in time management was to know the signs that my current time management needed revision. The telltale sign that I was neglecting my time management plan was when my desk had become unorganized. I considered myself to be compulsively organized at work, and there was always a right place for everything. When I notice my office had become cluttered, I knew I needed to take a moment, step back, and reconsider my action plan.
I call Elizabeth my one of my secret weapons in the blogosphere. She helps me find and squeeze that extra time I need to keep my blog running well.
The blogging life continues…